A copy of Wayne Bankkratz’s internal email was posted on Reddit and published by The Daily Mail.
Bankrates is the chief operating officer of American Franchise Capital, which owns 50 Applebee companies in the Midwest.
He allegedly told managers that employees and applicants were hurt economically, which he saw as an “advantage”.
“Most of our employee base and potential employee base live from paycheck to paycheck,” the email read. “Any increase in gas prices reduces their disposable income.”
This week, the average price for a gallon of regular gas in Midwestern states was close to $4, while Los Angeles hit a record $6,011, according to AAA.
“With inflation continuing to rise and gas prices continuing to rise, this means that employees will need more hours to work to maintain their current standard of living.” Pankrantz claimed added.
He noted in the email that people need two jobs to survive and that the company needs to make sure it brings in new workers at lower wages.
Scott Fisher, a spokesman for American Franchise Capital, told the Kansas City Star that the email did not reflect the company’s position and Pankratz had no authority to make such changes.
“The main message here is that this does not in any way, shape or form, speak to our politics or our culture or anything like that with our brand,” he added.
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Kevin Carroll, Applebee’s chief operating officer, also denounced Pankratz’s alleged statement and said the company does not embrace the AFC president’s views, according to the Daily Mail.
“This is an individual’s opinion, not Appleby’s,” Carroll said in a statement. “We understand that the franchisor who owns and operates restaurants in this market has put the individual on furlough.”