The Papa John’s locations in the Rochester area have closed, according to messages posted at a location.
A note on the front of the restaurant at Main Street and Culver Road reads, “It saddens me to say that effective immediately, Papa John’s will no longer be operating in Rochester, NY.”
“We will not be the last to fall under this business climate,” sole member Schuyler Lofberg writes in the message.
The note blames “the heavy headwinds put upon us by New York State” for the “abrupt ending” for the stores.
For Papa John’s manager Jullian Beechler, it was a surprise.
“Now I’m out of a job,” he said. “All of the sudden, a note is on the door and the locks are changed.”
We reached out to the franchise owner for an answer and referred us back to a sign posted on the door
Financial expert George Conboy said times are tough for businesses in New York State.
“We’ve seen a number of stores, particularly restaurants and small restaurant chains, reducing operations or closing down entirely.”
Conboy cited Mark’s Pizzeria as an example, which closed a dozen stores back in December, right before the mandated minimum hike went into effect.
“It’s a great idea to provide more wages to employees, but the problem is if the market won’t support that higher wage, the jobs themselves may vanish instead of the raise the employee is hoping for.”
Beechler said that’s the boat he’s in now. He’ll have to look for another job, and even if he gets one, he’ll probably have to take a pay cut.
“Reporter: What are other people you worked with saying? They’re all calling me, asking what to do and asking who’s hiring. They’re all mad, but there’s nothing that I can do because if I knew, I would have told them.”
In a statement, Papa John’s reps said they are looking for new franchise owners.
In a Facebook post, Salvatore’s offered job interviews for Papa John’s employees.
“Papa John’s Employees: WE WANT YOU!! We would love to interview former Papa John’s employees. Please visit www.salvatores.com/careers and fill out an application, or stop by a Salvatore’s location,” the post reads, adding, “It is unfortunate what NYS is doing to several organizations and we hope this business climate changes soon.”
Papa John’s statement:
“We can confirm that five franchise-owned locations in the Rochester, NY market have closed. We’re grateful to all of our loyal customers in Rochester and are currently exploring possibilities around new ownership.”
The five Rochester-area locations have already been removed from the Papa John’s website.