Former TV chef Tony Tobin has blamed the rise of home delivery services as contributing to the closure of his Surrey restaurant after 25 years in business.
Tobin joined the Dining Room in Reigate in 1994, when the restaurant was owned by Paul Montalto. He bought the restaurant 11 years ago in partnership with Sir Peter Wood, founder of insurance companies Esure and Direct Line, which are headquartered in Reigate.
The restaurant was then renamed Tony Tobin @ the Dining Room.
In a statement to the Surrey Mirror, Tobin described the news as “sad”, but also “a harsh reality”.
He explained that the Dining Room, like many other independent restaurants in Britain had “been caught in a perfect storm of falling demand, increased competition from corporates and increased costs.
“In Reigate, demand for fine dining has fallen dramatically in the current economic climate at a time when home delivery services have meant that chains and delivery services have persuaded people to stay at home rather than visit quality restaurants.
He added: “The company has acted quickly to commence winding down its affairs before its position worsens and all those connected with the restaurant would like to acknowledge the exceptional service by the restaurant’s staff and suppliers over decades.”
Prior to joining the Dining Room, Tobin spent three years as head chef at South Lodge in Lower Beeding, West Sussex, having earlier worked in London with Nico Ladenis at Simply Nico and Very Simply Nico and Brian Turner at the Capital hotel.
In 2005 Tobin and Sir Peter set up Post in Banstead, Surrey, which comprised a fine-dining restaurant, brasserie and delicatessen. It closed in 2012.
Tobin’s TV career included more than 300 appearances on the BBC TV programme Ready, Steady Cook. He also took part in Can’t Cook Won’t Cook, Food and Drink, The Generation Game and Total Wipeout.
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