A Winter Park, Fla., restaurant recently announced the unexpected firing of its entire staff, but the method of dismissal caused more of an uproar than the actual decision.
During Fourth of July weekend, Gregory Kennedy, the proprietor of Barducci’s Bistro and Pizza, announced that recent setbacks had forced him to fire his entire staff, local television outlet WFTV reports. But rather than call the Italian restaurant’s workers in to the building to inform them of their dismissal, Kennedy reportedly fired the staff by text message—without prior notice.
On a scheduled day off, Kennedy reportedly sent out a text message that read: “I unfortunately need to inform you that I have been forced to close Barducci’s effective immediately.” The Winter Park, Fla., restaurant’s workers have yet to receive their final paychecks.
“I think it's despicable. I think it's cowardice,” Jodi Jackson, one of many Barducci’s Bistro and Pizza workers to be fired by text message, told WFTV. “I think we all deserve our compensation for money he's already made from us.”
WFTV reportedly tried to contact Kennedy on several occasions in an attempt to ascertain the reasons behind Barducci’s sudden closing, as well as determine the status of its fired workers’ final paychecks. When Kennedy finally responded to the repeated inquiries, he did so in a familiar manner—by text message.
“Unfortunately businesses are forced to close across Orlando every day especially in the restaurant sector,” Kennedy wrote in a text message to WFTV. “I am working to resolve issues including final paychecks as quickly as possible.” He failed to address the fact that his entire staff had been fired by text message.
This isn’t the first time that an employee has been dismissed by way of technology. In June, Ralph Krueger, the former head coach of the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers, was fired from his position over a Skype video conference call.