Restaurateur Mark Hix has posted a heartfelt message on social media about his business going into administration – and insisted it was not his decision to pull the plug.
The award-winning chef said suggested he would have preferred to make use of the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to save jobs at the firm, which was part of a joint venture with Westbury Street Holdings.
Writing on Instagram, Mr Hix said: “I echo the words of Rick Stein this week and all others in our hospitality business who have undoubtedly faced the toughest couple of weeks ever, and, in our case, since we opened in 2008.
“The hardest decision for WSH & Mark Hix Restaurants Limited has been to appoint an administrator and to close down the restaurants and HIX Townhouse, which in turn has made my team redundant without being able to take advantage of the government furlough scheme. Although the press are using, and will use, my name as the responsible director this was not my decision.
“Apart from tough times and sad times for me, it is nothing compared to what so many of my team, and others that are reliant on our business, are going through. Over time we have genuinely become a large family and to lose all of my team like this has been incredibly difficult and upsetting.
“One day, I will reopen in some way and I want to say a big thank you to all of my team, my suppliers and our guests who’ve been so supportive over the years and a huge thanks to those that have been in touch with their good wishes.”
Mr Hix sold his company to WSH four years ago and intended to use the takeover to expand his collection of restaurants.
He originally worked for WSH and its subsidiary BaxterStorey as a consultant for a number of years, helping them to develop and source interesting British produce.
Mr Hix won BBC series ‘The Great British Menu’ in 2008, and in 2017 he was awarded an MBE.