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Chicago Restaurant Owner Apologizes For Holiday Firings

Owner of Chicago shop says he's "remorseful" for the way the closure was handled.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Owners plan to reconcept the sandwich shop and reopen.

    The CEO and founder of a River North restaurant issued a Christmas Day apology for firing his employees only days before Christmas -- and an extra week's wages.

    Twenty employees at Snarf’s Sub Shop at 600 W Chicago Ave. received an email Sunday night informing them that they no longer had jobs. The note blamed "increased competition and losses" for the terminations and said the company plans to remodel and reconcept the business.

    Owner Jim Siedel issued a statement Wednesday saying he was "remorseful" for the way the restaurant's closure was handled, calling it "insensitive and poorly planned."

    "We recognize now we acted rashly. For this, we apologize to our employees and to our loyal customers who we know we've disappointed. This was not handled in a way that met our own standards for quality and kindness. We've learned from this mistake, and will not be so insensitive again. For now, as a token of our apology and in the holiday spirit, we will be providing impacted employees an additional week of wages. Again, we are deeply sorry." -- Jim Siedel

    The firings come a few weeks after Snarf's workers participated in the "Fight for 15" rally seeking higher wages, which shut down the store.

    Snarf's officials say the firings had nothing to do with the strike, but rather the slow Christmas season.