Birmingham restaurant Shimla Pinks has dismissed one of two workers who were suspended for a week after a Sunday newspaper alleged they were selling cocaine on the premises. But the restaurant says his sacking had nothing to do with drugs.
The employee was sacked for bad time-keeping, after receiving two written warnings about lateness, explained Amrak Pannum, director of operations for holding company Concepts and Cuisine. The other suspended employee has returned to restaurant duties.
Pannum maintains that the drug-dealing allegations made by the News of the World (Caterer, 13 August, page 6) are "completely unfounded" and that West Midlands Police has decided to take no further action. A police spokesman said that the investigation continued, but as yet there was nothing to report.
Far from damaging business, Pannum says he thinks the News of the World story had provided "great publicity" for the restaurant by raising its profile as a haunt of superstars.