Pizza Hut admits error in firing manager for not opening store on Thanksgiving

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Tony Rohr holding a copy of his 'rebuttal letter' to Pizza Hut in lieu of his termination. (Courtesy: WSBT)

ELKHART, Ind. — Tony Rohr had worked his way from the kitchen to running his own Pizza Hut store as a general manager, but his decision to rebel against a corporate order has him looking for a new job. TV station WSBT reports that Rohr said he was fired when he told bosses that his store would not open on Thanksgiving.

Rohr said in years past that Pizza Hut stores have remained closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas days, days that he believes his employees shouldn’t have to work. When he sat down to discuss the change and his lack of compliance, he was told to tender his resignation.

Instead he penned a ‘letter of explanation’ that read in part:

“I am not quitting, I do not resign however I accept that the refusal to comply with this greedy, immoral request means the end of my tenure with this company.”

Rohr went on to explain that an order like this from corporate decision makers is only made possible by the people at the bottom of the totem pole. While he is still currently unemployed,  he said the decision was worth it and he has his family’s support. He plans on spending Thanksgiving with girlfriend and his parents according to WSBT.

Update: After Rohr’s story was retold all around the country, The Pizza Hut Corporation encouraged the franchise in Elkhart, Ind., to hire Rohr back. Following the public outcry, Pizza Hut’s corporate offices released a statement admitting the franchise ‘made a serious error in judgment.’

“I really like the people that I worked with. I miss those guys and I miss working with those people. That was my favorite part of it, and that was kind of why I did it all in the first place. They’re good people,” Rohr said, although he wasn’t certain if he’d accept the invitation to return.

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  • Kimberly

    How many of you work in retail or food service? My husband has been with Pizza Hut for decades and has always worked on Thanksgiving (and Christmas Eve and Easter). It’s understood that it’s part of the job in that line of business. I worked for years in food service and retail and every place that I worked was open for at least part of that day. We have seven children and, as much as we would love to have him home, it really is just one day….and they don’t open until 4pm. We just have our Thanksgiving meal earlier in the day or the Sunday before since that’s his day off. Works for us! That also means that he can give the day off to any of his employees that have strong feelings about not working. Many people volunteer to work with him if they don’t have plans that conflict with the hours that they are open.