Employees upset to learn of restaurant's closing

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LINCOLNTON, N.C. - A popular restaurant chain has closed one of its area locations.

Behind the shaded windows of the Ryan's Steakhouse in Lincolnton, there were employees who said they felt like they were being cast out by their company.

“They are all crying,” former employee Candice Cothran said.

“I think it's terrible,” former employee Linda Sloan said. “I think it's awful.”

Sloan, who worked at the restaurant for nine years, said employees were told to attend a mandatory meeting Wednesday morning. They were all told the restaurant is closed.

“Management didn't know anything either.  It was just a shock for everyone,” Sloan said.

Five months ago, the Ryan's in Gastonia stunned its employees with a similar closing.

Eyewitness News called the PR company for Ryan's to find out why the restaurant shut its doors. They said it was an underperforming restaurant and that the company believed the real estate was worth more than business.

They said employees were given severance packages based on tenure.   

“It took me two years to find this one. I been here almost two years,” former employee James Martin said. “Now I got to find something else.”

“It's a lot of stress knowing I have a son now,” former employee Jekila Edwards said.