Paula Deen’s restaurant closes — without telling employees

Uncle Bubba’s Seafood & Oyster House, which is owned by Paula Deen and her younger brother, Earl W. “Bubba” Hiers Jr., recently announced that it’s closing via Facebook. And nothing wrong with that — social media is a great way to communicate with people, including customers.

Except that in this case this was also how Bubba’s informed the restaurant’s employees that it was going out of business and that they were out of a job.

At this point let us pause to make an obvious point: Workers should never be told they’ve been fired over Facebook. In fact, in all but extreme circumstances, employees should be told face to face. Worst case scenario? Phone calls from their direct supervisors.

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7 thoughts on “Paula Deen’s restaurant closes — without telling employees

  1. Social media has caused the decline in simple manners, protocols and professionalism in favor of “speed, instant access and ease”….3 things that take the “civil” out of Civilization.

    Combine this “new normal” with an hypersensitive populace that is so thin skinned that they are constantly “offended, insulted, wronged” without the common sense the God gave a dog and it cannot help but end well.

    If you want to toss in a Pandora’s Box metaphor….here ya go; This ignoring, at the least, the “feelings” of employees is now out of the box never again to be contained in the box of morality, integrity and respect so prepare yourselves. Why? Because a culture of “taking it the next level” does not apply simply to the “good” things but the bad also and, like any bad, insensitive, disrespectful or otherwise offensive act, I am sure it is easier the second time around….

    Not a very optimistic outlook I know but hold on to your hats….

    Perhaps people should take a breath, take a step back and think long and hard on the impact of their actions and words before crying out racism, bigotry, prejudice and other inflammatory accusations…..

  2. I commented on the original article. This wasn’t done because the owners decided “how can we really mistreat our employees today?” It has a sound basis in food safety.

    In the food industry, you shut it down as soon as you suspect there’s a disgruntled employee who might commit the unthinkable out of sheer spite. On the manufacturing side, this might happen when a union contract expires, or some nut calls into a radio station about something allegedly going on in your factory. On the serving side of the business, there’s no telling what an employee might do to the food if he/she knows it’s the last shift and is really angry about it. One little peanut finding its way somewhere it doesn’t belong can kill someone.

    Now look at the fact the owners gave the employees severance pay. Where do you see that in the restaurant industry? The severance pay served as the employees’ “notice,” and the customers were protected at the same time. That was just good business, no matter what anyone says.

      1. Given how much crap has been thrown at Paula Deen recently, I’d be willing to give her a pass on this one.

        It is true that telling the employees face-to-face or over the phone would have been a better way for them to find out instead of via Facebook.

        However, this could very well have been a case of “we meant to tell the employees first; but screwed up.” We don’t know for sure, do we?

        At this point, in dealing with Paula Deen, I wouldn’t trust anything the media has to say.

  3. In my area a restaurant closed suddenly and employees just showed up to locked doors one day. They mailed out final paycheck that then all bounced.

    Paula Deen has gotten so much bad press I would think they wouldn’t want to add to that. Horrible situation for the employees.

  4. A localy restaurant announced its closing with a sign on the door telling people holding gift certirficate what phone number to call. Yes, employees found out when they walked up to the door for their shift.

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