BOSSES at a chicken wing restaurant fear they could be forced to shut in the new year as they plea with residents to “use them or lose them”.

World Wide Wings, which has a restaurant in Westcliff, is urging residents to support small businesses over the Christmas period after owner, Elliott Evans, revealed the company is losing thousands of pounds a week.

The 30-year-old admitted the last few months have been “extremely quiet” compared to the trade they usually receive.

He fears if the “slow weeks” continue they could be forced to close as soon as the end of January.

Mr Evans said: “It has been really quiet. It is not a nice feeling at all. I have put my heart and soul into this company for three years.

“But, if it is not making money, there is only so long we can stay open running at a loss.

“We would have to admit defeat. It is a terrible time to be in the food industry and it seems to only be getting worse.

“At this rate, we will be closing by the end of January, after yet another slow week. It is really hard.”

World Wide Wings initially opened as a takeaway and delivery kitchen in London Road, Benfleet, before opening at 306 London Road, Westcliff, earlier this year.

The business also hosts different themed nights at their restaurant including Wing Wednesday - unlimited Wings for £20 - and unlimited smoked ribs Thursday.

Mr Evans added how the increased popularity of using delivery services is having an impact, as the company has had to up its prices to cover fees involved.

He said: “It is coming to the use it or lose it motto.

“People may love a business but if you only order once every six months, it isn’t enough to help keep them open.

“I would say that the hospitality industry is the hardest to be in at the moment.

“It is not just us that is quiet, I see some of the most popular restaurants along the London Road, quiet too.

“It is hard for us all. It is so tough out there.”