‘Devastated’: George Calombaris restaurant business collapses
Former Masterchef George Calombaris’s hospitality empire has collapsed into voluntary administration.
The celebrity chef and entrepreneur confirmed on Instagram that the group, which employs 500 staff at 18 locations, had been placed into the hands of administrators.
It has been seven months since it was revealed the company had underpaid staff almost $8 million.
Today, four days after Ross Stevenson first raised the matter on the Rumour File, about 500 employees are now facing an uncertain future.
The fate of a number of restaurants remains unclear, including Gazi, Jimmy Grants and Elektra Dining Room.
In the wake of the underpayment scandal, the company was fined and Calombaris apologised.
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Several other high profile restaurants are the subject of ongoing investigations by the Fair Work ombudsman.
Journalist and food writer Dani Valent said the restaurants were hit hard by customers.
“There was also a bit of a campaign against these restaurants,” she said, telling Ross and John that some groups booked large dinner tables only to deliberately cancel those bookings or walk out after ordering nothing.
She thinks the latest issues are more to do with the poor performance of the restaurants than the underpayment scandal.
That said, “I’m really shocked to hear this is where it’s come to,” she added.
Click PLAY to hear more from Valent talking with Ross and John