An Applebee’s and Taco Bell franchise executive wrote in a leaked email that high gas prices would bring in new workers who won’t demand high wages


An executive at an AFC Brands, which owns 50 Applebee’s, said rising gas prices would bring in workers.The leaked email sparked backlash online and from corporate Applebee’s.”The labor market is about to turn in our favor,” he wrote .Sign up for our weekday newsletter, packed with original analysis, news, and trends — delivered right to your inbox.Loading Something is loading.

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An executive at American Franchise Capital, which owns 67 Taco Bell and 50 Applebee’s restaurants, said in a leaked email that rising gas prices would mean more applicants — and the opportunity to offer them lower wages.

“Most of our employee base and potential employee base live paycheck to paycheck.

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,” wrote Wayne Pankratz, who serves as the executive director of operations of American Franchise Capital, also known as AFC Brands, according to a seemingly deleted LinkedIn profile .

Pankratz added in the email that locations were “no longer competing with the government when it comes to hiring.Stimulus money is no more.”

“This benefits us as prices rise, people who we[re] relying on unemployment money, simply will have less money to spend.It will force people back into the workforce,” he wrote.

Pankratz’s email also noted that small businesses would also face rising costs and struggle to keep employees.”Some businesses will not be able to hold on.This is going to drive more potential employees into the hiring pool,” he wrote.

An AFC spokesperson told the Kansas City Star that the email does not match the company’s viewpoint.

In a statement to Insider, Applebee’s chief operations officer, Kevin Carroll, said:

“This is the opinion of an individual, not Applebee’s.We understand that the franchisee who owns and operates the restaurants in this market has placed the individual on leave.Our team members are the lifeblood of our restaurants, and our franchisees are always looking to reward and incentivize team members, new and current, to remain within the Applebee’s family.”

Multiple employees at an Applebee’s in Lawrence, Kansas, quit over the email, and the location was closed briefly Tuesday amid a walkout, according to the Lawrence Journal-World .

Jake Holcomb, one of the managers who quit, saw the email on Monday, distributed copies to employees, and posted it online, according to the paper.

Insider was not able to find a way to contact AFC for comment besides LinkedIn messages to its listed CFO, Mike Rummel and a call to a phone number listed online for the business (that apparently does not belong to the business).

Representatives for Taco Bell didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Scott Fischer, a spokesperson for Apple Central, which owns the Lawrence location and is owned by AFC Brands, per a hiring website , told the Lawrence Journal-World : “It is embarrassing.It really is,” he said.


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