BOSTON — Several locations of the pizza chain Papa Gino's in Massachusetts have reportedly abruptly closed down over the weekend, leaving dozens of people out of a job.
Most of those employees were notified by a locked door and a sign when they arrived at work on Sunday.
The dozens of employees at various New England locations as well as employees of D'Angelo Grilled Sandwiches, which is owned by Papa Gino's, are wondering why.
"We were standing in the parking lot looking around saying, what just happened?" said one employee of D'Angelo, who did not want to use her name. "We were flabbergasted."
One of the cooks from the D'Angelo in Needham, who also asked not to use her name, said someone from corporate showed up around 10 a.m. to break the news to her and her boss.
"[He] walks in, [and] he goes 'effective immediately, we're closing the store down, you're fired," she said.
They were not given a reason and were told that their final paychecks will arrive in the mail. Papa Gino's corporate headquarters is located in Dedham.
"We started crying -- we were holding each other," said one of the two women who works at D'Angelo's in Needham. "She's got a little girl, I have two children. I said don't worry we'll be okay, we'll figure it out."
The general manager for the Papa Gino's location in Norwood told Boston 25 News that, while his restaurant hasn't closed down, he's heard of at least five that closed on Sunday, without notice. He says his restaurant has been seeing a lot of business due to the closures.
Customer's of the franchise also expressed their concern and frustration for the employees suddenly out of work.%
"This time of year getting close to the holidays, and now they're all out of work," said customer Donna Hopewell. "That's not right... no matter what the reason is, you at least let your employees know."
It is still unclear how many locations have been shut down. However, the company previously said it had 150 locations and right now, their website only lists 97.
Several D'Angelo and Papa Gino's locations in Rhode Island were also part of the closures.
Papa Gino's was founded in 1961 in East Boston as Piece O' Pizza. It changed its name to Papa Gino's in 1968 and expanded throughout Boston, other parts of Massachusetts and Connecticut, Rhode Island and New Hampshire.
Boston 25 News has reached out to Papa Gino's corporate office for comment. The company hasn't yet provided a full list of the closures.
This is a developing story. We will provide more updates as soon as they become available.
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