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George Calombaris’s MAdE Establishment in voluntary administration because of ‘outside forces’

The collapse of George Calombaris’s restaurant group was in part due to the “heavy-handed enforcement” of pay rates and entitlements by the Fair Work Ombudsman, the head of Australia’s restaurant industry body says.

Almost all of the venues in the MAdE Establishment Group are to cease trading immediately, after KordaMentha was yesterday appointed the voluntary administrators of the 22 companies founded by Mr Calombaris.

The 12 restaurants and eateries to close their doors immediately include five fine-dining restaurants and seven Jimmy Grants souvlaki outlets. More than 400 employees will be affected.

The collapse of George Calombaris’s restaurant group was in part due to the “heavy-handed enforcement” of pay rates and entitlements by the Fair Work Ombudsman, the head of Australia’s restaurant industry body says.

But Restaurant and Catering Industry Association chief executive Wes Lambert said the “heavy-handed enforcement” of the Fair Work Ombudsman “naming and shaming” businesses that self-reported wage theft was partly to blame for the collapse of the empire.

“We would say that the negative publicity due to his [the ombudsman’s] naming and shaming certainly affected his [Mr Calombaris’s] business on top of the perfect storm of bushfires, coronavirus and the overall cost of doing business increasing, year over year,” Mr Lambert said.


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