The owner of a small group of independent asian fusion restaurants in Bristol has announced he has been forced to close two of his sites due to soaring costs.
Larkin Cen, the owner of the Woky Ko chain, announced yesterday (25 October) that he will be shutting his restaurants on Queens Road in Clifton, and at Cargo, in Wapping Wharf.
The former solicitor-turned-restauranteur said it was with "great sadness and a heavy heart" that he's made the decision.
In a statement, he said: "Unfortunately, over the last year, increasing costs, staffing shortages and wage pressure impacted the viability of these two parts of the businesses.
"The price pressure on our takeaway orders caused by the economic squeeze, has meant that both locations are no longer viable."
This means that while the chain's St Nicholas Market branch will remain open, the other two restaurant's staff will be made redundant after being paid at the end of the month.
The owner said he wants to encourage other restaurants that have vacancies to get in touch with the chain so he could share it with his staff.
The 2013 MasterChef finalist has also apologised for the inconvenience to customers with advanced bookings.
"We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our customers for supporting Woky Ko over the years at Cargo and Queens Road and to our suppliers and supporters who kept us going throughout the pandemic", Larkin said.
"Our St Nicks Market operation will remain open and will be our cornerstone as we look to regroup and stabilise the business."