SHU restaurant calls for urgent financial package from Executive
In happier times, reopening their restaurant last week: from left, Brian McCann, co-owner and head chef at SHU; Julian Henry, manager at SHU; Andrew Bradley, site manager, McCues; and Alan Reid, co-owner, SHU.
Just one week after reopening following a £1m investment, seven-month hiatus with 25 staff brought off furlough and a further 10 who are not eligible, SHU Restaurant has said it is ‘totally devastated’ at today’s announcement of a four-week closure for all hospitality outlets.
The award-winning eatery originally opened in October 2000, and since lockdown, the team has worked hard with local fit-out company, McCue, to complete a redesign of the entire building, including expansion into the neighbouring property.
“Today’s announcement is totally and utterly shattering to our business,” said Brian McCann, head chef and co-owner of SHU.
“We have been working night and day for many months to get to our opening date of 9th October.
“Our first weekend, we were fully booked at all sittings and we have a busy diary of bookings from now until Christmas. With rising costs and a forced closure, we are now in a dire situation.”
Alan Reid, co-owner, who founded SHU 20 years ago this month, said: “The government has been putting more of the burden of furlough onto us as employers.
“The cost to us is now approximately 25% of our payroll and that will increase to approximately 35% in November. We have around 25 staff that are eligible for the furlough scheme and a further 10 who have been employed after the cut-off date who are not eligible.
“We are now in an awful situation where our loyal staff who are dedicated to working hard to earn a wage, through no fault of their own are effectively having their jobs terminated by the latest directive.
“Our entire team is very distressed and we as owners and employers are acutely worried about where we go from here. We have literally put everything we have on the line.
“The Executive urgently needs to provide businesses like ours and many others now facing a very worrying future with a robust financial package that will safeguard jobs and businesses.”