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Fiona Wright at the end of her tether

By johnboy - 28 October 2013 13

Interesting story in the Canberra Times on Fiona Wright’s woes as her restaurant and catering empire comes to an end.

Ms Wright says she feels humiliated, ”like a spectacular failure”.
”It’s torture because it looks to me as if I’m the greatest liar in the world,” she said.

Now living on Centrelink payments and sharing a house in Melbourne, she feels ”gutted, absolutely gutted” for her former staff and suppliers caught up in the collapse of her catering business a year ago.

The catering company was run with her then business partner, former Wallabies and Brumbies player Jeremy Paul. He was last reported to be playing for the Terrigal Trojans rugby club on the Central Coast. The pair no longer speak.

What’s Your opinion?


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13 Responses to
Fiona Wright at the end of her tether
IrishPete 11:59 am 29 Oct 13

Deref said :

IrishPete said :

And I firmly believe that any employer that isn’t holding employee entitlements in trust, is morally bankrupt even if they are not technically/legally bankrupt.

It’s theft, pure and simple, and should be dealt with as such.

I don’t know if it’s common to hold the employee entitlements in trust, but it should be required. Leave and long service leave are tricky to budget for, sick leave even more so. In fact a good manager/owner would require annual and LS leave to be taken when it falls due, as it costs more and more as people’s salaries increase with CPI but mainly as they progress up salary scales or get promoted.

IP

Robertson 11:53 am 29 Oct 13

IrishPete said :

Robertson said :

I read the article – what an awful way to run a business – they spent bucketloads of borrowed cash refurbishing a function room at the NGA when they didn’t even have a written contract to provide services for the gallery nor even any written definition of how those services should be provided.

Doing business on a handshake is almost always a shockingly bad idea.

Like IP, I too am immensely gladdened to see that the administrator has paid themselves half a million dollars out of the business’s remaining million, leaving half a million to go towards the 3 million owed to creditors – including staff wages and super.

The article also said that the NGA reimbursed the cost of refurbishment. Another thing that doesn’t add up.

IP

The way I read that, by the time the NGA paid them for that, the banks had already decided to cut off the business’s supply of cash, which is what usually causes a business to crash. I suspect there was a lot of other careless spending going on that she doesn’t mention.

Deref 11:32 am 29 Oct 13

IrishPete said :

And I firmly believe that any employer that isn’t holding employee entitlements in trust, is morally bankrupt even if they are not technically/legally bankrupt.

It’s theft, pure and simple, and should be dealt with as such.

IrishPete 11:11 am 29 Oct 13

Robertson said :

I read the article – what an awful way to run a business – they spent bucketloads of borrowed cash refurbishing a function room at the NGA when they didn’t even have a written contract to provide services for the gallery nor even any written definition of how those services should be provided.

Doing business on a handshake is almost always a shockingly bad idea.

Like IP, I too am immensely gladdened to see that the administrator has paid themselves half a million dollars out of the business’s remaining million, leaving half a million to go towards the 3 million owed to creditors – including staff wages and super.

The article also said that the NGA reimbursed the cost of refurbishment. Another thing that doesn’t add up.

IP

Robertson 10:04 am 29 Oct 13

I read the article – what an awful way to run a business – they spent bucketloads of borrowed cash refurbishing a function room at the NGA when they didn’t even have a written contract to provide services for the gallery nor even any written definition of how those services should be provided.

Doing business on a handshake is almost always a shockingly bad idea.

Like IP, I too am immensely gladdened to see that the administrator has paid themselves half a million dollars out of the business’s remaining million, leaving half a million to go towards the 3 million owed to creditors – including staff wages and super.

thebrownstreak69 6:21 pm 28 Oct 13

Businesses fail. It happens, all too often.

LSWCHP 6:20 pm 28 Oct 13

“It looks to me as if I’m the greatest liar in the world.”

Is that a Freudian slip? Did she actually mean it looks that way to other people, or is that how she really perceives herself?

howeph 6:06 pm 28 Oct 13

I feel for her.

I think you need to have run your own business to understand where she likely to be coming from. If you haven’t, then you’re likely not qualified to hold much of an opinion.

Cash-flow can kill a profitable business. Growing businesses are especially vulnerable.

http://www.businesspundit.com/income-vs-cash-flow-why-growth-can-kill-your-business/

I don’t know the details of her business; but a businesses with high fixed outgoings (e.g. payroll) and peaky intermittent income (e.g. from large one off contracts to a limited number of clients) is vulnerable to cash-flow issues especially if one or more of those clients regularly don’t pay on time.

IrishPete 5:16 pm 28 Oct 13

I read this in the Canberra Times today, and though it was pleasing to see a failed person not living in the lap of luxury, it does smell like there is something else going on.

My impression is that Ms Wright feels she is part of the Canberra royalty, and that she should be treated as such.

To blame one restaurant for the failure of a small restaurant empire sounds a bit rich to me, and somewhat unlikely.

The fact she and her business partner no longer speak to each other is also a bit sus.

And I firmly believe that any employer that isn’t holding employee entitlements in trust, is morally bankrupt even if they are not technically/legally bankrupt.

Nice to see the Administrator won’t go hungry.

IP

DrKoresh 4:35 pm 28 Oct 13

What’s the back-story here, anything interesting? Would I have heard of any of her business ventures?

HiddenDragon 4:19 pm 28 Oct 13
EvanJames 10:55 am 28 Oct 13

There is a bit of a pattern emerging with Wright’s restaurants.

b2 9:31 am 28 Oct 13

Looks to me like she doesn’t want to accept that she is to blame. Much easier to blame someone else.

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