Pizza Hut Faces Backlash After Company Threatens Employees Evacuating From Hurricane Irma
The company placed blame on a franchise owner in their statement about the incident.
Hurricane Irma's predicted impact on Florida prompted many to flee their homes and jobs, but a Pizza Hut in Jacksonville directed their employees to do the opposite.
The Washington Post reports during the eye of the storm, a note for employees of the pizza chain were designated not to leave their part-time jobs or they would face a strike on their records. A photo of the note went viral on Sunday (Sept. 10).
The note reads, "As hurricane Irma approaches Florida, our #1 priority is the safety and security of our team. But, we also have a responsibility and commitment to our community to be there when they need us. With that said, I/we need some guidelines in place to ensure both of those expectations are met.” Demands require employees couldn't evacuate before the storm and if they did decide to leave, they had to be back in a matter of 72 hours. “Failure to show for these shifts, regardless of reason, will be considered a no call/no show and documentation will be issued,” it says. “After the storm, we need all TM’s available to get the store up and running and serve our communities as needed.”
Rightfully so, customers blew up Pizza Hut's mentions on Twitter, slamming them for listing rules in the wake of a tropical storm.
A statement on Pizza Hut's site didn't include a formal apology, but they did attempt to distance themselves from the drama by mentioning the Jacksonville location was a franchise store with its own rules. “We absolutely do not have a policy that dictates when team members can leave or return from a disaster, and the manager who posted this letter did not follow company guidelines," the statement reads."We can also confirm that the local franchise operator has addressed this situation with the manager involved.”
Meanwhile, a Pizza Hut in Texas took part in Hurricane Harvey relief efforts by giving out free pizza pies. Shayda Habib, a pregnant Pizza Hut manager in Houston, kayaked to provide those stuck in flooded homes with food.
Take notes guys.