Pizza Hut manager says he was fired for not opening store on Thanksgiving

ELKHART, Ind. — Tony Rohr had worked his way from the kitchen to running his own Pizza Hut store as a general manager, but his decision to rebel against a corporate order has him looking for a new job.

WSBT reports that Rohr said he was fired when he told bosses that his store would not open on Thanksgiving.

Rohr said in years past that Pizza Hut stores have remained closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas – days that he believes his employees should not have to work. When he sat down to discuss the change and his lack of compliance, he was told to tender his resignation.

Instead he penned a ‘letter of explanation’ that read in part:

“I am not quitting, I do not resign however I accept that the refusal to comply with this greedy, immoral request means the end of my tenure with this company.”

Rohr went on to explain that an order like this from corporate decision makers is only made possible by the people at the bottom of the totem pole. While he is still currently unemployed,  he said the decision was worth it and he has his family’s support. He plans on spending Thanksgiving with girlfriend and his parents according to WSBT.

39 comments

  • Sean

    It’s not “immoral”. “Greed” can be debated. Bottom line is, many restaurants don’t close on holidays. He accepted a position in restaurant management knowing this. He’s not a victim. He’s not a hero. Pizza Hut making the corporate decision to be open on Thanksgiving is above his pay grade. If he chooses to ignore the corporate decisions of his employer, he chooses to accept the consequences.

    • Patrick Donovan

      Oh, and as an aside…I suppose if they started to institute some other policy like, say, refusing to serve a certain race or something, by your logic he should go along with that too. I mean, he’s the low guy and it’s a decision above his pay grade right?

      • Lee

        Actually, it is a relevant argument, as both Thanksgiving and Christmas have religious significance for a great many people. (Thanksgiving was begun in October by the Pilgrims as part of their celebration of the Old Testament Feast of Tabernacles.) Pizza Hut’s decision could easily be viewed as religious discrimination.

    • sally jane

      Oh Shut Up Sean…………They should let the people be at home with their family on Thanksgiving, bottom line….he is the only one with guts and he did the right thing…besides it will cost more for them to open their doors on this day than they will take in……

      • dudley

        he will be spending plenty of time with his family, its not like he is an engineer and can easily find another job, it took him 10 years to become a manager at Pizza Hut, have fun going back to the bottom to work your way up at another low wage position…can’t believe the stupidity of people to think it is there right to be at home because its Thanksgiving, the problem with society is that everyone thinks they are entitled to something, grow up, this is the real world! I bet he tries to collect unemployment and I pray he doesn’t get it, this “hero” just made a bad decision and decisions have consequences I just hope he doesn’t have children

      • MF

        Sally—business is business- a change in policy ?? He did what he had to do and is suffering the consequences…right, or wrong. Now, if he had said it violated his religious beliefs and has a history of what he claims, that is a different story–and for his employees…

    • Walter Ego Prime (@wpavlik2)

      Spoken like a true member of the GOP. That former employee of Pizza Hut should be ashamed for not doing what he was told and talking back.
      I’d bet that you Sean will be off work on Thursday, enjoying it with your family, until you get up and go shopping Thursday night for what just can’t wait until Friday morning at 5:00am with the rest of the crowds. (or you send your wife out to do the shopping while you stay home and sleep in, is more likely) but hey since we are generalizing here, you could possibly just live in your parent’s basement and are a millionaire who just has been on a streak of bad luck…

  • mbierlik

    Like everyone is going to be rushing out for pizza on Turkey day. Stick it Pizza Butt, err Hut. I’ll be sure to pass you by for being greedy!

  • Kathi Torok

    From what I read in the article this was a new change in policy. So, no, he didn’t accept this position knowing they’d be open on Thanksgiving. I applaud him for standing his ground and sad that people think it’s okay that others have to work on days that they themselves are probably home with their families.

    • Roger Singletary

      That is the problem with the so-called higher ups. They come up with a idea/plan and the lower chain of command has to figure out HOW to do it and implement it. The big wig just scratches his head and says the company will open these days this year and that is his or her part. No sweat, no scheduling, no breaking plans already set in stone by families having a traditional gathering just a wonderful idea. Then the low manager has to break everyone’s day off, buy foods to prepare, staff the kitchen, and open the doors just because the big wheel THOUGHT of it. Then the big wheel gives themselves a big bonus and takes the day off. That my friends is REALLY how it goes. Hooray to Tony!

  • Mary Bare

    I agree with all of you..this is an outrage..anyway, who wants pizza on turkey day..no offense, cause I like pizza, but I think he made the right decision..GOOD LUCK!!!

  • Mark Rainey

    The manager’s attitude in years past was people over money. Pizza Hut’s corporate policy decision is money over people. Like hell that’s not greed. And he did accept the consequences of his decision. I hate the situation for him, but he did the honorable thing.

  • The One

    I will not go shopping or out to eat on Thanksgiving day because that means someone is working on a national holiday. Thanksgiving has its historical roots in religious and cultural traditions, and has long been celebrated in a secular manner as well.

  • christie

    do u not go to nursing homes because its a national holiday?? They work.. so what about those people.. If u gotta work,, u gotta work bottom line..

    • Walter Ego Prime (@wpavlik2)

      Going to a nursing Home is different from going out to eat pizza on Thanksgiving. People who work in Nursing homes know from the start that their schedule will include working on Holidays. (but most of the time they are paid time and a half or get another day off in exchange for it)

  • Paul

    Sean, you are probably a boos in some company somewhere but just because you are in that position doesn’t mean you know how to manage people or be a boss. I disagree with your comments and ability to manage!

  • anita

    it’s all about money and how much companies can make. employees do have families that they would like to spend holidays with. the “higher-ups” in the company don’t care about their employees, for them it’s all about how much money they can make .

  • Shannon Grigg Buchanan

    Sean is ridiculous. He probably plans to be at home with his family on Thanksgiving but doesn’t have the backbone to uphold anyone else’s right to do the same. We need to get back to a culture of family first. It’s not always about the almighty dollar even though Pizza Hut puts that before anything apparently.

  • Donna

    The holidays have went from spending time with your family to let’s see who can make the most money. Commercialized. I remember when the stores did not open on Sunday or Holidays. When as a nation need to get back to what is important family.
    .

    • Sean

      I remember that too. It’s just not that way anymore. And did you think that maybe the only reason stores/restaurants are open on holidays at all is because people will go? If people would NOT go to stores or restaurants on holidays, I guarantee you these stores and restaurants would stop being open. Blame the company for wanting to take people’s money when they’re so ready to spend it? Please…

  • Sean

    I’m not a boss anywhere. Though I currently enjoy a job where I will have Thanksgiving off, I have had jobs where I was forced to work holidays. I did not like it, but it was my job. As Christie above said, “If you gotta work, you gotta work”. Exactly. Nurses and orderlies have to work. Is a Pizza Hut manager more deserving of being home with his family than they? Nobody is arguing that people don’t “deserve” to be home with their families. I’m only saying that, recent change in policy or not, it’s his job…and he chose to sacrifice that for a misguided principle. If it were me and my job decided to be open on Thanksgiving, I’d complain about it, I’d really dislike it, then I’d plan my Thanksgiving dinner around it. In an economy like this, I can’t believe this man would forego his job over turkey. Sounds like he can spend time with his girlfriend and his parents on any given day…why does it HAVE to be Thursday?

  • jane patterson

    This young man has much to learn about life. What a pathetic example he is setting for others. Thankful none of my 3 children nor their spouses have work ethics like this fellow. We pick a day close to Thanksgiving Day to fellowship. Many people are without a job…..He should have been THANKFUL for his!

  • dudley

    I usually don’t respond but this is rediculous. What if all the doctors, fire men, police officers etc. took off Thanksgiving. It is not his right to be off for Thanksgiving, it is his right to be fired for not doing his job, I bet he tries to collect unemployment and if he has kids what a stupid decision, if he wanted to be off on thanksgiving he should work for a bank or the state, if he doesn’t have those skills and his skill set is to manage a restaurant then accept it or find another line of work, what an idiot.

    • SandraS

      There is a difference between an essential employee for the safety and health of others who get paid a decent wage for doing so and who signed up for that job knowing they work on call and someone working for a pizza joint.

  • Nancy B.

    It is Thanksgiving. I am thankful I live in a country where Pizza Hut can open & close when they want & Tony can elect to work for whoever he wants. This is a GREAT country.

  • DonnaB

    I believe that the people with the negative comments missed the part where he says “days that he believes his employees should not have to work” even if that gives him a day off. I can say that he is standing up for his employees. The policy changers will be at home with their families, seriously folks , how many of you will be eating pizza?

  • Zachary Eisele Sharp

    I hope non of you ever want a day off for something because you don’t deserve it you should have to work 365 days out of the year and never spend time with your family or friends. Go work on your feet 7 days a week 10 hours or more and tell the world how much you love to work so hard. If you can say this then you have my praise if not shame on you go get a labor intensive job and see how long you last.

  • Leo

    This will be an interesting case when it comes to collecting unemployment. He technically didn’t quit or resign. Not showing up to work for 1 day is not really a justifiable termination, there is no history of issues to back that up. Sure we are a “right to work state” (which is shady in it’s own sense) and Pizza Hut has the right to terminate his employment but I think they will be on the hook for unemployment.

    I probably wouldn’t have made the same decision as he did but I still applaud him for doing so.

  • MF

    He stood up for his beliefs ??? Or just didn’t want to work on Thanksgivingakkuh…his choice–his consequences..
    Will I boycot Pizza Hut—No….Will it change my pizza purchases–no…

  • paul

    Holidays are called holidays for a reason. You give a company your all through the year. You should be entitled to have a life that’s why you work. A restaurant and hospital are different animals. I am sure the CEO is having a nice turkey dinner. Now I know to boycott pizza hut.

  • TJ

    To start I work on thanksgiving and don’t mind. My company gives me a large discount for doing so and holiday pay all while part-time. I will be home in time for the family meal so I can not complain. I think its like “if you build it they will come” “if you sell it they will buy” even on thanksgiving and 1 am the next morning. However taking a position in management and not accepting all that goes with it…well problem solved now. I agree with sean and likewise he may have great intentions but they do not out weigh the loss of his career. If I was pizza hut I would have not fired him but told him he was expected to work and to be safe send a market manager to inform the employees that they are responsible for their job and to show up. I would then follow up after the Holiday and anyone who failed to show up give them a write-up that puts them at risk for termination if they fail again. I understand what use to be but we live in 2013 (soon to be 2014) not the good ole days

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