Restaurant owner ‘distraught’ as high costs force family business to close

Mr Haetzman said he made the difficult decision after the restaurant’s energy bills shot up from £1,000 a month to nearly £4,000.

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A restaurant owner has said he is "heartbroken" after having to close his family business due to soaring energy prices, adding that he hopes protections will be put in place to help others.

David Haetzman, 49, was forced to shut his restaurant, the Firebrick Brasserie in Lauder, near Edinburgh, earlier in August.

The chef said: “We’re heartbroken and pretty distraught. Obviously we have put a lot into the business over the last seven years.

“We’re very passionate about what we do and it’s pretty heartbreaking to have to close.

“The cost-of-living crisis, and in particular the energy prices, is the thing that sent us over the edge.”

Mr Haetzman said he made the difficult decision after the restaurant’s energy bills shot up from £1,000 a month to nearly £4,000.

Firebrick Brasserie in Lauder, Berwickshire, which has closed after the owner David Haetzman, 49, was forced to shut the doors to his restaurant, due to rising costs.
Firebrick Brasserie in Lauder, Berwickshire, which has closed after the owner David Haetzman, 49, was forced to shut the doors to his restaurant, due to rising costs.

He said: “The last few years have been very difficult with Covid, which we managed to get through. The price in base ingredients increased and all of our prices went through the roof.

“It was impossible for us to make that sustainable. Customers were still coming through the door but they spent less, as their cost of living increased too.”

The closure of the restaurant inevitably led to redundancies.

Mr Haetzman said: “It’s really hard. We had a small team but a really good team for a long time, and it’s very difficult to let people go.”

His three children, Alex, 23, Charlie, 17, and Sophie, 15, were also working in the family business.

David Haetzman, 49, who has been forced to shut the doors to his restaurant, the Firebrick Brasserie in Lauder, Berwickshire,
David Haetzman, 49, who has been forced to shut the doors to his restaurant, the Firebrick Brasserie in Lauder, Berwickshire,

“It’s a sad day for all of us. What we will miss the most is serving our customers. We are very passionate about producing good food,” he said.

“The hustle and bustle of working, doing our own thing and being proud of what we’re doing – that’s now going to be a huge miss.”

Mr Haetzman also owns a bakery with his partner, Amanda Jordan, 52, who is a trained pastry chef.

He said: “The bakery isn’t quite as bad in terms of energy usage, but we are still concerned with energy prices and it’s still a massive issue.”

Mr Haetzman hopes a price cap for businesses will be introduced, so energy providers “can’t just charge us what they like” he told PA.