In January, CKE Restaurants Holdings Inc., parent company of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, announced the opening of its first Manhattan location with much fanfare. The location was part of a new push past the West Coast, where Carl’s Jr. was founded and where the brand has gained the most popularity. And the opening marked months of change for the company, including splitting off their two brands and revamping their marketing.
But in early June, the franchise owner John Golbari closed the Manhattan location, which was located on 425 7th Ave. & W. 33rd St.
About a month later, Eater found employees still waiting for their last paychecks. When employees looked to corporate for help they did not hear back or were told there was nothing CKE could do, according to Eater.
In a statement issued on Friday to NRN, a CKE spokesperson wrote:
“From time to time, franchisees may find it necessary to close their restaurants. In those cases, although CKE corporate is not responsible for franchisee employee relations issues, we expect our franchisee partners to meet their legal obligations to their employees, and we take very seriously any allegation that their employees have not been paid.
“We currently are investigating these allegations and doing everything within our power to work with the franchisee to help him remedy this issue as quickly as possible. Our goal is to see that all employees are paid within the next two weeks. A restaurant closure is not an excuse to not pay employees, and this situation is completely unacceptable to CKE. We will continue to follow up with our franchisee and do all we can to find a quick resolution to this unfortunate incident.”
The company noted that the Manhattan location was the only restaurant Golbari franchised from CKE.
Currently, there are two Carl’s Jr. in Brooklyn including one in Coney Island that opened shortly before the Manhattan outpost. A Carl's Jr. is set to open in August in North Bergen, N.J., according to the company.
“This closure has no impact on our plans to expand the Carl’s Jr. presence in the Northeast, and we look forward to continuing to welcome customers to our restaurants in the area,” the company said in the statement.
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