More than 60 Big Biscuit employees laid off with no notice by corporate
BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. (KCTV) - More than 60 people were without jobs on Monday after The Big Biscuit suddenly closed its doors in Independence and Blue Springs, giving no notice to its employees.
On Monday afternoon, more than a dozen employees showed up at the Blue Springs location to show each other support after they were all laid off the day before.
Employees said they were angry, confused and scrambling for a job, especially with the holidays right around the corner. They said they were given no notice, no compensation or severance pay by corporate.
When the owner of both locations, Dan Gerson, passed away, employees said the owner’s son tried to take over. But corporate then stepped in and eventually decided to shut down both locations.
Kristen Clinkenbeard was a server at the Blue Springs location for nearly a decade and said everyone working there was like family, even the customers. She further explained that it was emotional to see their work family be stripped away all at once.
“A lot of people have our backs right now, but for those that are saying ‘it’s just a job, you can go out there and get another one,’ it wasn’t just a job to me,” Clinkenbeard told KCTV5. “I didn’t stay at this company just to be a job.”
The Big Biscuit’s loyal customers showed their support for the laid-off workers. Some customers said they’ll be taking their business elsewhere.
“It’s so cowardly to do that to these people,” said Kevin Buchanan, a customer at The Big Biscuit in Independence since 2003.
What kept him coming back? Well of course, the food. But he said it was more than that.
“The people,” said Buchanan, “and it was always such a good atmosphere, I could joke around and mess with them and we’d go back and forth.”
The Blue Springs and Independence locations were open for 20 years. Buchanan said it was the employees that kept them successful. Without those very employees, he said they’ve lost a loyal customer, for good.
“They could open it up as Big Biscuit again, and just be part of the franchise like the rest of them, I won’t go, I’m going to tell all my friends not to go,” said Buchanan
Jessica Coons was the manager at the Blue Springs location. She, like many of her colleagues, heavily relied on their paychecks. Now with no job, she said she’s left scrambling.
“There’s moms, you know [wondering] ‘how are we going to do Christmas?’ So many of us are used to our wages, day to day,” said Coon.
KCTV5 reached out to corporate. A response read, “Like many in the community, we mourn the passing of the founder of the big biscuit brand, Dan Gerson… and that they are working diligently with the Gerson family on options to reopen those two stores.”
Whether they open again or not, the now-former employees and customers said it won’t be the same service and atmosphere.
“The idea that they think they’re going to move in here and make it corporate and get the same kind of turn out that we had, they’re surely mistaken,” said Coon.
Employees said corporate gave them an option to re-apply for a job, but after the way the situation was handled that’s not something they will consider at this point.
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