Pizza Hut has offered to re-hire the general manager of their Elkhart, Ind. franchise two days after he claims he was
fired for refusing to open the store on Thanksgiving.
In a statement provided to Business Insider, the chain says the situation “could and should have been avoided” while claiming they worked with the Elkhart franchisee to reinstate manager Tony Rohr.
Here’s their full statement:
“As follow up to the situation in Elkhart, IN, we feel strongly that the situation involving our independent franchisee and the local store manager could and should have been avoided. We fully respect an employee’s right to not work on a holiday, which is why the vast majority of Pizza Huts in America are closed on Thanksgiving. As a result, we strongly recommended that the local franchisee reinstate the store manager and they have agreed. We look forward to them welcoming Tony back to the team.”
Rohr, who started out at the pizza chain as a cook before working his way up to general manager, confronted his superiors after being told the store would need to be open on Thanksgiving.
In years past, Rohr said, Pizza Hut stores had been closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas, according to Fox 8. His bosses told him to tender his resignation, but he wrote a scathing letter instead.
“I am not quitting. I do not resign, however I accept that the refusal to comply with this greedy, immoral request means the end of my tenure with this company,” Rohr wrote, according to WSBT. ” … I hope you realise that it’s the people at the bottom of the totem pole that make your life possible.”
The company endured a fierce backlash on their official Facebook page, with some calling the chain “greedy” and threatening to never eat there again.
One of Rohr’s bosses claimed that he quit, and being open on Thanksgiving wasn’t an individual’s decision — it was a company decision, according to WSBT. Pizza Hut’s corporate office told CNN the franchise “made a serious error in judgment.”
It was unclear whether Rohr would take his old job back, according to CNN.
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