Manchester bar says ‘don’t be a Karen’ as hospitality businesses warn Christmas deposits won’t be returned

Amidst confusion regarding Christmas parties, those cancelling are warned that they shouldn't expect to get their deposits back

Georgina Pellant Georgina Pellant - 10th December 2021

A Manchester bar has told people not to ‘be a Karen’ about their deposits if they decide to cancel their Christmas parties this year.

Charlotte Felton, a representative of Impossible bar on Peter street in Manchester, shared a post to her Facebook page appealing to people to NOT cancel their Christmas party this year.

Making some pretty succinct economic arguments for keeping your booking, she starts by stating the tragic fact that “not all venues will survive a cancellation”, before going on to explain to people that they should be prepared to ‘use or lose’ their deposits.

Adding that ‘hospitality is a business too’ she says, “Don’t be a Karen about this”

“If they say your deposit is lost that is to cover everything that’s been paid for already.”


“Postponing, whilst this is appreciated, venues won’t be able to fill that date you cancelled with very little notice and they will more than likely have done orders, rotas and spent hours of admin making sure the event is to a high standard.”

She also said “Whilst you were stuck indoors Boris was having a knees-up with the lads”, making reference to the newly-installed sign above the Peter street bar, which has been shared widely online and reads: ‘When bars were on their knees Number 10 were on the wine and cheese’.

Image: Impossible MCR

Other operators have chimed in too, voicing concern and confusion following a government briefing that has told people they now must work from home – but should also attend their Christmas parties.

Elite Bistro chef-owner Gary Usher tweeted the Prime Minister last night to ask for clarification on what to say to work’s do cancellations, saying: “could you just clarify again what we’re saying to large work do’s who’ve now cancelled their restaurant bookings but think they should get their deposit back?”

He then added, “We’ve gone with sorry it’s your Prime MInister’s fault. His Christmas party was, is and always will be more important than yours.


“Just need a sign off from you mate if that’s about the gist of it. Cheers.

“P.s. congrats on your 100th baby x”

The Prime Minister gave a press conference earlier this week announcing that England would move into ‘Plan B’ restrictions, requiring people to work from home where possible and introducing Covid passports at large venues.

However, asked whether Christmas parties and nativity plays should be cancelled, the Prime Minister replied: “No, in my view they should not.

“They should follow the guidance, of course, but we are not saying we want kids to be taken out of school before the end of term – not that there is very long to go now – and we don’t want nativity plays to be cancelled.


“We think that it is okay currently, on what we can see, to keep going with Christmas parties.”

The situation is made more confusing by the fact that Scotland is now advising people not to attend Christmas parties, whilst in England, the government appears to be saying the opposite.

Speaking to Radio 4’s Today programme this morning, Professor Linda Bauld of the University of Edinburgh said:

“I think if people have made plans then it’s really important that they try and assess risks, so they think about the fact that public health agencies are deeply concerned, if things can be delayed and the impact of that is minimal, that’s a choice for individuals to make,

“Public health Scotland is not saying anything that’s legal or required they’re simply issuing a piece of advice.”


“Their statement was focusing on the direct harm from the virus, the harm to public health, the other harms are harms to the health service, they’re also worried about that, but harm three, the third harm, is social harms and harm four is to the economy, so you have to balance all of these things.”

Feature image – Impossible MCR