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Winnipeggers continue to support Stella’s in wake of harassment claims

Winnipeggers are continuing to eat at Stella's after allegations of improper workplace behaviour came to light.
Winnipeggers are continuing to eat at Stella's after allegations of improper workplace behaviour came to light. Foodisbetter.com

In the days following allegations of harassment and inappropriate behaviour at the workplace by Stella’s employees, many regular customers say they are choosing to support the local chain.

“It makes me sad because I really like this establishment, and I like supporting local,” a woman who gave her name as Laura said Tuesday.

Laura has been a patron of Stella’s for years, and said she and her family enjoyed the food and the service — and they’ll continue to do so to support the staff making the allegations of improper treatment.

READ MORE: Top Stella’s executives placed on leave after accusations of toxic workplace culture

Late last week, an Instagram account voicing concerns about how staff are treated at the cafes went viral.

Since then, two top executives — the company’s CEO and its regional manager — have been placed on an “indefinite leave of absence.”

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“I feel sorry for the staff and I like what they’re doing — that they’re bringing in HR and that they’ve decided to put the two managers off for a while and see what they can do to make things better,” another customer said.

“You don’t want to see people suffering like they’ve been suffering — if that’s the truth.”

The woman, who declined to give her name, said she had thought of boycotting the restaurant, but ultimately decided against it.

“Initially I felt that way, and then you had to think about it when you realize that there’s people that are earning their living here,” she said.

READ MORE: ‘Not my Stella’s’: Former employees speak out about harassment allegations

“They don’t really need to be boycotted, and shortened staff is less money — it’s not fair,” the woman’s friend said.

“[This behaviour] happens everywhere. It happens in every retail or restaurant, yes it does.”

Another group of customers echoed the women’s thoughts, saying they were optimistic that a positive result for staff would be reached.

“We feel that it’s unfortunate but maybe they can change their outcome, treat their staff a little better,” one man said.

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WATCH: Former Stella’s employees ask popular Winnipeg chain for apology

Click to play video 'Stella’s executives on Leave of Absence' Stella’s executives on Leave of Absence
Stella’s executives on Leave of Absence