In the wake of Lindsey's Family Restaurant's sudden closure this week in Wareham, stunned former employees are speaking out about what they are calling a "disgusting decision."

However, the owner is sticking by her guns, saying she had no other options.

Former employees gathered at another Wareham restaurant shortly after receiving the news Monday that the beloved staple was permanently closed and that their services were no longer needed.

Stephen Rinehart, a member of the kitchen staff, shared how he and his colleagues received the news.

"We got a text at 9:37 this morning saying that they were closing because of Covid and money shortages, and before we got a chance to process it, we saw it on Facebook moments after we received the text," Rinehart said Monday night. "We were then blocked from being able to respond by the owners. As far as the owner claiming there was a shortage of staff, we were finally a fuller staff than we've been in a while after suffering a shorter staff all summer long, doing it at a bare minimum, just so we can stay open. It's sad. It's disgusting."

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Other employees issued a joint statement about the closure:

"We understand that the restaurant isn't a bad place and hard decisions were made, but at the end of the day, what they did to their employees was appalling. Sending us a text message minutes before posting on Facebook just three weeks before Christmas is horrible. We have all worked so hard for this restaurant. Most of the kitchen staff worked doubles every day that we are open and gave everything they can without burning out. The waitstaff was fighting for shifts so this isn't about the staffing as it was made to seem in some of the posts by the restaurant. For the past two months, we have been told about the exciting renovations and to be excited for a new chapter, just for them to turn around and tell us we were closing for good with absolutely no warning. As employees, we are beyond shocked and hurt by the way Lindsey's has treated us. They had no respect for the employees who had worked for them for 10-plus years. This could and should have been handled very differently. A restaurant that boasts that their employees are family should have treated that family much better."

Owner Cheri Lindsey responded on Fun 107's Michael and Maddie Tuesday morning, claiming a text message made the most sense for informing all employees at once.

"There's no way if we called everybody individually -- by the time we talked to the first person, they would get on the phone and tell everybody else," Lindsey said.

It was no longer practical for the restaurant to remain open, Lindsey argued, due to a lack of staffing, increasing wages, increasing food costs and a decline in customer spending.

Lindsey said she would have liked to keep the restaurant open through Christmas, "but then people walk out, they don't show up for shifts, they're looking for other jobs. It's very hard to run a business when people know you're closing and you're not going to please everybody and I feel bad."

No matter how you look at it, it's a sad story for everyone involved: the owners, the staff, and the customers.

In this case, nobody wins.

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