SHAWNEE, Okla. - Employees at the Delta Cafe in Shawnee said they only had a two-day notice the restaurant was closing. Now, they said they don't know what they're going to do about Christmas.
Wait staff are now in waiting, looking for new jobs after Dixie Restaurants, Inc. announced it was closing all 17 locations, including three Delta Cafes in Oklahoma.
"Shock. We were in total shock,” said Rebecca Hardy, a former waitress at Delta Cafe.
The CEO released this statement, saying:
“After over 35 years in business, we have decided that we must close our restaurants. It’s a very difficult operating environment for full-service, family-oriented restaurants. We have seen declining sales combined with increasing costs that has made this difficult decision necessary,” the statement from CEO Allan Roberts read. “We want to thank all our loyal patrons who have supported us over the years. We also want to thank all our long-term management and staff who have been so dedicated to our company and its mission to serve our guests. We are privileged to have been a part of so many wonderful communities and to have served so many loyal guests.”
Employees at Delta Cafe said they only got the two-day notice.
"He called me Sunday late to inform me that Wednesday will be our last day of operations," said former general manager Nelson Mayden.
Customers found out around the same time as the staff last Monday.
"I like to say Facebook found out before we found out,” said Cori Graham Orshburn.
Both employees and customers are in tears.
"They were saddened, especially when they're coming to the store. 'I'm sorry. We're closed for business' so, yeah, it's been really sad,” Mayden said.
Patrons lined up for one, last meal at their beloved eatery.
It got so busy the restaurant had to close a day early, because they ran out of food.
"It was really crazy, really crazy. Like, that's all I could say was this is crazy,” Orshburn said.
The company was in business for 35 years. The restaurant was here two decades.
Now, the waitresses are searching for work right before the holidays.
"We don't have anything else coming until we find something. They didn't consider that when they didn't give us a two-week notice, which we would be expected to give a two-week notice,” said Mica Gates, a former waitress at Delta Cafe.
"He's heartless. Right before Christmas for all of us. We paid our bills. We paid everything," Hardy said.
Some of the employees have started a GoFundMePage, which you can find here.