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Denver Red Lobster employee left jobless without warning

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DENVER (KDVR) — Hundreds of people are jobless after multiple Red Lobster locations in the Denver area abruptly closed their doors for good earlier this week.

Jessica Boguski is one of those former employees, having worked as a server at the Red Lobster in Northfield for nearly a year. She left work on Sunday night saying goodbye to her coworkers like she always does.

“Stay safe, see you tomorrow. Like normal, everything was normal,” Boguski said.

What she did not expect was that after walking out the doors she would never walk back in.

“It was my last day at work,” Boguski said. “It was everybody’s last day.”

FILE – A Red Lobster restaurant is shown Sept.13, 2016, in North Miami, Fla. It was announced the week of May 13, 2024, that dozens of Red Lobster locations across the U.S. are now on the chopping block. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)

She did not find that out until about two hours before her shift on Monday, when her phone was lighting up with texts.

“I thought someone died. So I panicked, like, what’s happening,” Boguski said.

When she checked her schedule, she said there was no longer anything there. Her job as a server was gone without any notice from the company.

She said everyone, from servers to managers, could not believe it.

“Nobody acted like they knew anything,” Boguski said. “Like, if they did, nobody knew.”

Many restaurants ‘under water’ since pandemic

When asked about why abrupt closures like this can happen, Colorado Restaurant Association President Sonia Riggs provided this statement: “The reality in Colorado restaurants right now is that many operators are under water. They’re facing ongoing labor shortages, unprecedented inflation, high interest rates, and increased regulations that impact any hope of truly recovering from the revenue losses of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of those challenges, Colorado had the highest restaurant inflation rate in the country last year. This year, we’re seeing local restaurants close every week. A busy restaurant is not always a thriving business.”

Boguski, now a victim of one of those closures, just wishes she and her coworkers had more notice.

“You can literally open your eyes one morning, go about your day, check your phone and then your entire livelihood is gone and that was someone else’s decision,” she said. “And that’s terrifying.”

The Northfield Red Lobster is one of four that closed in the Denver area this week, with others in Lakewood, Lone Tree and Wheat Ridge.

The restaurant’s parent company, Thai Union Group, has said its endless shrimp promotion was a key factor in causing an $11 million loss for the company last year.

Read More: Denver Red Lobster employee left jobless without warning

2024-05-18 03:08:42

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