Indianapolis News and HeadlinesIndianapolis Local News


O'Charley's employees in Indiana left with questions after sudden layoffs

O'Charley's in Noblesville told employees Sunday it was their last shift.
Posted at 10:32 PM, Aug 22, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-22 23:31:31-04

NOBLESVILLE— On Tuesday afternoon, the parking lot of O'Charley's in Noblesville is empty and the sign on the door reads permanently closed.

"That was my home," said an employee who didn't wish to be identified.

The former employee says they were notified on Sunday that it was their last night of work and the last night the restaurant would be opened.

He says about 50 people worked there.

"Pretty devastated been with them for quite a long time. I’ve pretty much gave them my everything. It became my second home and when people get evicted from their home they at least give them like 30 days notice. We were given less than 24 hours," said the employee.

O'Charley's also closed their Indiana locations in Avon and Lafayette.

In a statement from CEO W. Craig Barber he says,

“It is always a difficult decision to close a store but based on a variety of industry challenges and the macro-economic environment over the last few years, we closed these O’Charley’s locations as of August 21. 

 We sincerely appreciate our loyal guests who have visited us at this location while also being deeply grateful for the outstanding work of our operating team.  

 We encourage our customers to visit us at any of our other restaurants across the Midwest, including several in Indiana.”

"A lot of these chain restaurants go through a cycle where they’re successful for a while and then it just seems sort of a dated concept or they really struggle to maintain and so it’s not surprising to me that some are closing down," said Jay Anderson, an economist with IUPUI.

Restaurants aren't the only ones shutting down, just last week three central Indiana businesses announced closuresleaving 400 Hoosiers with out jobs. Anderson says it's not a cause for concern.

"I mean unemployment is still really low. Our numbers are really good, and I think for folks in restaurants the demand for those workers are still really high so hopefully they’ll make a pretty good transition and find other opportunities out there," said Anderson.

According to employees at O'Charley's, their last paycheck will come on Friday. They were given severance pay, but it's less than a weeks pay and they say it leaves them scrambling to pay bills.

"It’s pretty insulting. It does hurt, we’ve been told that it’s a business and this is what businesses do," said the employee.