Applebee’s Exec Fired After Saying High Gas Prices Strapping Employees Is a Plus


Wayne Pankratz, a top executive at Applebee’s in Missouri sent a callous email to his fellow executives. He wrote that high gas prices are a plus, as it straps the employees who live paycheck to paycheck.

The email, which was sent to executives at the franchise group that operates the Applebee’s, was later forwarded to the Lawrence store. The manager of the store, Jake Holcomb, received a copy of the email from a co-worker.

After seeing it, he gave everyone in the store their food for free and didn’t bother closing the store.

The email portrayed high gas prices and inflation as an opportunity for the company to rebuild its workforce and pay lower wages.

“Most of our employee base and potential employee base live paycheck to paycheck,” Pankratz wrote in the March 9 email. “Any increase in gas prices cuts into their disposable income. As inflation continues to climb and gas prices continue to go up, that means more hours employees will need to work to maintain their current level of living.”

“The labor market is about to turn in our favor,” the email continued.

Mr. Pankratz has since been fired.

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