Prestige Holdings Limited has lost millions of dollars on the Barbados T.G.I FRiDAY’S restaurant it closed last Friday.
And management of the Trinidad and Tobago company, saying these funds were sunk, which meant they would not now be recovered, plus they expect to lose a further $3 million related to the operation this year.
Closure of the Hastings, Christ Church business has cost more than 50 Barbadians their jobs.
Staff members told Barbados TODAY that at a hastily called staff meeting, management simply informed workers that the company was not making money and they decided to end operations.
Reports out of Trinidad indicate that Prestige Holdings Chairman, Christian Mouttet, said the move was a prudent one.
“We do not expect the impairment provision to affect our dividend policy and payments. This change will have no impact on the other T.G.I. FRiDAY’S Restaurants we operate in the region,” he said
In a statement issued over the weekend Prestige Holdings Limited’s board of directors said:
“Prestige Holdings Limited and Prestige Restaurants Limited, which first opened the T.F.I. FRiDAYS restaurant in August 2007, experienced losses in the market since inception. We are forced to close this restaurant as it became unsustainable due to local operating costs, increasing losses and the declining local economic climate.
“We take this opportunity to thank our loyal employees, customers and suppliers for the support over the years and to express regret that we have had to make this very difficult decision.”
Some staff members, however, said they were “shell-shocked” at the news of immediate closure of the restaurant and believed management could have done more to save it.
“We knew we were heading down that road but not this soon. I too believed management knew exactly what their agenda was but told the staff nothing,” one worker said.
“It is so disappointing to us that the night before (the restaurant closed) we literally had nothing much from the menu to offer the customers and as a server I was really embarrassed to be telling customers ‘we don’t have this dish’ or that a recipe isn’t complete for them to have their order.
“It was so bad that a simple mudslide could not have been made due to fact there was no ice cream. To me this was a lack of professionalism where the management was concerned.
“I believe they should have done one of two things: close the restaurant for that evening shift or to pulled some of the stock to help satisfy the customers. The manager and bar staff were told specifically not to pull stock or do any drink mixes for the evening. We had to work with what was left, which was practically nothing,” the worker added. (SC)