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Our industry is very familiar with the challenge of garnering sustained support from the hourly ranks. This story below out of Arizona is pretty notable. Partly for the reaction by the staff at the firing of their manager. But if you look further into the story that broke today, there have been volumes of online comments in less than 24-hours. It could be staging for a perilous PR nightmare.Any thoughts?PaulWorkers Walk Out After Buca di Beppo Manager FiredWhen an executive of the Italian restaurant chain Buca Di Beppo fired JoeBusone, the longtime manager of a Phoenix location, seven servers and thehostess walked off the job at the height of the dinner hour, forcing therestaurant to close for the night.Luci Scott - The Arizona Republic - Oct. 9, 2008http://www.azcentral.com/community/ahwatukee/articles/2008/10/09/20081009cr-fire\dmanager1009-ON.htmlWhen an executive of the Italian restaurant chain Buca Di Beppo fired JoeBusone, the longtime manager of the Chandler location, he might as well havefired much of the rest of the staff.In an act of loyalty, seven servers and the hostess walked off the job late lastmonth at the height of the dinner hour, forcing the restaurant to close for thenight.The dismissal might have chased away for good some loyal customers as well.Busone, 53, had been the manager at Buca Di Beppo at Ray and Priest roads foreight years, and he had built a reputation as someone generous to communitygroups and loved by his staff.Greg Geryak, who owns an insurance agency in Ahwatukee, had organized an annualdinner for the Ahwatukee Kiwanis Club at the restaurant. Forty people showed upfor the 6 o'clock reservation.Shortly after, Geryak said, "Joe saw me, gave me a hug and walked out the door.Five minutes later, I heard he was fired. Then . . . the three guys that weregoing to take care of my party walked out."The group received their dinner, at a reduced rate, but Geryak said it wasn't upto Buca standards. The salad was soggy, drinks were slow in arriving and Geryakhad to get up to refill water glasses himself. Desserts were so slow that anumber of the group had left by the time they arrived.Geryak was so incensed at Busone's firing that he wrote an e-mail to PlanetHollywood, which recently bought the Buca chain."People do business with people they like and trust, and we have lost that trustin your restaurant after a very rash decision your company made on Sept. 23,"Geryak wrote.He went on to praise Busone."Joe's commitment to his community was extraordinary," he wrote. "His attitudetoward helping others is a sound business decision that benefited everyoneinvolved, including Buca."Busone has donated food or gift cards for fundraising drawings to a number oforganizations, including VFW, Cub Scouts, Chandler High School, Desert VistaHigh School, the Corona Del Sol football team, Valley Christian High School,Chances for Children, a number of parochial schools, and Tri-City JewishCommunity Center.Busone also has donated free food to the Festival of Lights Wine Tasting and toKyrene Sierra Elementary School.He has helped raise money for breast cancer research. Last year, Buca was thesite of a fundraising dinner for participants in the three-day walk that raisesmoney for breast cancer research. Busone charged a nominal fee for dinner, whichcovered only part of his cost. This spring, he donated six big pans of lasagnato a dinner in Chandler for breast cancer survivors."Your organization has lost a great leader in Joe Busone," Geryak wrote."I . . . will inform my entire circle of influence that we will not be dining inBuca or any other restaurant owned by Planet Hollywood again."Geryak received no response from Planet Hollywood.(GO TO LINK ABOVE FOR COMPLETE ARTICLE)

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