Restaurant owner steps in to save Thomas Cook staff party after company collapse
The owner of Sunderland restaurant Aperitif hopes his good deed will keep spirits high for the local branch as Thomas Cook has ceased trading with immediate effect.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) began coordinating efforts to fly more than 150,000 tourists home and the administration puts 22,000 jobs at risk worldwide, including 9,000 in the UK.
The company operated around 600 UK high street stores and had branches in Sunderland, South Shields and Hartlepool.
The CAA said in a statement on Monday, September 23: "We know that a company with such long-standing history ceasing trading will be very distressing for its customers and employees and our thoughts are with everyone affected by this news."
Staff at the Sunderland Bridges Thomas Cook branch had recently booked a staff party at Aperitif Wine Bar and Tapas to celebrate hitting their targets for the month but after the news that the firm had collapsed, they were forced to cancel the celebration.
However, the owner of Aperitif, David Liu has stepped in and the staff are still set to celebrate on Wednesday, September 25. David said: “When I heard the news I felt really bad for those who work there and the customers.
“They rang and said that they would have to cancel the party as they have lost their jobs but I returned their call and I said that we’re going to pay for them to still have the party.
“Thomas Cook is a great business and it has a lot of customers and I can imagine how hard it is for both the employees and the customers. It’s so sad for it to have to collapse like this.
“I was just being mindful of our local branch and I didn’t want them to miss out. We hope this can be a little bit of light in such a sad time.”