Stella’s Café and Bakery terminates regional manager

CTV Winnipeg
Published Thursday, December 6, 2018 8:20AM CST
Last Updated Saturday, December 15, 2018 3:20PM CST

Stella’s Café and Bakery announced on Saturday that regional manager Brad Burrows has been fired from the chain.

This announcement comes 10 days after vice-president Grant Anderson was let go from the restaurant. Both men had been put on temporary leave on Nov. 12 pending an investigation into complaints against the restuarant that were posted online.

On Saturday the restaurants owners, Tore Sohlberg and Lehla Abreder, released a statement saying that People First HR Services completed a four-week review into the restaurant’s workplace. They note that a number of methods were used to gain information, including reviewing documents, and interacting and interviewing current and former employees. The process also included an on-site human resources consultant at each Stella’s location for a week, respectful workplace training for over 400 managers and staff and a 24-hour voicemail and email contact channels for current and former staff. During the workplace training, staff were also able to give feedback to help with the direction of a new Respectful Workplace Policy.

The news release says during the review, people reported incidents that had been carried out by co-workers and managers “that caused a negative impact,” and that a number of these incidents involved managers and executives who no longer work with the restaurant.

The owners also noted that they need to pay attention to establishing an enhanced process for handling confidential complaints; insufficient leadership and operational policy training; creating clearer guidelines for tip-out, breaks and shift trading; and inconsistent, decentralized communications.

Following the review, Sohlberg and Abreder said the chain is now:

– Establishing an HR department that reports to the owners;

– Implementing policy revisions;

– Conducting regular operational training with supervisors and managers;

– Developing a leadership training program;

– Redesigning restaurant assessment processes;

– Establishing an employee culture committee that liaises with the owners.

Last month, claims surfaced on an Instagram account called @Notmystellas. The group was created by a group of current and former employees to draw attention to what posters described as a toxic work environment at the Manitoba restaurant chain. The account gained the support of thousands, putting pressure of the chain to make changes.