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Arby’s Employees React to Sudden Store Closures

Dozens of employees of one fast food chain are out of a job after at least six Arby’s restaurants in Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania suddenly shut down.

The move is a shock for many of those employees who were blindsided by the news.

Locations in Scranton, Kingston, Pine Grove, and in the Lycoming, Wyoming Valley, and Schuylkill Malls closed their doors on Friday.

Employees at Arby’s in the Wyoming Valley Mall said they had no idea the restaurants were going to be shut down.

The six locations are owned by Dijan Inc., a Clarks Summit based company.

According to court papers, the company had financial issues back in 2010.

On Friday, the company filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, in which the company must get rid of all assets, which is why all the restaurants are now closed.

“They obviously knew what was going on and what was going to happen. I don’t think what they did was right. It’s not fair,” said former employee Ashley Douglass.

Douglass and Danny Gulla were coworkers. Gulla worked for the company for six years. Douglass depended on her income to pay her rent.

“Now I’m just on the verge of losing my place and not knowing where to go,” Douglass said.

Not only did those Arby’s employees not know the stores were closing, many customers had no idea either. People had been stopping by the Kingston location on Saturday, trying to open the door only to find it locked. There are no signs posted anywhere on the property stating that the restaurant is closed.

“They have to go by the door. There’s no signs whatsoever. That’s a disservice to the customer. That’s how I look at it anyway,” said Saverio Costantio of Hanover Township.

Some customers even sat at the drive thru waiting for a response.

People at the Kingston restaurant said there are plenty of other places to eat, but they do feel bad for the employees.

Newswatch 16 tried to reach Dijan Inc. for comment, but calls were not returned.

In a statement emailed to Newswatch 16 Saturday evening, Arby’s Restaurant Group, Inc. said it is looking into whether the franchise locations that closed can be reopened under new ownership.

39 comments

  • Tschlegel

    This isn’t surprising the same exact thing happened when i worked at the Arby’s in Honesdale in 2010. The manager went in to open the next morning with no warning that the locks were changed. They just recently turned it into a taco bell.

  • Johnson

    After reading this article I come away with a frown at the image it painted of all the sad cars sitting…waiting…for beef ‘n’ cheddar as they angrily huff and puff punching their stearing wheels only to find out the place is dark and will offer service no more. Sad little lunch time has come to driving off for maybe the last time in mourning.

  • Von Treas

    I’m afraid there will be plenty more closing since you pay nearly six dollars for one sandwich! It’s ridiculous their prices! I love Arby’s but it’s way too expensive!

  • jake

    All Arby’s are a mess. They have 1 register at the Pittston location. Real fun during lunch time. McDonalds has like 5 registers. Arby’s has good products and can improve if they can actually streamline the process and lower prices. They seriously need a new CEO. Whoever runs the entire corporation is a flaming moron and they seem to keep handing the torch to other flaming morons. Reminds me of Kmart. They have everything in place but just have no marketing or streamlining. Nothing new and innovative. And if the Pittston owner reads this…. GET ANOTHER REGISTER YOU IDIOT. YOU’RE REALLY DISGUSTING PEOPLE THERE AND THE COST OF A REGISTER IS NOTHING COMPARED TO THE MONEY YOU’LL LOSE MAKING PEOPLE WAIT IN A LINE THAT LONG.

    • Edward

      Joan, none of us were paid off. We were just as shocked as the rest of the community. The only people who knew what was really going on were at Dijan Inc.’s office. Unfortunately for myself and the rest of the employees, word hadn’t spread until the day of the closures. We were not withholding information at the store level. Yes, I did have to call employees to break the news to them, but I legitimately did not know until about 4 hours before shut down. If any of us did have an idea that this was going to happen, we would have been able to plan accordingly. Please don’t blame the store managers, we are suffering just as much as the other employees.

    • deborahrmorgan

      Your right about the price of beef …its outta sight…..its not fracking…..its the feed price. ……we export too much of it and we’ve started to use it for energy purposes…..as for the jobs…..there is a law about company closures……but it only applies to large companies. The food…….we dont need these restaurants….,,,they are killing our citizens w all the garbage they put in it……..its not food……..its memorex.

      • mdog

        Well then a farmer i talked to 5 days ago said he will not plant this year because he cant with
        all the “F” activity on his property.Now he is one of course but there are over 2,000 such well site now. I also know another farmer who said she has to sell 12 acres a year just to pay her taxes.
        Did you know that forests are meant to burn eventually by natures own recycle system?
        Well did you know we can get our gas and oil from pine trees? google this video below.

        “wood stove runs a generator, produces gasoline, runs a fridge and heats hot water at the same time”

      • mdog

        Rarely ever ate there – it just didn’t appeal to me. In fact i found it rather of an odd place to eat or buy take home food from.

      • crackers81

        And did you know cities in Europe used to do this with wood and coal, the product of which was smog that made LA int he 1970’s look like a bright spring day? Now picture the gigantic increase in population since the industrial revolution. Can you even fathom the amount of air pollution this would cause? People would literally be keeling over int eh streets. Lung disease would replace obesity as our nation’s top killer.

        I know it’s popular, especially among hyper conservative crowds, but this isn’t the 1800’s. Circumstances have changed. You need to get that memo.

    • deborahrmorgan

      Mdog…..pa isnt the only state that plants corn…….so its not the fracking…….ultimately the federal government is responsible for where our corn goes and what its used for……they make the rules and provide the incentives. …….they steer our economy…….

      • mdog

        Yes indeed Mam, so add more shipping costs. Cost is king in any industry.The government is indeed controlling the economy by taxing it to death.

    • dan

      You do now another rise in beef is the USA is now exporting beef so it has caused an increase in price here because the world market is about 3 times higher then just the us market on beef prices not to mention in the last 24 months more cows have died cause of desieses and other things like that then ever in a 24 month history on record please use your favorite thing called google and research this before u look like a moron cause beef prices are lower here in pa then in a lot of areas like say central nc beef is 30% -50% higher then it is here in pa same with pork and chicken but average pay is lower there (source lived there 18 years my family still lives there)

  • Flo

    There needs to be a law passed making this illegal. The same thing happened to all the bonanza employees in lycoming county a couple years ago. There should be a legal required amount of notice for the closing and resulting lay off of employees. These are human beings with families to provide for, part of our community, and big business owners like this should feel like scum for what they do to these ppl!!!!

    • Rebecca

      There is a law in place, it’s called WARN – Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification. It requires most employers with more than 100 employees to give a 60 day notice before mass layoff’s or plant closings. The US Dept of Labor website lays out the rules.

    • dan

      Well the bonanza in Lycoming county was not a shock the owner talked about shutting it down for years I have lived in Lycoming county for 7 years and I knew months in advance that it was shutting down because everyone was talking about it the guy was tired of running it so don’t be dumb

  • Nicole

    The owners should have at least told their employees what was going on. They should have given the people that worked for them a chance to find another job or at least the chance to begin planning and looking. I know as a person who depends on my and my husbands income it would be really difficult to suddenly loose a job. It is true sometimes things happen that would cause a sudden job loss but when the employer knows they should be honest with those who work for them.

    • jay

      I was one of the managers at kingston, we did not know nothing until approximately 1pm, plus I read one of the comments, it’s not a store that makes a store but the people who work inside it, the Kingston store was more then just employees but it is a family that just got ripped apart, you could reopen the store but without the heart of the employees that we have it will never be the same. I want to thank all of our customers who came in the last 7 years, we will always appreciate you all and thank you for letting us serve you…

  • Warlock

    The only disservice to the customer they should have been worrying about was the flavorless food and apathetic employees. There’s a faded Arby’s billboard coming into Scranton that reads, “So close you can almost taste it.” I have to chuckle because, in my experience, even when the food’s in your mouth, you still can’t taste it.

    Best of luck to the former staffers. I’m sure helping to drive a once successful food chain into the ground will look awesome on a resume.

    • Rebecca

      The workers were simply serving the prepared items that corporate provided. They had very little affect on how the food tasted. It’s simply brown prepared food. Look at the coupon flyers – that’s what strikes me the most – all brown food. It’s mostly carbohydrates, coated in more carbohydrates, and fried in fat. Blech.

      • Warlock

        The few times I dared visit the Scranton Arby’s, they never managed to get my order right. Not once. And I never order off the menu. That kind of lousy service is as much the staff’s fault as it is corporate’s. They miraculously managed to make crap even crappier.

        I do hope they manage to find other jobs, just NOT in food service.

      • deborahrmorgan

        Sorry warlock…..they have no incentive to get your order right. ..,….they weren’t getting paid enough…….the fact they showed up and turned on the lights was about all they could muster……those weren’t real jobs…….they were half jobs…..they probably had another one just to scrape by.

      • nihilist55

        Pazzo are you kidding? They serve US commercial grade steaks and pass them off as Prime not to mention charging $7 for a side salad full of iceberg lettuce!

      • deborahrmorgan

        Oh get going…..pazzo is fabulous. ….cant remember which holiday i went there for easter sounds about right….but my son and i agreed that it was one of the best dinner weve had in sometime. You must be a disgruntleEx of some sort!

      • crackers81

        Welcome to Central Pennsylvania, where the yokels think grocery store steaks and iceburg lettuce is “fabulous” because someone had the testicular fortitude to charge too much for it.

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