A Debenhams employee who worked in the restaurant for 19 years has thanked regular customers.
Devastated Gemma Tranter, took to social media after redundancy notices were served to staff at the Hanley branch – despite it reopening later this month.
But is has now been confirmed there will be no longer be a restaurant, money exchange or personal shopping service.
The changes mean 11 employees in the cafe and a further five people have now lost their jobs.
Writing on Facebook, Gemma said: “I worked in the restaurant for almost 19 years and as you can imagine I am devastated, but I wish them all the best, the staff remaining are some of the nicest people I have met and wouldn’t wish them too lose their jobs too.
“I would also say too our regular customers that came too us day in and day out thank you, for making our days brighter and I wish all of you all the best in the future.”
Some customers have been left saddened by the news.
Roger Machin said: “The assistants who’ve served me in the restaurant have always been lovely. They’ve brightened up my day so many times.
“Always pleasant and friendly. That’s why me and my friends became regular customers. I’m so sorry they’ve lost their jobs. I wish them all the best and hope they find alternative employment. Staff like them are such an asset. I’d like to say a big thank you to them all.”
Val Washington said: “Such a shame I loved the restaurant – it was the best bit . It’s the only thing that got me in Debenhams. So sorry for the staff who have lost their jobs.
And Mark Mountford said: “This is sad news. We used to love going and getting a breakfast on a Saturday or Sunday morning.
“Wishing the staff all the best.”
A Debenhams spokesman said: “Debenhams’ preparations to reopen the vast majority of its stores from June 15 are well under way following the successful conclusion of lease negotiations on 120 stores.
“In the context of a retail industry undergoing profound change, the management team is working on the future shape of the group, with a view to seeking an exit from administration as a going concern.
“With a leaner and more flexible operating model, Debenhams will have the ability to adapt to what are likely to be fundamental shifts in the future trading environment.”