Summer shutdown for Indian restaurant in Old Town

The Bombay Lounge

The Bombay Lounge

First published in News

OLD Town restaurant Bombay Lounge has closed for the summer with owner Hanif Robbani looking to address staffing issues.

Hanif said he plans to recruit a new manager for the Devizes Road restaurant and additional workers to bolster its numbers.

In the meantime, the majority of its staff will be working from Hanif’s original Peatmoor Bombay Lounge, which is remaining open.

The news comes as another blow to the Old Town economy following the closure of Cakes and Ale, last month, and salon Talk of the Town, last week. All three businesses are located within just metres of each other.

Hanif said: “Due to current staffing levels, unfortunately we have temporarily closed the Old Town restaurant.

“Finding good, reliable staff in this industry is hard, and we want the service we provide to be at its best.

“By doing this we can concentrate all of our efforts on our Peatmoor site.

“The restaurant is a very popular choice for many people for eating out, so we aim to get it back open as soon as possible, once we have sourced new staff.

“Our Peatmoor restaurant will remain open and we will continue to host our charity curry nights.”

Hanif emphasised that he is determined to reopen his Old Town restaurant, which closed its doors around a week ago. He hopes it will open again in September.

“We are not in liquidation or anything like that,” he added. “We are not going anywhere, I could open tonight if I wanted.

“People probably know me from my two restaurants but I have other business enterprises and, at the minute, the one in Old Town is the least lucrative.

“The business was making money but not as much as I would like and I can probably not devote as much time as the Old Town business deserves at present.”

Hanif said that the summer months were a good time to make changes, suggesting the World Cup and the holiday season has a noticeable effect on restaurant trade.

“We know that when the football is on blokes tend to start drinking earlier, several hours before the matches, and don’t necessarily go out to have something to eat which has an effect on us,” he said.

“Our Peatmoor restaurant is the busier of the two and with the summer months coming up we felt it would make sense to keep the Old Town one closed.

“It is just a question of it becoming more effective and when it reopens I think we’ll have a mini refurbishment too.”

Hanif said he is determined to recruit highly skilled staff to add to his team at the Old Town restaurant.

He said: “There are a lot of factors which have brought this decision, with regards to staff.

“My generation were born and bred in this country and want to go into industries other than restaurants, which makes getting workers hard.

“It leaves staff coming over from Bangladesh and India, but the UK immigration laws make it scarce to get high quality staff, with many already involved in family businesses too.”

Comments (17)

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10:36am Tue 17 Jun 14

twasadawf says...

There seems to be plenty asians in swindon that could solve his staffing levels maybe he should be training up some of them as i'm sure they would jump at the chance
There seems to be plenty asians in swindon that could solve his staffing levels maybe he should be training up some of them as i'm sure they would jump at the chance twasadawf
  • Score: 4

10:41am Tue 17 Jun 14

Tonyblairisthedevil says...

Having eaten in the old town one its a shame as the food was always excellent when i went...
Having eaten in the old town one its a shame as the food was always excellent when i went... Tonyblairisthedevil
  • Score: 7

11:21am Tue 17 Jun 14

Hearditallbefore says...

Food is excellent in both restaurants.
Food is excellent in both restaurants. Hearditallbefore
  • Score: 5

11:45am Tue 17 Jun 14

bradley red 1 says...

twasadawf wrote:
There seems to be plenty asians in swindon that could solve his staffing levels maybe he should be training up some of them as i'm sure they would jump at the chance
I agree,he should do a recruitment campaign along manchester rd and surrounding area!
[quote][p][bold]twasadawf[/bold] wrote: There seems to be plenty asians in swindon that could solve his staffing levels maybe he should be training up some of them as i'm sure they would jump at the chance[/p][/quote]I agree,he should do a recruitment campaign along manchester rd and surrounding area! bradley red 1
  • Score: 6

11:46am Tue 17 Jun 14

swindondad says...

Maybe the owner should cast his recruitment net outside of the Asian community?

You do not have to be Asian to cook or serve fantastic Asian food.
Maybe the owner should cast his recruitment net outside of the Asian community? You do not have to be Asian to cook or serve fantastic Asian food. swindondad
  • Score: 38

12:04pm Tue 17 Jun 14

Davey Gravey says...

You cannot just train anyone or just because someone is Asian doesn't make them a capable Indian chef. It takes years to develop the skills hence why recruitment is a national problem for Indian restaurant owners.
You cannot just train anyone or just because someone is Asian doesn't make them a capable Indian chef. It takes years to develop the skills hence why recruitment is a national problem for Indian restaurant owners. Davey Gravey
  • Score: -3

7:42pm Tue 17 Jun 14

Mukkin says...

Paye is expensive these days :-O
Paye is expensive these days :-O Mukkin
  • Score: 0

10:06pm Tue 17 Jun 14

Mukkin says...

'hence why recruitment is a national problem for Indian restaurant owners.'

Utter tosh!
Many many workers in these establishments are here and working illegally, with the owners paying no tax or national insurance, not to mention the many that are pursued by the immigration agencies, I think you need to take a trip out of Swindon once in a while :-D
'hence why recruitment is a national problem for Indian restaurant owners.' Utter tosh! Many many workers in these establishments are here and working illegally, with the owners paying no tax or national insurance, not to mention the many that are pursued by the immigration agencies, I think you need to take a trip out of Swindon once in a while :-D Mukkin
  • Score: 5

10:58pm Tue 17 Jun 14

Davey Gravey says...

Mukkin wrote:
'hence why recruitment is a national problem for Indian restaurant owners.'

Utter tosh!
Many many workers in these establishments are here and working illegally, with the owners paying no tax or national insurance, not to mention the many that are pursued by the immigration agencies, I think you need to take a trip out of Swindon once in a while :-D
No it's a fact. One that was discussed on numerous media forms. Notably Jeremy vines radio show for instance. I also travel the country with my job. The honest restaurant owners are struggling to recruit the right people,nationwide.
[quote][p][bold]Mukkin[/bold] wrote: 'hence why recruitment is a national problem for Indian restaurant owners.' Utter tosh! Many many workers in these establishments are here and working illegally, with the owners paying no tax or national insurance, not to mention the many that are pursued by the immigration agencies, I think you need to take a trip out of Swindon once in a while :-D[/p][/quote]No it's a fact. One that was discussed on numerous media forms. Notably Jeremy vines radio show for instance. I also travel the country with my job. The honest restaurant owners are struggling to recruit the right people,nationwide. Davey Gravey
  • Score: -2

11:23pm Tue 17 Jun 14

Mukkin says...

Jeremy Vine? From the Impartial BBC? It's a fact because Jeremy says so, honestly, the facts are below, wake up!!

http://www.lancashir
etelegraph.co.uk/new
s/10881083.Illegal_B
lackburn_Indian_rest
aurant_workers_arres
ted/?ref=ms

http://www.getreadin
g.co.uk/news/local-n
ews/eight-arrested-h
ome-office-raids-692
9453

http://www.eveningti
mes.co.uk/news/resta
urant-had-4-illegal-
workers-151899n.2341
7737

http://www.getsurrey
.co.uk/news/local-ne
ws/public-detain-ill
egal-worker-dash-655
5695

http://www.bournemou
thecho.co.uk/news/10
999750.Indian_restau
rant_owners_fined___
145k_after_pleading_
guilty_to_employing_
nine_illegal_immigra
nts/?ref=mr

http://www.lancaster
guardian.co.uk/news/
crime/four-illegal-w
orkers-arrested-at-m
asala-indian-cuisine
-restaurant-heysham-
1-6388684

http://www.exeterexp
ressandecho.co.uk/In
dian-restaurants-Exm
outh-Tiverton-heavil
y-fined/story-211386
42-detail/story.html
Jeremy Vine? From the Impartial BBC? It's a fact because Jeremy says so, honestly, the facts are below, wake up!! http://www.lancashir etelegraph.co.uk/new s/10881083.Illegal_B lackburn_Indian_rest aurant_workers_arres ted/?ref=ms http://www.getreadin g.co.uk/news/local-n ews/eight-arrested-h ome-office-raids-692 9453 http://www.eveningti mes.co.uk/news/resta urant-had-4-illegal- workers-151899n.2341 7737 http://www.getsurrey .co.uk/news/local-ne ws/public-detain-ill egal-worker-dash-655 5695 http://www.bournemou thecho.co.uk/news/10 999750.Indian_restau rant_owners_fined___ 145k_after_pleading_ guilty_to_employing_ nine_illegal_immigra nts/?ref=mr http://www.lancaster guardian.co.uk/news/ crime/four-illegal-w orkers-arrested-at-m asala-indian-cuisine -restaurant-heysham- 1-6388684 http://www.exeterexp ressandecho.co.uk/In dian-restaurants-Exm outh-Tiverton-heavil y-fined/story-211386 42-detail/story.html Mukkin
  • Score: 7

11:31pm Tue 17 Jun 14

Mukkin says...

They are only struggling to employ skilled staff because they are not prepared to do it legally! Hence an honest owner having to shut his business down for weeks on end!
They are only struggling to employ skilled staff because they are not prepared to do it legally! Hence an honest owner having to shut his business down for weeks on end! Mukkin
  • Score: 6

8:56am Wed 18 Jun 14

Davey Gravey says...

Mukkin. No arguement about the illegals from me.I know that goes on. My point is that honest people cannot get the staff they need which is true. The above,and numerous other cases are out there. Jeremy vine is totally impartial on his show by the way.
Mukkin. No arguement about the illegals from me.I know that goes on. My point is that honest people cannot get the staff they need which is true. The above,and numerous other cases are out there. Jeremy vine is totally impartial on his show by the way. Davey Gravey
  • Score: -3

9:19am Wed 18 Jun 14

Mukkin says...

Ok lets agree to disagree lol,, most industries suffer a skills shortages, this specific industry has and always had a reputation for employing illegals, what one has to ask is why?

With many large towns having an Indian population of between 5% and 25% in some cases, so it isn't lack of numbers, so what is it? Lack of investment? No training? Or a culture so ingrained of employing someone for peanuts, instead of going down the legal route, personally and it's only an opinion, I believe the evidence points to the latter :-D
Ok lets agree to disagree lol,, most industries suffer a skills shortages, this specific industry has and always had a reputation for employing illegals, what one has to ask is why? With many large towns having an Indian population of between 5% and 25% in some cases, so it isn't lack of numbers, so what is it? Lack of investment? No training? Or a culture so ingrained of employing someone for peanuts, instead of going down the legal route, personally and it's only an opinion, I believe the evidence points to the latter :-D Mukkin
  • Score: 3

11:32am Wed 18 Jun 14

Badgersgetabadname says...

Close down due to being busy?
Surely closing sends a bad signal...
Lovely food from there though hope it does open again.

Seems odd that so many say they are looking for work yet positions in a busy restaurant cannot be filled. As other have mentioned is it a business model that isnt working? I wonder what figures are available for pay in restaurants across the country and differences between restaurant types?

Luckily there is no shortage of places to choose for a curry.
Close down due to being busy? Surely closing sends a bad signal... Lovely food from there though hope it does open again. Seems odd that so many say they are looking for work yet positions in a busy restaurant cannot be filled. As other have mentioned is it a business model that isnt working? I wonder what figures are available for pay in restaurants across the country and differences between restaurant types? Luckily there is no shortage of places to choose for a curry. Badgersgetabadname
  • Score: -4

12:40pm Wed 18 Jun 14

Mukkin says...

Funny coincidence, I walked into my local newsagents this morning and there staring back at me was the front page of the Chippenham Gazette & Herald with a headline....

http://www.gazettean
dherald.co.uk/news/t
owns/chippenhamheadl
ines/11274326.Akash_
owner_fears_restaura
nt_could_close_after
_raid/

I think there's more to the story than meets the eye and things were maybe getting a little close to home :-D
Funny coincidence, I walked into my local newsagents this morning and there staring back at me was the front page of the Chippenham Gazette & Herald with a headline.... http://www.gazettean dherald.co.uk/news/t owns/chippenhamheadl ines/11274326.Akash_ owner_fears_restaura nt_could_close_after _raid/ I think there's more to the story than meets the eye and things were maybe getting a little close to home :-D Mukkin
  • Score: 2

1:01pm Wed 18 Jun 14

michael36 says...

Mukkin wrote:
Ok lets agree to disagree lol,, most industries suffer a skills shortages, this specific industry has and always had a reputation for employing illegals, what one has to ask is why?

With many large towns having an Indian population of between 5% and 25% in some cases, so it isn't lack of numbers, so what is it? Lack of investment? No training? Or a culture so ingrained of employing someone for peanuts, instead of going down the legal route, personally and it's only an opinion, I believe the evidence points to the latter :-D
Whats your stats on Indian population got to do with this debate/article? This is/was a Bengali restuarant with Bengali workers as are all the indian restaurants in Swindon save for Rangoli and Dosa. Do you mean foreign people in general then?
[quote][p][bold]Mukkin[/bold] wrote: Ok lets agree to disagree lol,, most industries suffer a skills shortages, this specific industry has and always had a reputation for employing illegals, what one has to ask is why? With many large towns having an Indian population of between 5% and 25% in some cases, so it isn't lack of numbers, so what is it? Lack of investment? No training? Or a culture so ingrained of employing someone for peanuts, instead of going down the legal route, personally and it's only an opinion, I believe the evidence points to the latter :-D[/p][/quote]Whats your stats on Indian population got to do with this debate/article? This is/was a Bengali restuarant with Bengali workers as are all the indian restaurants in Swindon save for Rangoli and Dosa. Do you mean foreign people in general then? michael36
  • Score: -1

5:54pm Wed 18 Jun 14

GrumpyLocal says...

michael36 wrote:
Mukkin wrote:
Ok lets agree to disagree lol,, most industries suffer a skills shortages, this specific industry has and always had a reputation for employing illegals, what one has to ask is why?

With many large towns having an Indian population of between 5% and 25% in some cases, so it isn't lack of numbers, so what is it? Lack of investment? No training? Or a culture so ingrained of employing someone for peanuts, instead of going down the legal route, personally and it's only an opinion, I believe the evidence points to the latter :-D
Whats your stats on Indian population got to do with this debate/article? This is/was a Bengali restuarant with Bengali workers as are all the indian restaurants in Swindon save for Rangoli and Dosa. Do you mean foreign people in general then?
It's fairly obvious what Mukkin is saying and I can't understand why you seem to be implying something about them because of it.
It's obvious if you have ever used a Curry House, a Chinese restaurant, a Mongolian restaurant, an Italian restaurant or even a traditional English Country Pub/restaurant that the dominant make up of the staff is similar to the type of food being sold. Now this may be, an this might be a huge stab in the dark, that it is because they are more familiar with the cooking style & the type of food compared with another person from somewhere else in the world. there is no racial bias in saying this at all it is just the obvious way things happen.
Yes someone from Italy could learn how to cook traditional Indian dishes or vice-versa but it would, in theory, be quicker and easier to teach someone that has at least some background in the cuisine even if it is just from cooking at home with the family.
[quote][p][bold]michael36[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Mukkin[/bold] wrote: Ok lets agree to disagree lol,, most industries suffer a skills shortages, this specific industry has and always had a reputation for employing illegals, what one has to ask is why? With many large towns having an Indian population of between 5% and 25% in some cases, so it isn't lack of numbers, so what is it? Lack of investment? No training? Or a culture so ingrained of employing someone for peanuts, instead of going down the legal route, personally and it's only an opinion, I believe the evidence points to the latter :-D[/p][/quote]Whats your stats on Indian population got to do with this debate/article? This is/was a Bengali restuarant with Bengali workers as are all the indian restaurants in Swindon save for Rangoli and Dosa. Do you mean foreign people in general then?[/p][/quote]It's fairly obvious what Mukkin is saying and I can't understand why you seem to be implying something about them because of it. It's obvious if you have ever used a Curry House, a Chinese restaurant, a Mongolian restaurant, an Italian restaurant or even a traditional English Country Pub/restaurant that the dominant make up of the staff is similar to the type of food being sold. Now this may be, an this might be a huge stab in the dark, that it is because they are more familiar with the cooking style & the type of food compared with another person from somewhere else in the world. there is no racial bias in saying this at all it is just the obvious way things happen. Yes someone from Italy could learn how to cook traditional Indian dishes or vice-versa but it would, in theory, be quicker and easier to teach someone that has at least some background in the cuisine even if it is just from cooking at home with the family. GrumpyLocal
  • Score: -2

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