June 23, 2024

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A Denver Red Lobster employee was left out of a job without warning

A Denver Red Lobster employee was left out of a job without warning

DENVER (KDVR) — Hundreds of people are out of work after multiple Red Lobster locations in the Denver area suddenly closed their doors for good earlier this week.

Jessica Boguski is one of those former employees, having worked as a server at Red Lobster in Northfield for about a year. She left work Sunday night to say goodbye to her co-workers as she always does.

“Stay safe, see you tomorrow. Like normal, everything was normal,” Boguski said.

What she didn’t expect was that she wouldn’t come in again after she walked out the door.

“It was my last day on the job,” Boguski said. “It was everyone’s last day.”

FILE – A Red Lobster restaurant is shown on Sept. 13, 2016, in North Miami, Florida. Announced the week of May 13, 2024, dozens of Red Lobster locations across the United States are now on the chopping block. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)

She didn’t find out until about two hours before her shift on Monday, when her phone was lighting up with text messages.

“I thought someone was dead. I was terrified by what was happening,” Boguski said.

When she checked her schedule, she said there was nothing left. Her job as a server has ended without any notice from the company.

Everyone, from the servers to the managers, couldn’t believe it, she said.

“No one acted like they knew anything,” Boguski said. “If they did, no one would know.”

Many restaurants are “underwater” since the pandemic

When asked why such sudden closures occurred, Colorado Restaurant Association President Sonia Riggs offered this statement: “The reality in Colorado restaurants right now is that many operators are underwater. They are facing persistent labor shortages, unprecedented inflation, rising interest rates, and… In regulations impacting any hope of truly recovering from the revenue losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and as a result of these challenges, Colorado had the highest restaurant inflation rate in the country last year. This year, we are seeing local restaurants closing every week It’s not always a thriving business.

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Boguski, now a victim of one of these closures, only wishes she and her coworkers had noticed more.

“You can literally open your eyes one morning, go about your day, check your phone, and then your entire livelihood is gone, and that was someone else’s decision,” she said. “And that’s terrifying.”

Northfield Red Lobster is one of four locations closed in the Denver area this week, with others in Lakewood, Lone Tree and Wheat Ridge.

The restaurant’s parent company, Thai Union Group, said the endless promotion of shrimp was a major factor in causing the company an $11 million loss last year.