Staff at a Cork restaurant were shocked to find its doors shut yesterday when they reported for work.
The waiting and kitchen staff at award-winning Zaks on Marlborough Street, off Oliver Plunkett Street, say they were given no inkling by management that the restaurant was about to close.
The workers say they were told on Monday that the business would be closed for two days only and would then re-open.
However, when they arrived for work yesterday the premises was shut.
The 16 workers told the Evening Echo they were due up to three weeks wages and were also unable to access social welfare as they had not yet received their P45s.
The restaurant received Taste of Ireland awards in 2011 and 2012 after impressing judge and food critic Paulo Tullio.
The workers gathered outside the premises yesterday and spoke to Brendan O’Keeffe, one of the owners.
Denis Queally, who worked in Zaks for three years as a head chef, said: “He told us the matter was out of his hands. He said he would sort out the P45s in the next few days,” Mr Quelly said.
A message on the restaurant’s website states: “Zaks Restaurant was established in 2003 by the O’Keeffes, a local Cork family with over 30 years experience in the food business. Zaks Restaurant is now closed for business due to the tough economy.”
It goes on to say the O’Keeffe family would “like to thank all our loyal customers and staff for the support in the past.”
Brendan and Dan O’Keeffe, two of the owners, could not be contacted today despite efforts made by the Evening Echo.
The GrabOne website also shows the company sold 1,000 vouchers recently for Zak’s, worth 31 and 39.
In a statement today, a spokesperson said: “It is disappointing to hear Zaks Restaurant is unable to fulfil the terms of their original offer. Unfortunately, while issues such these are outside of our control, we apologise to our loyal customers and confirm we are contacting every customer who has not yet redeemed the offer this morning to offer them a full refund.”