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Tech It or Leave It: Orlando Restaurateur Closes Shop, Fires Employees via Text


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During their July 4th festivities, employees of Barducci’s Italian Bistro & Pizzeria in Winter Park, Florida, received a text from store owner Greogory Kennedy informing them that he was closing the restaurant and firing them.  The social norms have come a long way no doubt, but it’s not clear this is what the technology gods had in mind when they rained efficiency down upon the masses.  For the dedicated workers of Barducci’s, the text — and subsequent Facebook post — stung:

“I unfortunately need to inform you that I have been forced to close Barducci’s effective immediately.”

Speaking to WFTV, Jodi Jackson, who worked as a cook at Barducci’s for two years, shared her frustration:

“I think it’s immoral. I think it’s cowardice,” said Jackson.

AOL Jobs notes, however, that this isn’t the first time employees have been terminated by text:

In 2010, 900 truck drivers like Randy Dakin were left stranded on the road when Oklahoma-based Arrow Trucking Company reportedly shut down, cancelling fuel credit cards. The next day, the drivers got two text messages: one telling them they were fired and the second offering a bus ticket or $200 in cash to get home. Last September, Demos’ restaurant in Florence, Ala. allegedly closed, texting nearly 65 employees not to show up for work. The owner reportedly planned to give employees two-weeks severance pay in addition to their final paychecks.

Kennedy’s method of termination has been lambasted across the Internet. When confronted for comment by WFTV, Kennedy responded in predictable fashion — via text:

Unfortunately businesses are forced to close across Orlando every day especially in the restaurant sector,” Kennedy said via text. “I am working to resolve issues including final paychecks as quickly as possible.”


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