Published: 23/04/2015 11:00 - Updated: 22/04/2015 17:36

Inverness diner opens amid backlash on alco-shakes ban

Written byEilidh Davies


Ed's Easy Diner which opened this week in the Eastgate Centre.
Ed's Easy Diner which opened this week in the Eastgate Centre.

A FAST food restaurant which made the decision not to serve controversial alcohol-laced milkshakes opened its doors in Inverness this week.

But after bosses of the Ed’s Easy Diner chain dropped the alco-shakes from the menu at its new outlet in the Eastgate Shopping Centre many angry customers have taken to social networking sites to vent their anger, with some branding the decision “ridiculous”.

Criticism from some quarters about serving the alco-shakes began earlier this month after Highland Council’s Licensing Board gave the green light to Ed’s to allow children under 12 into the licensed premises unaccompanied.

Ed’s Easy Diner serves burgers, hotdogs and maple-syrup waffles and other all-American meals that can be washed down by adults with rum and Baileys-laced milkshakes.

The leader of the Scottish Christian Party in Inverness criticised the licensing board for breaking “Highland tradition” by allowing the American-style diner to let children under 12 into the licensed premises unaccompanied.

Donald Boyd said it was a disappointing step in the wrong direction.

But the chief executive officer of the fast food chain confirmed to the Highland News last week that it was pulling the contentious alco-shakes from the menu in Inverness following the comments.

The Highland outlet is the only one of the 37 Ed’s Easy Diners in the UK which does not serve the alco-shakes. The company also confirmed that the alco-shakes would be removed from the menu indefinitely and would not be added at a later date.

But many people have now taken to social networking sites, such as facebook – including the Highland News page – dismayed that the alco-shakes won’t be available in Inverness.

Craig Kelly said: “Inverness is about to get a full-blown uni. If you want people to be persuaded to go to said uni you need to provide a great social life as well as a great educational facility.

“As someone who moved from Inverness I can tell you that the town is as dull as ever. Would an alcoholic milkshake turn the cosy church town into a land of brothels and alcoholics? Course not. Now jog on and get me my alco-shake.”

Nicola Calder added: “Trust Inverness to be the only one out of 37 restaurants that doesn’t sell the alco-shakes…” while James Macleod commented: “Pretty much sums up everything wrong with Inverness.”

Zoë Aphra Skinner said: “When are they going to let the Christian town of Inverness grow up?! Kids are surrounded by alcohol all the time anyway.”

Grant Falconer added: “Get with the times Inverness. Wonder why the rest of the UK think we are backwards.”

But the restaurant has ruled out another change of heart.

Ed’s CEO Andrew Guy said the restaurant had a fantastic first few days after opening.

“Our first day has gone incredibly well and we were busy from the moment we opened our doors at 11am. Twenty eight local people from Inverness have been hired and trained for this opening, recruited through employment charity Springboard,” he said.

“What a day to be opening our first diner in Inverness when the town is celebrating a historic sporting first. We congratulate our new local team and wish them all the best for the Scottish Cup final on the May 30.”

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