Pizza Hut has revealed it is in discussions about the future of its Bingley restaurant.
Staff were shocked to learn in the Telegraph & Argus this week that Sainsbury’s had applied to open a local supermarket at the Main Street premises and an empty unit next to it.
The scheme to join the two shop units and create a Sainsbury’s Local came to light in an application to Bradford Council for an alcohol sales licence.
Staff’s fears for their jobs were compounded when they saw application notices fixed to lamposts outside the property.
“This has come totally out of the blue and we’re all trying to take in what’s going on,” said a Pizza Hut staff member who asked not to be named.
“Management seem to be none the wiser about it too.
“About ten people work here and this year the restaurant is due to celebrate its 30th anniversary of being in Bingley.
“No-one seems to know what’s going on, it’s all very odd and a bit upsetting.”
Bingley Chamber of Trade chairman Howard Martin said he was disappointed Pizza Hut workers had been left in the dark.
“This does appear to be something that could be being forced upon them and it’s a shame because the restaurant has been here for such a long time that it’s part of the fabric of local life,” Mr Martin said.
“I suppose a lot will depend on the nature and length of the lease which Pizza Hut has on the property.”
Supermarket giant Sainsbury’s has been criticised for its handling of failed plans to create a store on the site of the old Bradford & Bingley headquarters.
Yesterday it declined to comment on Pizza Hut’s situation – which a spokesman said was something between the restaurant chain and the property’s owner or agent.
Dymtro Chervak, of High Point Estates, is the applicant named on the relevant planning request now before Bradford Council and was unobtainable for comment.
But a spokesman for tenants Pizza Hut stated: “We are still in discussions regarding the future plans for our Bingley restaurant. While this is ongoing we are unable to comment further.”