Bristol found out today that two of its longstanding businesses will be closing, or rather are already closed! Ryan’s and Picadilly have closed before anyone had an inkling. This caught the city and its leaders off guard, especially falling on the heels of Touchstone’s announcement of 300 jobs lost. It has been the topic of discussion everywhere today.
People moving about in Wellmont Bristol Regional Medical Center were shocked when they were shown a copy of the Bristol Herald Courier today. This author kept asking people passing by if they were aware of the headlines. Most were shocked, and the ones that had not seen the headline yet were flabbergasted.
Part of the scenery
Ryan’s had been there around 25 years, and Picadilly had been there since the mid 1970’s. Much can be speculated about the reasons that the restaurants closed, and you can read some of the online reaction in the comment section following the Bristol News article. by David McGee. Some local folks remarked to me that both restaurants had been getting a little rundown. In the comments below the article, several readers discussed the high restaurant tax in Bristol, Virginia.
Excuse me, did anyone tell the employees?
The most glaring part of this news story and most-discussed complaint about the whole thing is that the employees were treated horribly in both cases. Picadilly, after filing bankruptcy, had been in contract negotiations with the Bristol mall , so their emloyees probably had some clue? At least, maybe, they were not completely caught off guard.
Ryan’s, on the other hand, evidently had not given their employees even the courtesy of telling them, or so the Bristol Herald Courier implies. They interviewed one lady who arrived for work only to find the sign announcing that they were out of business! People were astounded by this poor treatment.
Severance Packages, anyone?
With no intention of inciting class envy or social revolt, it is worth mentioning that these folks probably won’t get severance packages. Compare the financial benefits that company executives and others receive when their jobs end to these people who don’t even get the consideration of being told.
Sadly, these employees have had to live week-to-week, if their meager earnings lasted that long, for many years. Of all the people who needed severance packages of some kind, these people would qualify.
What a sad story.