JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Former employees of Ryan's in Jonesboro are shocked they are out of a job after thinking they were safe.
In February 74 Ryan's Restaurants shut down, but employees at the Jonesboro location thought they would stay open.
According to two former employees, Tiffany Taylor and Crystal Moe, the area operations manager reassured employees in February they would keep their jobs.
"He visited us the day before Valentine's Day and spoke with all of us managers and assured our general manager that we would not be closing and we were a profitable restaurant," Moe said.
However, just one month later, things drastically changed.
Employees got a phone call saying they did not need to come into work and the restaurant was closing down permanently.
Taylor and Moe said their first emotion was shock, then anger and now a little bit of denial.
The two employees said the entire staff was very close and this shutdown is devastating.
"Not only did I lose a job but we are pretty close. We lost family, we lost all of our family and it's just heartbreaking," Taylor said. "I worked here for four years and we worked good as a team and we were all one big family."
Taylor and Moe said the employees were not given any explanation for the closure or previous notice.
The company that owns Ryan's, Hometown Buffet, LLC, filed for bankruptcy Monday following the close of the Jonesboro location.
On Monday workers cleaned out the restaurant and posted a sign on the door stating, "Please excuse our lack of notice. New restaurant coming soon!"
Taylor and Moe said the employees have not been given any information on the new possible restaurant.
Ryan's will hold a meeting Tuesday and employees hope to get some answers there.
The building's large sign was also changed to say the building is up for lease.
Taylor and Moe said no matter what the outcome is from this abrupt shutdown, the employees will stay close.
"I wish the best of luck to all our employees. I worry about them. I care about them. I hope everybody finds a job and I know we will all stay in touch," Moe said.
They also wanted to thank the loyal customers for their many years with Ryan's.
"We would like to thank our regular faithful customers and we are sorry this happened," Taylor said.
Moe said they would have given their customers more notice if the employees had one themselves.
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