The future of all three Gladstone Subway restaurants is up in the air as receivers work to determine if they will shut their doors over the coming weeks.
Citing the depressed local economy and high rents, general manager Sarah Irwin said the Subway restaurants at the Nightowl Centre on the Dawson Hwy, Clinton and The Valley were all at risk of closing and she was very sad about the outcome.
Scroll down for StoryMap: Gladstone foodies' horror two months
"The stores got to the point where we couldn't service the high overheads, and based on the declining patronage, we had no choice but to make this very tough decision," she said.
"The worst part of all this is that nearly 30 young and enthusiastic people will lose their jobs at a time when they need to be given every opportunity to get real life work experience.
"As a business owner, it's difficult enough to lose your life's work, but the most gut wrenching thing is to have to tell these young people who rely on you for work that they are potentially out of a job, and there's nothing I can do about that to make it easier on them."
READ MORE |
The move will come as a shock to Gladstone customers after the Subway Gladstone store won The Observer's Best in Business award for Best Local Franchise last year.
The closures would be the latest in a long line of Gladstone eateries that have shut their doors in recent months, including two Brumby's Bakeries, the Brasserie at the Golf Club, Wok Me at Gladstone Valley and the Tokyo Bento Sushi Noodle Bar.
Mrs Irwin said ultimately she had been left with no alternative after watching the businesses decline.
"It has got to the point where we had no personal funds left to keep up with rent and other fixed costs," she said.
"Our local landlords have been amazing, and we have exhausted all contingencies to keep trading, but none were viable or suitably long term.
"We apologise for not being able to give ongoing work and have appreciated the effort and energy the team has put into their work."
It is yet to be determined when the stores will cease trading.
STORYMAP | Devastating two months for Gladstone eateries
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.