Popular grilled cheese spot closes after Global News story
WATCH ABOVE: A popular Kensington Market grilled cheese spot has temporarily shut down after a Global News story about allegations of corruption. Cindy Pom reports.
TORONTO – A popular grilled cheese spot in Toronto has temporarily closed after a Global News story revealed allegations of greasy business practices and improper payment.
A spokesperson for an investor behind The Grilled Cheese restaurant, who does not want to be named, confirmed the closure.
“He has seen the story on Global News, and now that this information has come to light for him, is in the process of reaching out to the employees and all concerned parties and will provide an update on how the situation will be rectified as quickly as possible,” said spokeswoman Theresa Micallef of tenfour Communications.
Since the Global News story originally aired Saturday, four more employees have come forward alleging owner Robbie Yuill paid them under the table, but didn’t always make good on the promise.
“We’re struggling just to pay our cellphone bills, rent, and eat. It’s just not fair,” said Rex Burton, who worked at the restaurant for two months in the spring.
Burton said after a few weeks on the job he started to not get paid and was owed $300.
When he inquired, Burton said a manager agreed to pay him but he alleges Yuill wanted the money back and sent him a text message late in the night that read: “Okay you little f*** you’re f***** that’s all I have to say. Uncle Jay Jays coming goodbye.”
“I was a bit intimidated,” said Burton, who alleged he returned the money to Yuill.
The Kensington grilled cheese spot opened in 2009 and has since garnered rave reviews online. But former employees, including a then-manager, allege the joint is improperly run.
“I had approached [Yuill] for a budget: what can I spend on food, what can I spend on staff? I was told these are things that aren’t important,” said Anna Costa who claimed she was never paid and that she is owed $800.
Costa said a group of employees is considering launching a complaint with the Ontario Ministry of Labour.
“A bundle of sticks is stronger than a single twig,” said Costa.
The Ministry confirmed to Global News it is already investigating complaints received from two people.
Even if the employees don’t end up receiving the wages that they claim they’re owed, they say it’s a lesson learned.
“If we can avoid this from happening to others, that’d be good,” said Burton.
Global News has made numerous attempts to contact Yuill. Voicemails, text messages, and emails have not been returned.
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