Is Little Chef off the menu in Mirfield?

CLOSED: Little Chef was boarded up last Wednesday, but the firm refused to confirm the closure. (d18011208)
CLOSED: Little Chef was boarded up last Wednesday, but the firm refused to confirm the closure. (d18011208)
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A RESTAURANT has been boarded up for more than a week after Little Chef announced it was closing dozens of branches.

But the firm refused to say whether or not the Mirfield branch was one of the doomed cafes, despite it being shut and boarded-up since last Wednesday.

A spokeswoman for Little Chef said she could not comment on individual closures, but confirmed that all staff at the Mirfield branch were called into a meeting last Wednesday.

Christian Howe, manager of the Travelodge hotel next to the Little Chef in Leeds Road, said that was when staff were told about the closure.

He said: “We were given notification of the closure, and that was just after the staff meeting, so why is it a big secret?

“Last Wednesday it was closed and it was boarded up at the same time.”

He said the restaurant had opened as normal that morning, but was shut after the meeting.

Little Chef said it was closing 67 of its 161 sites, with a loss of between 500 and 600 jobs.

The firm’s spokeswoman said that she could not confirm how many members of staff worked at the Mirfield branch.

Company chairman Graham Sims said: “When we acquired Little Chef four years ago we inherited a number of sites with leases that were uncompetitive.

“Despite very hard work from some very committed colleagues we have been unable to lift the performances of these sites to a level where they are viable.

“Consequently, following a thorough review in which we considered all the options it is with regret that we have had to close a number of sites.

“This means some people’s jobs are at risk throughout the organisation. We will do everything in our power to help every individual find alternative employment within the Little Chef organisation.”

He said that the closure of some sites would mean the business could be strengthened elsewhere.

On the Mirfield Reporter Facebook page readers were sad to see the Little Chef close.

Jordan Walmsley said: “It was a fantastic place to work, but mainly because of the people who worked there.

“I’m very sorry to see it go but unfortunately it has been a long time coming.”

And Ben Walmsley added: “It was a real shame. My mum also worked there in the early 80’s.

“A lot of great memories and friends :(.”

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