Former Wishbone employee 'shocked' after suddenly losing job

"She's scared she can't afford the rent."
"She's scared she can't afford the rent." Photo credit: Google

A former Wishbone employee says she and her colleagues are "shocked" and "feeling empty" after suddenly losing their jobs on Monday - when the well-known cafe chain was placed into liquidation.

The woman, who Newshub has agreed not to identify, worked at Wishbone for almost a year, and said the announcement came as a "shock".

In an interview with Newshub on Wednesday, the woman said her manager had worked at the cafe for about 12 years and is feeling "empty" - not knowing what to do next. 

The woman and her colleagues were told on Monday their store would not open the next day, and to "remove all the food" that would rot. 

She told Newshub one of her former colleagues is considering returning to her home country because the sudden loss of income is too stressful.

"We work and then we get money to cover rent, it's too stressful. She's scared she can't afford the rent."

The woman said she was paid on Monday, but questions over employees' holiday pay remained unanswered. 

The woman has already got another job lined up but wished employees were given a heads-up from management or the owners. 

"At least a week, or a couple of days," she said.

"I feel like it's unfair. I understand that they might [have] tried really hard already, I just wish they could give us a heads-up. That's all."

  • Do you know more? Email Newshub at

One Wishbone cafe operates at Wellington Regional Hospital.

Te Whatu Ora Capital, Coast & Hutt Valley acting director of facilities & business services Roger Palairet said the liquidator contacted Te Whatu Ora Capital, Coast & Hutt Valley on Wednesday advising the company had been put into liquidation.

"Te Whatu Ora Capital, Coast & Hutt Valley has just been advised late today that the Wishbone Café at Wellington Regional Hospital may no longer be operating from Thursday or Friday due to it now being managed by a liquidator."

Palairet added, "We will be sorry that the company has gone into liquidation". 

Statement from Liquidation Management 

"Wishbone business was placed in liquidation on 14 August 2023," the statement said.

The business said it has been trying hard to continue in the aftermath of the pandemic but has struggled with rising food costs, increased wage costs, and slower sales. It wasn't able to sustain any more losses, even with further investments by the directors to keep the business going.

"The factory and all the retail stores have ceased operations except the Wellington Hospital site," it added.

"The Liquidator is liaising with interested parties who have shown interest in purchasing the factory and stores."