- Associated Press - Thursday, December 29, 2016

POCATELLO, Idaho (AP) - The owners of a Pocatello restaurant that closed for good on Christmas Day are under fire for failing to tell employees or customers the eatery was closing.

Pocatello’s Ruby Tuesday closed Sunday, unbeknownst to its employees. The owners are also under fire for selling gift cards right up until the last day the restaurant was open for business, Dec. 23.

In a written statement provided to The Idaho State Journal (https://bit.ly/2ibChxA) on Tuesday, the owners said they are actively trying to bring a new restaurant to the Ruby Tuesday’s former location and that they will try to hire back their former employees when the new establishment opens.

“We are working diligently with some interested restaurants in hopes that they can take over the restaurant quickly and we will attempt to set up a custom interview process for our (former) employees in hopes that they can be re-employed by the new tenant,” the statement said.

Several employees told the Journal that the sudden Christmas Day closure blindsided and infuriated them. Several employees said they found out that they were out of a job from a notice on the restaurants front entrance reading “Business Permanently Closed. Watch for New Restaurant Opening Soon. Thank you!”

The now-closed Ruby Tuesday location in Pocatello is owned by a small group of local investors. The Tuesday night statement did not include the investors’ names and did not specify what interested restaurants could be opened in Ruby Tuesday’s place. It did, however, include an apology to its employees.

“We are sorry for the difficult position this has put our employees in, but we assure them they will all be paid on time,” the statement read.

On the gift-card issue, the owners said they are working to issue refunds.

“We have already given several refunds at our store, and will continue to do so if somebody is on location,” the owners said in their statement. “We are putting together a plan to get these processed, and get refunds sent to people as quickly as possible. We will post additional information on this as quickly as we can.”


Information from: Idaho State Journal, https://www.journalnet.com

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