Greek Australian celebrity chef George Calombaris’ restaurant empire is facing voluntary administration. Creditors will reportedly meet today, February 10, to discuss the future of the business after it was revealed that staff were back paid $7.8 million in wages and superannuation in 2017.
Calombaris’ Made Establishment group will make a decision on whether or not it will go into administration after a meeting this afternoon, The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald report.
The business employs about 500 staff at its 18 restaurants, which include Hellenic Republic, Gazi, Jimmy Grants and Calombaris’ flagship fine dining establishment, Press Club, which became Elektra Dining in October.
According to reports, it is expected that all staff and creditors will be paid, but some poorly performing restaurants could be sold.
Made Establishment was ordered to make a $200,000 contrition payment after the underpayments were uncovered.
During an interview with Australian Broadcaster ABC, Calombaris said he was “gutted” and took full responsibility for the scandal, but vowed to keep fighting on.
“We aren’t closing our restaurants, we’re here. And it’s my job as their leader to keep pushing forward and keep speaking this message, not shying away from the mistake we made, but also acknowledging that we fixed it.”
The former MasterChef Australia judge has also quietly listed his Toorak home for sale off-market. He had bought the property with his wife, solicitor Natalie Tricarico six years ago for $4.75 million (AUD).
*Main Source: AAP
*Photo image via Gazi Facebook page