Two Kansas City area locations of The Big Biscuit closed abruptly over the weekend, leaving an estimated 60 employees out of a job before the Thanksgiving holiday.
The restaurants are at 16506 E. U.S. Highway 40 in Independence and 530 N.W. Highway 7 in Blue Springs.
Those were the first two locations of the local breakfast-and-lunch chain, which was founded in 2000 by Dan Gerson. In 2010, Gerson sold the company, which has since expanded to include two dozen locations in Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and, soon, Arkansas.
But he kept ownership of the Blue Springs and Independence locations. Gerson died in September, and employees say his son Luke Gerson took over operations of those Big Biscuit restaurants.
“They fired our general manager and made her tell us we have no job,” said Silvia Sarmiento, who worked at the Independence location. “No ‘Thank you for your time,’ no clarification on how to reapply, nothing. Just because it’s common for companies to lay people off doesn’t mean (the way they did this) was right.”
The Star was unable to reach the Gerson family.
Chad Offerdahl, president of The Big Biscuit (which is now based in Overland Park), told The Star that though they do not own the two closed locations, Big Biscuit is “working diligently with the Gerson family on options to reopen those two stores.”
He added, “We have informed the Gerson family that they should feel free to encourage their former employees to apply for positions with The Big Biscuit companies.”