A former pizza chef who served pizza and other baked goods at a chain restaurant in the U.S. has become the target of a campaign by a local pizza fan.
A petition on Change.org has attracted more than 7,000 signatures in the last week, asking that the restaurant “reopen” following a “troubling incident” at its flagship restaurant in New York City.
According to the petition, the pizza chain’s owners and franchisees “violated their own company policies” when they allowed a chef from the popular franchisee to work at the restaurant, which has locations in more than 150 countries.
It also asks for the company to be forced to “reconsider its corporate culture and practices.”
According to Change.com, the petition was launched on May 17 by “an American woman” and her father.
“We’re trying to do something, so that people understand the impact this has had on our family, our children and the families of other people who are in the same situation,” the petition reads.
“The pizza industry has always been about family and friendship, and that’s something that we all hold dear,” the woman, who asked to remain anonymous, told Reuters.
“It’s hard to find a job at a pizza restaurant and we’re hoping this petition will get people to take action and get us back on our feet,” she said.
“If it does, then I think this restaurant will be back to normal.
I’m not sure what will happen.”
The petition also asks that the company “immediately stop any and all discrimination against its franchisees and employees, and to make the necessary changes to the way the company treats its franchisee staff.”
The company, owned by Panera Bread, does not have a permanent location in New Yorker City.
Panera Bread opened its first U.N. headquarters in Washington in 2009.
In response to the backlash, Panera issued a statement saying it is “aware of the concern expressed about the incident and will work to improve our business practices.”
The restaurant chain, which operates in more the U, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand, did not respond to requests for comment.