INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — Employees at the Independence and Blue Springs Big Biscuit restaurants say they suddenly lost their jobs when both locations recently shutdown.
“We have been loyal through thick and thin, and we think we deserve more than this,” said Marquee Larette, a former employee at the Big Biscuit in Independence.
Employees at the Big Biscuit location in Independence said things started to change when owner Dan Gerson died in late September. His family members took over the restaurants in Independence and Blue Springs, which employees said are both independently owned.
“It didn’t start happening until he died. They started being like, ‘Oh, we do want to be more involved,’” explained Silvia Sarmiento, a former employee at the Big Biscuit in Independence.
“Then it was just very sudden to cut ties with us. We didn’t get a phone call to say, ‘Hey, we don’t want to do business with you anymore.’ It was just they weren’t answering their phones, we don’t have a way to do our system, and it felt wrong.”
Sarmiento and Lerette worked at the Independence restaurant for years.
They said when Gerson’s family took over, they conducted a 90-day audit. Then shortly after, the restaurant’s systems were shut down.
“We were under the impression that we may not be under the same name, but we would still have a job and still be good,” Sarmiento explained.
“Thanksgiving dinner we do every year, we had all of the food, and it was canceled last minute the day of like we are all coming to this dinner, but there is no dinner, there is no job, there is nothing.”
In a statement, the president of the Big Biscuit, Chad Offerdahl, said:
“Like many in the community, we mourn the passing of the founder of The Big Biscuit brand, Dan Gerson, and express our continued condolences to his family, which owns the Blue Springs and Independence locations, and to the employees of Gerson. We are working diligently with the Gerson family on options to reopen those two stores.”
Gerson’s son Luke told FOX4 that his father’s death was unexpected, and he and his brother believe it would be in the best interest of the restaurants to hand the ownership over to The Big Biscuit franchise.