George Calombaris 'Deeply Affected' As Restaurant Empire Placed Into Voluntary Administration
Celebrity chef George Calombaris has confirmed with "deep sadness and regret" that his restaurant empire has been placed into voluntary administration.
Calombaris' Made Establishment group, which operates 12 restaurants and food venues in Melbourne, was confirmed to be going into voluntary administration after a meeting on Monday afternoon.
Advisory and investment firm KordaMentha has been appointed as administrators of 22 companies in the Made Establishment Group.
The group employs about 500 staff at 18 restaurants in total.
The decision comes after it emerged last year staff were back paid $7.8 million in wages and superannuation in 2017.
On Monday Calombaris confirmed the news on his social media accounts.
"My dream for MADE Establishment 13 years ago was a vision to create something truly special for all those who entered our restaurants -- elite original cuisine, love and care, created alongside a family valued team of whom I have always been incredibly proud," he wrote.
"To all of my team, I truly regret it has come to this."
Calombaris wrote the last few months had been the "most challenging" he had ever faced.
"At this time, while personally devastated, I remain thankful to my family, friends, the MADE team, our loyal and regular customers."
"I am so sorry all our collective efforts have not proved enough. I'm gutted it has come to this."
Calombaris said the process is "deeply affecting" himself, his team, family and those close to him.
It has also been widely reported that a home owned by the Calombaris family in the suburb of Toorak has been listed for sale.
Victorian Jobs Minister Martin Pakula said if voluntary administration is required, people's jobs should be the priority.
"My thoughts and concerns would be for all of the employees of his company," he said on Monday.
"In that regard, I would hope that any conversations that are had with bankers and administrators are such that those people are able to keep their jobs."