Protest gets money moving contractor's way

MICHELE ONG
Last updated 05:00 30/01/2014
tdn gengy stand
Gengy's Mongolian BBQ Buffet franchise owners Dongchon Park and David Park

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A contractor has been paid some of the thousands of dollars he is owed for work on a New Plymouth restaurant.

Yesterday, Dylan Watson was paid $3000 of the money owed to him by Gengy's Mongolian BBQ Buffet director, Monty Cho, for work carried out last year.

Mr Watson initially thought he was owed $7500 but yesterday said the amount was around the $5500 mark. A protest was staged by Mr Watson and fellow contractor Stan Dromgool outside the restaurant on Monday evening, demanding to be paid.

"The $3000 was all that Mr Cho said he could afford now and he will have the extra $2500 next month," Mr Watson said.

"I've just gone and bought my kids their Christmas presents."

The Mongolian restaurant is operated as a franchise and the New Plymouth branch is co-owned by David Park and his brother, Dongchon. Their families moved to New Zealand four months ago from South Korea.

They bought the Gengy's trading name and rights, and David Park said the business was "totally independent" from Mr Cho. "We pay the full amount to Mr Cho in advance for the business," he said.

Franchisees were required to use the suppliers and contractors approved by the franchisor for any remodelling works carried out on the restaurant premises.

David Park told the Taranaki Daily News that the incident had been both stressful and unpleasant.

"The situation's really awkward," he said.

Gengy's opened its doors on January 7 and first impressions were important. "But at this stage, people think we aren't good people," he said.

It had been his dream to own his own restaurant and many hours were put into making sure the premises were presentable on opening day.

"I worked very hard, about 10 hours a day, painting," he said.

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