Despite government’s plea for companies not to fire employees during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Marathon Restaurant Group’s Pizza Hut franchisee in sub-Saharan Africa has announced intention to close down its stores in Botswana in this trying time.
In a letter dated May 13, 2020 referenced to all Pizza Hut team members, drivers and shift supervisors, head of Human Resources Africa, Pamela Addison said the local stores have not been profitable.
“As most would know by now the three stores operating in Botswana have not been profitable since trading. We have attempted to cut costs and increase revenue and we appreciate the efforts made by all,” said Addison.
Addison added that the onset of the lockdown requirements has compounded strain on their business and on that basis they are unable to reopen their stores post lockdown.
“Please note that these intended terminations are not directly influenced by the lockdown requirements as we have experienced losses over time.
We are fortunately in a position where we have funds to pay salaries in full for the time that
Addison said the company proposes to pay out all team members and supervisors in full for the month of May. She, however, disclosed that the final payments will include leave pay, severance pay and one-month’s notice on top of May’s salary.
Addison stated that such payments are also pending acceptance of the terminations. The company further invited comments and questions prior to confirming the terminations promising that employees would thereafter receive a direct response within 24 hours.
The Monitor tried to contact Pizza Hut stores to no avail as their lines rang unanswered. This publication also visited Pizza Hut at the Main Mall and established that the restaurant has been closed since commencement of the lockdown.