Wendy’s employees in Hannibal and Barry arrived for shifts and learned they didn’t have jobs

Quality Service

Wendy's on U.S. 61 in Hannibal is now closed. The sign falling off the building once read "Quality Service that Doesn't Cut Corners." | Megan Duncan

HANNIBAL, Mo. — When Abigail Conley arrived for her shift last Saturday as the night manager of the Wendy’s restaurant at 314 Highway 61 South, she was shocked to learn she no longer had a job.

Conley first discovered the news from other employees who arrived before her. It was then confirmed to her by the general manager.

“I walked in to do my 5 p.m.-to-midnight shift, and they just said we were closing,” Conley said. “I asked if they would be giving us a reason, and they said no.”

Conley estimated about 13 people were employed at the Hannibal Wendy’s.

The Wendy’s at 2 Cieten Plaza in Barry, Ill. also closed without notice. 

The Hannibal and Barry locations were owned by Coral Springs, Fla.-based Starboard Group, a major Wendy’s franchisee with leases for 72 restaurants in Florida, Alabama, Illinois, Wisconsin and Missouri. The Starboard group filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy November 2023. 

Although she never dreamed the business would close without notice, Conley said she saw writing on the wall when the company filed bankruptcy.

Starboard also has Subway, McAllister’s Deli and several other restaurant chains which were not involved in the bankruptcy filings, according to Nation’s Restaurant News. 

A phone representative at the Starboard Group, reached through a contact number listed on the company website, reported to Muddy River News that the Hannibal and Barry locations were listed online as “temporarily closed.” The phone representative did not have further information regarding either location.

Conley confirmed she was told by her general manager that the Hannibal location is permanently closed. Conley also said her general manager said she — and all other Wendy’s employees at that location — also were unaware of the sudden closure.

“(Starboard Group) really didn’t care about their employees,” Conley said, adding that her local general manager was great to work for.

Starboard Group is not the first chain restaurant owner to send local employees home without a job or advance warning.

Three chains closed in Quincy, Ill., in the same way — Ruby Tuesday in 2016, TGIF in 2014 and IHOP in January 2023. Employees of each business were notified when they came for their shift and found a note posted to the door.

Conley, who is married, said the jolt of losing her job brought immediate concern about paying her bills and caring for her animals. 

She already has accepted a management position at Dollar Tree in Hannibal.

Wendy’s drive-thru on Hwy 61 in Hannibal

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