A popular Whitefield tapas restaurant has made the tough decision to cut back its opening hours as energy bills spiral out of control.

Owners of Campo Blanco on Moss Lane said its next monthy energy bill could reach between £8,000 and £10,000 as rates continue to rise.

That figure is a huge increase on its last bill, which was between £2,000 and £3,000, and there are fears that only a fully booked restaurant can stop the business going into debt.

The rocketing costs have left married owners Faye and Aaron Cummins, both 30, worrying for weeks and reducing opening hours is their only solution to the problem at the moment.

Arron said: “There is no price cap for business, and it is extortionate to try and power the kitchens as well as heat the building when it comes to winter.

“We wanted to be that place where people can come and have a coffee and a chat, but we can't accommodate that anymore, we can only accommodate a full restaurant.

“The biggest expense is the kitchen, it's extortionate to run as we have all electrical appliances.

“We wanted to be an eco-friendly and green business so we used as little gas as possible but that’s not helping our bills.”

The restaurant has just finished renovations and started up its brunch menu with earlier opening times but this idea has now had to end to save money.

Aaron said: “The chefs would have to prep for brunch at 8.30am or 9am then prep for tapas.

“The earlier starts meant the bills became astronomical.

“It's one of them where it's cold early mornings, it's not that busy, so it isn’t as profitable because people aren't drinking and it's a quick breakfast or brunch.

“With the energy bills as they are, to work it would it rely on volume and as it stands, we couldn’t afford to heat the building.”

The restaurant will now be open from 4pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays and 12pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, opting not to open at all on Monday or Tuesday.

Aaron believes this will save almost 20 hours of kitchen time and help to put a "small dent" in the energy costs.

Aaron says they are looking for ways to keep all their staff members on while still giving them the same amount of hours.

He hopes that by "being smart" they can stay ahead of the curve.

He added: “We could get a cheaper deal if we signed up to a two or three-year contract, but we don't know what will happen to costs or us in those years.

"We could sign up and then in three- or four months’ time they could reduce the energy costs and we would be stuck paying stupid amounts of money.

@theburytimes Come with us to try the aptly name @Campo Blanco in Whitefield! #Tapas #foodie #Bury #Eatout #restaurant #whitefield #sangria #chorizo #squid #summer #sunshine #renovation ♬ original sound - The Bury Times

“I hope something is done soon but a government grant wouldn’t even touch the sides because of how busy we get and how much energy we use.

“It really wouldn't help, maybe Liz Truss (new Prime Minister) will see my Facebook status and do something about it but for now, we're just doing what we can to survive and trying not to get into too much debt.

“We have been gutted but we need to put us, our families and our staff first and if that means to stopping the brunch and reducing our hours, then that’s what we have to do.

“I hope our closing, will help other places in the area get a bit busier and help those who are struggling.

“Everyone's got family, everyone's got bills, and our community needs to stick together.

“I'm just hoping people still come in when we are open and know that nothing is changing but our  hours, we're still Campo Blanco and we will keep cracking on serving sangria and tapas.”

As the cost of living crisis continues and energy bills soar, we want to hear your stories, how are you and your business doing and if you have any advice to share with the wider community. 

Contact us with your cost of living stories by tweeting us on @BuryTimes@Heywoodharriet_ or email Harriet.Heywood@Newsquest.co.uk.

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