Shock as Zaks closes one of its Norfolk restaurants
PUBLISHED: 08:26 29 June 2019 | UPDATED: 11:11 29 June 2019
Norfolk restaurant chain Zaks has suddenly announced the closure of one of its diners.
The American-style eatery has closed in Thetford, with operations manager Rob Spillings blaming a lack of business.
Staff were called to a team meeting this morning and informed of the decision.
Mr Spillings said he and his team had worked tirelessly to make the diner viable, but ultimately it was decided that closure was the only option to protect the brand and its better performing Norwich-based restaurants.
He said: "This is obviously a very sad day for all of us, particularly our Thetford-based customers and fantastic team.
"It's no secret that the casual dining market has been facing unprecedented challenges for the last couple of years and there is no sign of trading conditions improving at this venue.
"Whilst incredibly disappointing this decision will help ensure that we remain a strong and valued brand."
He added: "Our core market and spiritual home has always been Norwich, and that's where we will continue to offer customers the great value Zaks experience we've been renowned for over the last five decades."
Zaks opened on Castle Street in Thetford in May 2015.
Mayor of Thetford Brenda Canham said: "It's a shame, both for the people who work there and for the area because it is a nice area.
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"It's a problem everywhere as people can't afford to eat out two times a week like they could before. It's an issue that is affecting lots of areas at the moment."
There has been a mixed reaction from customers on social media. One said: "I found their service and food to be very good quality. Shame to see it go, I feel for the staff now out of work."
While others were not surprised it closed. "The surprise is that it lasted as long as it did," another added, "We went a couple of years ago for my birthday. They had no steak and various other items we were keen to try."
Customers with bookings are being contacted by the Zaks team today and will be offered alternative arrangements.
Mr Spillings added: "We've loved being part of the Thetford community and will miss serving all our loyal customers in the town, but it's business as usual at our Mousehold, Waterside and Poringland diners, and so hopefully we'll see some of them there in the not too distant future."