A high-end restaurant that opened in Dundee’s former City Arcades three months ago has closed its doors following a dispute with waiting staff over pay.
Front-of-house employees at Brassica claim they are owed around £20,000 in wages for the past month and say suppliers have also not been paid.
The owners have blamed “short-term cash flow problems” for the closure but vowed to pay staff and re-open soon.
The Shore Terrace restaurant, located in the former City Arcades under the Caird Hall, opened at the start of June with a promise of “laid-back luxury” for diners.
However, several waiting staff said they walked out on Friday over unpaid wages.
And although a skeleton staff was able to keep the restaurant open over the weekend it has been unable to open this week.
Signs posted on the doors of Brassica blame “technical difficulties” for the closure and say the restaurant will re-open on Thursday evening.
However, the venue’s Facebook page said it “has been closed for training” and will open its doors again next week.
One employee, who asked not to be named, said: “It closed on Friday because all the staff walked out.
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“Some worked the weekend but on Monday we still hadn’t been paid and so it closed again and probably won’t open again.
“There has always been an issue with getting paid late but now there is about £20,000 owed in back wages.
“There are about 15 staff who haven’t been paid.”
Another disgruntled employee added: “We’ve been told we’ll be paid on Thursday but I’m at the point where I am looking for another job.”
Another waiter said their social housing landlord was threatening to start eviction proceedings unless they can pay their £330 rent arrears.
The waiter said: “There aren’t any technical difficulties, they just can’t pay their staff.
“There have been problems every month. They would say the money would go in on Tuesday and when you checked you bank it wouldn’t be there. You’d phone up and they’d say they’d have a cheque for you, which would take days to clear.
“I texted my boss and he just said ‘we’re all in the same boat’.”
The waiter added: “It’s not been a happy place. They were hoping the opening of the V&A would save them.”
The restaurant is owned by Tayone Food Limited, whose directors are listed at Companies House as Dea McGill and Rami Sarraf.
Ms McGill admitted the business was struggling with temporary cash flow issues but promised everyone would be paid what they are owed.
She said: “We have been experience cash flow issues for a number of reasons.
“Sometimes the money we take by card on a Thursday or Friday doesn’t come through until the next week.
“Most of the staff have been paid and as money comes in we are paying them. We are clearing it as fast as we can.”
She said she expected Brassica’s finances to stabilise in coming months.
“It’s been open three months and has been a big investment,” she said.
“It’s not unusual for a business to have cash flow problems. We are reviewing our finances and and restructuring our loans and leases and hope that in a couple of months business will stabilise.
“It has been very stressful,” she added.
“I completely understand why some people are upset.”