Irish staff at Wagamama to miss out on £4m Christmas bonus pot

Former owner Duke Street and outgoing CEO announce £4m bonus for employees

The Wagamama acquisition by the Restaurant Group was completed late last month

The Wagamama acquisition by the Restaurant Group was completed late last month

 

Irish staff working at Wagamama in the Republic are to miss out on a £4 million Christmas bonus pot following the recent sale of the noodle chain.

Close to 4,000 employees working for the company in the UK are to receive bonuses of up to £2,000 (€2,214) each after the recent £559 million sale of the chain last month. However, employees here will not be in line for a share of the pot as the Irish operation is run on a franchise basis.

The Irish franchise holder, Press Up Entertainment, the diversified bar and hospitality group operated by Paddy McKillen jnr, runs three Wagamamas in Dublin: South King Street below the St Stephen’s Green shopping centre, Dundrum Town centre and the Blanchardstown Centre.

The group also owns venues such as the Liquor Rooms in Temple Bar and the Stella cinema in Rathmines.

Bonus payout

The Guardian on Thursday reported that the bonus payout for Wagamama staff in the UK has been ordered by outgoing chief executive Jane Holbrook and Wagamama’s former private equity owner Duke Street, which originally acquired the group in 2011 for £215 million. The payout is for staff who have worked for the company for 12 months or more.

The Wagamama acquisition by the Restaurant Group was completed late last month after 60 per cent of shareholders voted in favour of the deal.

The deal covered 138 Wagamama restaurants in the UK and US, in addition to 58 franchised restaurants in Europe, the Middle East and New Zealand.

The Restaurant Group, which is the owner of the Frankie & Benny’s and Garfunkel chains, launched a £315 million rights issue to fund the deal, which it expects to be earnings enhancing in the first full year and accretive thereafter.