THE BOSS of a Basingstoke restaurant which closed this month has hit back at claims about the way it ended for staff.

Ciao Baby Cucina in Festival Place closed after nearly eight years of business.

But Boyan Petrov, who was a senior manager at the restaurant said he only found out he was losing his job the day before he was made redundant.

“I had come out of hospital after treatment for a kidney stone and my friend called me saying the restaurant is closed,”

The father-of-two said seven of his young colleagues from eastern Europe are now out of work, contrary to what The Gazette was told.

And, he added, they have yet to receive proper redundancy pay since the August 5 closure.

Mr Petrov, 44, said: “I find it completely disgusting. You don’t tell people and don’t allow them to make plans when they have a family and kids to support.”

But company chairman, Theo Holiasmenos, said he tried to find jobs for all staff elsewhere in the organisation, which has a restaurant in London and several in South Africa.

He said: “I tried as hard as I could to get staff other jobs within the company but, in one or two cases, this was not possible – there were none available.

“I tried to bring along as many as I could; some wanted to come, some didn’t.”

With regard to staff pay, Mr Holiasmenos added: “They are all getting redundancy pay. All staff members will get paid what is due to them, that is it.

“The problem I have is because everything happened so quickly I didn’t have time to go through the process.”

Mr Petrov, of Rayleigh Road, Brookvale, said he had worked for the company for two years in his latest spell, having joined them from South Africa, where the business started.