London steakhouse group Hawksmoor has announced that it will offer a free round of drinks to any holders of gift cards for the recently closed steak chain, Cau.
Cau, the South American steak restaurant and subsidiary brand of Gaucho Group entered administration on 18 July; it closed all 22 of its U.K. sites the following day. Approximately 700 jobs were lost as a result of the closures.
Today, a Cau restaurant gift card-holder asked parent company Gaucho on Twitter if those free meals could be redeemed at the still-operating Gaucho restaurants. Gaucho Group’s official account responded saying the vouchers were not valid.
Step in Hawksmoor — the celebrated London steakhouse group, which recently confirmed its expansion to New York City. In a quote retweet of the exchange between the gift card-holder and Gaucho, it said: “Anyone with an unusable #CAU voucher is welcome to swap them for a round of drinks at any Hawksmoor or Foxlow [its sister brand] when they eat with us to soften the blow of not being able to use them at Gaucho either.”
Administration is sh*t. Anyone with an unuseable #CAU voucher is welcome to swap them for a round of drinks at any Hawksmoor or @FoxlowTweets when they eat with us to soften the blow of not being able to use them at Gaucho either. Just tweet us when you book to let us know. pic.twitter.com/VfI83O5pzH— Hawksmoor (@HawksmoorLondon) July 25, 2018
This is the second time in the past week that Hawksmoor has appointed itself good cop in Cau-gate, last week offering to “help” those staff who had lost their jobs, with a link to its jobs and careers page.
Walking past CAU in Edinburgh to see it has closed permanently. So sad to see - lots of people have lost their jobs, spoke to a chef who just found out. If there’s any way we can help then our jobs lists are on https://t.co/fhfvjUDrmJ. Jobs in London, Manchester and Edinburgh.— Hawksmoor (@HawksmoorLondon) July 19, 2018
Gaucho now appears to have deleted the tweet in response to the gift card-holder.
In a call with Eater this afternoon, Matt Ford, Gaucho’s marketing director, strongly emphasised that the company’s main priority was its staff; on the issue of gift cards, Gaucho’s “hands are tied.”
“It is out of our hands — it’s in the hands of the administrators [who were appointed last Wednesday]. This is a decision that has been made by Deloitte. But that’s not to say that things won’t change.”
Asked how many of those gift cards were in circulation, Ford said, “it’s not a significant number.”