Marissa Holcomb was fired by her superiors at Popeyes in Channelview, Texas, after a man came into the restaurant on March 31 brandishing a pistol and demanding Holcomb give him all of the money from the safe, KHOU reported.
The entire incident was captured by security cameras. No one was injured.
Z&H Foods, which owns the Popeyes franchise, gave Holcomb two options: reimburse the stolen money or be dismissed from the company.
“I told them, ‘I’m not paying. I’m not paying nothing,’” Holcomb told KHOU. “I just had a gun to me, I’m not paying the money.” Z&H Foods owner Amin Dhanani said Holcomb was terminated because she left too much money in the register on multiple occasions, violating company policy.
Holcomb contended Popeyes’ weekly special of $1.19 for a 2-piece chicken meal was the reason for the substantial amount of money in the register. Dhanani ultimately apologized to the pregnant mother of three and offered Holcomb her job back.
“He just apologized and he pretty much offered me if I wanted to go back to his business and work there again,” she told KHOU.
Z&H Foods released the following statement on the matter:
We deeply regret the way this matter was handled. We are committed to continuing to work with Ms. Holcomb, and we apologize to her, our employees, the public and other franchise operators of the Popeyes system.
We have let them down and are committed to do better.
Popeyes’ corporate office released a statement of their own, which read in part:
We recently became aware of a story in Houston involving a Popeyes restaurant and employee. The restaurant is operated by an independent franchisee of the Popeyes brand.
We have spoken to the local franchise owner of the restaurant, and he has taken immediate action to reach out to the employee to apologize and rectify the situation.
While the facts are gathered, we will closely monitor this until it is appropriately resolved. We deeply regret the distress this situation has caused.
Holcomb has also been offered $2,000 in back pay, but is not sure if she will return to the fast food joint. “I do need a way to support my kids,” she said. “But I don’t want to go back to a business where I’m going to be treated the same and then I just get pushed back out if something else happened.”
SOURCE: Western Journalism