Restaurant blames $436,000 debt on wages

30 July, 2019 by
Hospitality Magazine

Sydney restaurant Sash Japanese has gone into liquidation after accumulating debts totaling $436,000 in just four months.

The Surry Hills venue has called it a day, but the alleged reasons behind the closure have struck a chord with the industry.

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Directors Kyle Stagoll and Dave Nelson, who also operate a Sash outlet in Melbourne, claim paying workers fair wages put the nail in the coffin of the sushi pizza restaurant.

“Most of our competitors who have been successful over the past few years have been paying staff under the award rate, it seems the only way venues can stay ahead” Stagoll told SMH. “Does that mean hospo workers are drastically over paid for the value they produce for a business? Probably.”

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Stagoll says Sash paid all staff the award or above award rates, and believes the restaurant would ‘probably’ still be open if they underpaid workers.

He also discussed the impact delivery services have had on restaurants. “Uber Eats has really killed midweek dining – never in our wildest dreams did we think we would be as quiet as we were midweek in the last few months,” says Stagoll. “Our Melbourne business is similar – fully booked on a Saturday night … but all week we can’t get anyone in there.”

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Silver Chef, the largest creditor of Sash, is owed $283,700 and suppliers including Asahi and Paramount Liquor are in line for thousands.

HoganSprowles are taking care of the liquidation of Sashizza Surry Hills (Sash) and there are 52 employees currently owed wages and superannuation.

The topic of wage theft has been rife in recent weeks with Made Establishment admitting to underpaying workers $7.8 million and a former chef suing Rockpool Dining Group for underpayments.