Monday, 10 February 2020

Craig Shepard and Leanne Chesser of KordaMentha Restructuring were today appointed Voluntary Administrators of 22 companies in the MAdE Establishment Group.

Media inquiries:

Michael Smith, Inside Public Relations | (03) 9440 9387/0411 055 306 | [email protected]

The appointment excludes the Yo-Chi operations which will continue to trade as usual. All other venues have stopped trading immediately. Employees have been paid all outstanding wages and superannuation up to the date of the appointment.

The Group, founded by celebrity chef George Calombaris, operates 12 restaurants and food venues in Melbourne.

The appointment follows declining trade across venues since the announcement of an enforceable undertaking with the Fair Work Ombudsman after self-disclosure of underpayments at the Group’s Press Club, Gazi and Hellenic Republic restaurants up to 2017.

Mr Shepard said: “A major rebranding of a number of high-profile venues including Hellenic Hotel Williamstown (relaunched as Hotel Argentina), Hellenic Republic Brunswick (recently re-opened as Crofter Dining Room) and The Press Club (relaunched as Elektra) was unable to turn the business around, despite strong reviews”.

“Other factors were generally difficult trading conditions in the hospitality industry in recent years due to the expansion of the on-demand economy via services such as UberEats and Deliveroo, increasing costs, fierce industry competition and changes in consumer tastes to favour cheaper mid-tier dining options.”

Mr Shepard said the Administrators would seek alternative operators for the venues and engage with other stakeholders in order to realise the Group’s assets.

A first meeting of creditors will be next Thursday 20 February 2020.