60 People Lose Jobs After 3 Restaurants Abruptly ClosePosted: Updated:
The rising minimum wage is getting at least part of the blame for the abrupt closure of three St. Lawrence County restaurants.
Between the Buns/Club 21 in Potsdam is closed as well as the Hot Tamale/Chix n Pies locations in Massena and Ogdensburg.
About 60 people have lost their jobs.
"The minimum wage increase has been a big burden on our business. At one point we were up to 100 employees and the minimum wage has just increased every year since I opened in 2009. It's been harder and harder to do business in New York state every year," said Marc Morley, owner of the restaurants. "When you have 80 minimum wage employees and the labor goes up every year, it really affects the bottom line and at the end of the day it made it really hard to do business in the establishments that didn't make a lot of profit."
Morley said the Hot Tamale restaurants in Potsdam and Canton remain open. However, he is trying to sell them.
There are reports that some employees found out about the loss of their jobs on social media or by finding their workplace closed.
Morley said he told the restaurant managers to notify the workers.
"They held all the contact information for all their individual employees," he said. "It was an abrupt decision on our end. It wasn't something we were planning on doing. We just got to the point where the businesses weren't profitable and we were losing money every week."