Santa has arrived five months late at a Wrexham restaurant where they’re only just celebrating Christmas.
Frankie & Benny’s at the Eagles Meadow shopping centre enjoyed a record-breaking festive season and as a reward the company has splashed out to cover the cost of a party for the popular restaurant’s 20 plus strong team.
According to manager Peter Cross, the problem has been organising the event as it’s been so busy with other events including Valentine’s Day which was also a record-breaker.
He said: “It’s been a hectic start to the year and we wanted to organise a Christmas party with a difference which is why we are going paintballing to Marchbrook Paintball for the day where we will finish off with pizza and drinks.
“We chose Marchbrook Paintball as we wanted to support another Wrexham business rather than take money out of the local economy.
“We are having two teams, managers and supervisors against chefs and waiting-on staff – I expect I’m in for a hard time!”
He added: “We have invited a couple of managers from other outlets to come along and join us for the day. And we are drafting in staff to keep our Eagles Meadow restaurant running smoothly for the day.
“All the staff here at Eagles Meadow work phenomenally hard and we enjoyed a fantastic Christmas period followed by record sales on St Valentine’s Day. In honesty, thanks to our hard-working team, the restaurant goes from strength to strength,
“It’s a wonderful gesture for our head office to have recognised all our hard work and to reward us with the funds to enjoy a special Christmas party. It’s just been a problem getting the time to organise the event until May!”
Chef Arek Chepla is delighted the company is funding a staff Christmas party.
He said: “Christmas was really busy and having the staff party in May has given us something to look forward to. It’s going to be a lot of fun and something a bit different.”
Supervisor and waitress Monika Bronny added: “Christmas was certainly very busy and everyone in the team worked really well.
“It’s brilliant the company has recognised our hard work given us the funds to have a staff party and I know everyone appreciates it.
“I’ve never been paintballing before and I’m looking forward to it. I’m not sure which side I want to be on, I think I’ll wait and decide on the day once I’ve weighed up which one looks the strongest!”
The Frankie and Benny’s chain was established in America in 1953 and opened its first UK branch in Leicester in 1995.
They serve New York Italian dishes including pizza, all with a backdrop of classic 1950s American swing music and period memorabilia.
Eagles Meadow manager Kevin Critchley says the party is well-deserved.
He said: “Peter and his team at Frankie & Benny’s work exceptionally hard and I know how popular the restaurant is with our shoppers and visitors.
“I think the idea of holding a Christmas party in May is an inspired one and means all the staff have had something to look forward to rather than everything being crammed into the festive period.”
“I wish everyone at Frankie & Benny’s well and I’m sure they are going to have a great time.”