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Hayley’s Taverns Limited - Liquidation report

At the meeting of members and creditors held on 9th March 2017, Mike Fortune and Carl Faulds of Portland Business & Financial Solutions were appointed joint liquidators of the company.  The company, which traded as Dock O’ The Bay, operated as a restaurant and bar in Southampton since its incorporation in 1999.

The restaurant developed a good reputation by providing great food and customer service and the first years of trading were good.  In 2008, the directors decided to do a refit of the premises which included a new kitchen and expansion of the seating area in the restaurant.  Unfortunately the economic recession hit shortly after outlaying significant funds for the refit.  Cashflow suffered as fewer customers were now coming to the restaurant.

The directors implemented changes to try and return the company to profitability, including offering discounts to attract new customers and actively collecting contact details of customers to improve the company’s marketing abilities.  The directors found that the promotions worked well and they also took steps to renegotiate supplier contracts and reducing overheads where possible.  The directors efforts helped the company to return to profitability in the year ended July 2014.

In October 2014 a chef left and the director replaced him in the kitchen in an attempt to reduce costs further.  This meant that the directors time and efforts were less focused on marketing as he was dealing with day to day kitchen work.  Despite the difficulties faced by the company, Christmas 2014 was the best on record.  Early 2015 was very quiet for the restaurant but the company still reported a profit for the year ended July 2015.

The directors continued with efforts to improve profitability but unfortunately promotions that previously worked very well were now less successful as many other restaurants in the area were now doing the same.

Poor weather in the summer 2016 affected sales and by late 2016 the directors concluded that the business should be marketed for sale as they did not have funds to continue the business in its current format.  Unfortunately a buyer could not be found and Christmas 2016, a traditionally busy period for the company, was significantly affected by the opening of a new leisure complex at West Quay, Southampton.

By February 2017 the directors concluded that the company should cease trading and formal instructions were given to Portland to assist with placing the company in to creditors voluntary liquidation.

Creditors are able to access the first report here

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