The Blackpool pub said their totally random act of kindness is all about ‘community’
Around 40 Lancashire families got a second chance at Christmas dinner after a Blackpool pub invited them for a complimentary meal.
It came after complaints made online about the Christmas day service at another pub, which customers described as ‘shambolic’.
Guests who visited Singleton’s Miller Arms on Christmas day have shared their frustration for their service which was labelled ‘shambles’ and a ‘disgrace’. The Pub’s director has since said that the day went “spectacularly wrong” and claims many issues were “out of their control”.
However, some guests who voiced their upset online, were approached at random by Aaron Johnson from The Newton Arms in Blackpool and were offered a complimentary Christmas meal.
Elaine Borsay and her family were among the guests invited to The Newton Arms to celebrate.
They had been at Miller Arms on Christmas day but got to re-do their Christmas dinner on January 2 at The Newton Arms.
Mrs Borsay told LancsLive that their experience at The Newton Arms made up for their ‘awful’ Christmas day.
“We enjoyed that day and made it our Christmas day, because it was ruined on Christmas day,” she said.
Mrs Borsay and her family paid £65 per person at The Miller Arms and said they ‘expected everything to be perfect’.
She was one of many to post an upset review to The Miller Arms Facebook Page.
“People have commented on my post saying ‘don’t be so lazy, what you going out for a meal for, cook at home,’ but I wanted to treat myself. I don’t want to be standing doing the cooking and the washing up. I want to be spending that quality time with my family.”
Mrs Borsay said they had decided to eat out for a ‘change’ but ‘won’t be doing it again’.
The Newton Arms got in touch a few days later and offered her a complimentary Christmas dinner at her convenience.
“Obviously there were a lot of people who had left negative reviews on The Millers Arms Facebook page and they went through and at random they just picked people out and invited them to have a Christmas meal free of charge.
“They said they would have loved to have invited everyone, but they couldn’t. I couldn’t believe it and thought it was a joke,” she said.
Mrs Borsay was told to ‘choose’ whatever she wanted from the menu and to let The Newton Arms know when they would like to come for their meal.
When Mrs Borsay and family arrived she said the effort made by The Newton Arms was ‘so nice’. They had laid the table and provided crackers to make up the Christmas Dinner.
Aaron Johnson has been the General Manager of The Newton Arms for the last three years and said the random kind act was simply down to the pub having a big focus on community.
“We’re a community brand and I have been really big on community,” he said. “We had been reading reviews on Facebook that people have had a bad christmas day, for whatever reason, and we had excess Christmas stock so I was speaking to the team and we said let’s reach out to these guys.”
Previously the pub has raised ‘just under’ £4,000 for Headway Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde who support brain injury survivors and their families. During the national lockdowns, they raised a further £1500 through a virtual event.
Offering the families a second chance at Christmas day was simply the pub giving them the ‘opportunity’ to sit down as a family again, Mr Johnson explained.
“Its important because none of us had that last year, and most people were really looking forward to it this year. Hospitality is really difficult with loads of challenges but we were in a position where we had over-ordered for Christmas to make sure we had enough for everybody and we had some spare stock.”
Mr Johnson said they had not been able to ‘reach out’ to everybody, but said there is around 40 people who have been invited for the complimentary Christmas and to his knowledge, ‘all really enjoyed it’.
“We weren’t bothered about the circumstances there (The Miller Arms), we don’t know, but what we were focused on were people who didn’t have their Christmas dinner and we’ve been able to give them that.”
The Newton Arms describe themselves as a ‘big community pub’ who host ‘a lot’ of fundraisers throughout the year including fun days and firework displays.
At Christmas they hosted a Christmas grotto because ‘nobody had the opportunity’ last year.
The Newton Arms in Normoss, Blackpool, is open every day from midday until late.