Local residents and employees were surprised to hear of the closing of the popular restaurant, Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, early Monday morning. Trey Randle, former Cheddar’s employee, came to work ready for his shift, only to find the doors locked and the building being emptied of all equipment and furnishings.
“I showed up to work and there were cars I had never seen before in the parking lot, they were clearing out furniture and signs were all over the building saying the restaurant was closed,” Randle said. Randle attempted to enter the building to find out additional information, but the building was locked and the workers inside knew no details.
Randle indicated he received an email from his former Kitchen Manager Neil Gore, who he indicated he was as surprised to hear about the closure as Randle was. “We went from check stubs to pay cards about a month ago, but they (Gore) said in an email that we would still get paid this week,” Randle said.
Founded in 1979, the Texas-based chain Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen made its debut in Hattiesburg four years ago, serving local residents and visitors homemade, food at an affordable price. In its 2009 and 2012 surveys, Consumer Reports ranked Cheddar’s No. 1 in the Pub and Grill Style Category. They went on to win numerous awards, both for their food quality and pleasant atmosphere. A Technomic poll from 2014 revealed consumers would recommend Cheddar’s above all other food and liquor restaurant chains.
The corporate offices of Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen released the following statement:
“After four years in this location, we have made the difficult decision to close our Turtlecreek Crossing location due to its struggle to remain profitable. We appreciate the Hattiesburg community’s support through the years and as a token of gratitude, we are offering severance packages to team members based on tenure.” -David Reckner, Regional Vice President at Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen.
While locals will miss the familial ambiance and made-from-scratch meals, employees are left the most perplexed, wondering how to collect their paychecks and where they will work next.