Life has not been easy for the skilled staff from Dinner by Heston who saw the restaurant go-under. Now it turns out things have been made even tougher.
Life has not been easy for the skilled staff from Dinner by Heston who saw the restaurant go-under. Now it turns out things have been made even tougher.

Where’s our money: Heston Blumenthal staff waiting for pay

Former staff from the Heston Blumenthal fronted 'Dinner by Heston' are still fighting to be paid their final two weeks wages.

Considered Melbourne's best restaurant when it opened in October 2015, Dinner by Heston crashed into administration late last year and completed its last service on Valentine's Day this month.

Dinner by Heston was known for its experimental dishes.
Dinner by Heston was known for its experimental dishes.

Staff have told the Herald Sun they were notified to expect payments soon but a delay concerning the restaurant's final takings may be linked to the final payments not being made.

It has previously been reported about $340,000 in final takings were made in the final weeks of Dinner by Heston.

The cash was paid to Crown who are expected to take out costs owed to them. The balance is then passed onto the administrators BRI Ferrier.

It is understood that final amount paid from Crown to the administrators is still being decided between the parties.

A source close to the casino and hotel operator said Crown believed it had responded favourably to all requests by the liquidators to release funds to meet employee obligations.

The source said it was "concerning" if staff had not been paid.

Dinner by Heston was based at Crown. Picture Rebecca Michael.
Dinner by Heston was based at Crown. Picture Rebecca Michael.

Crown released a statement this afternoon saying it was still working to put former Heston staff in other hospitality jobs.

"The payment of staff who were engaged by the liquidators after their appointment is the responsibility of the liquidators," it said.

"Crown is continuing to work with impacted staff to examine opportunities for employment across the complex."

It is another blow for staff already owed a cumulative $4.5 million in wages after the restaurant underpaid entitlements over four years.

Creditors of Tipsy Cake - the parent company of Dinner by Heston - last week attended an update of the collapse held by liquidator Brian Silvia of BRI Ferrier.

Tipsy Cake went into administration late last year amid revelations it underpaid employee entitlements for four years until June 2019.

Heston Blumenfeld celebrating the restaurants first birthday. Picture: Julie Kiriacoudis
Heston Blumenfeld celebrating the restaurants first birthday. Picture: Julie Kiriacoudis

The restaurant was based at Crown Melbourne, and Crown is the biggest single creditor.

Industry insiders have previously told the Herald Sun the high-priced eatery was a $12 million black hole.

Blumenthal did not have shares in the company that owned the restaurant.

He was paid $1.9 million a year by Crown to promote the eatery and for the use of his brand, and had a $1 annual peppercorn rent, a liquidator's report reveals.

Dinner By Heston Blumenthal opened in Melbourne in October 2015.

Tipsy Cake, which owns the restaurant, has blamed Crown for its woes, saying it gave the company the blueprint for how to pay wages and tried to get them to cough up some of the unpaid entitlements.

But Crown has hit back saying Heston's namesake restaurant was a tenant and noted Tipsy Cake didn't have enough cash to cover its costs.

jeffrey.whalley@news.com.au



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