The owner of a buffet restaurant in town says he wants to keep his business open to customers after he made a mistake on his license.
Manish Acharya says he is sorry for the error that led South Kesteven District Council’s Licensing Committee to order Fusion Buffet temporarily closed for 10 days after it was claimed the business had employed illegal workers.
But Mr Acharya, a former Gurkha from Nepal, says documents shown to him showed one woman had permission to work until 2023 while a second worker waited for the correct documents.
Mr Acharya admitted he may have made a mistake in not completing the online form with the Employer Verification Service, but says he was told twice on the phone that there was no no problems with the documents.
The documents he showed to the Journal show that he was contacted later to be told that in fact there had been a problem with the documents.
Mr Acharya said: ‘My mistake was not going to the online service but I was unaware of it. I was sure she had the right documents, so my only mistake was not filling out the form. »
The worker, who did not wish to be named, had written to the licensing committee. In her letter, she said: ‘I have applied for asylum in the UK and have already received a registration card which clearly states that the work is permitted. I sincerely believed that I had the right to work and I was confident about that too.
“I am here not to deceive anyone. I’m here to work hard and just want to live my life without worrying about anything.
Mr Acharya said customers and local people have been supportive of the restaurant.
He said: “This incident has hammered my confidence, but so many people have expressed concern. They phoned me and asked me how are you? People came in and said ‘hello’ and said not to worry. So many people supported us.
Mr. Acharya opened the Fusion Buffet in May last year. His brother Ischan is the chef there and runs the business on a daily basis. Mr Acharya says the restaurant is open again and he hopes to continue serving residents of Grantham.