Breaking News
More () »

'It's a Modesto institution' | Marie Callender's abruptly closes 19 locations

Customers showed up on Monday morning to find a sign on the front door that the restaurant was closed for good and employees should not report to work.

MODESTO, Calif. — A Modesto staple has closed their doors for good after more than 30 years.

Marie Callender's Restaurant & Bakery abruptly closed on Monday morning without giving any notice to its employees or customers.

"It's a Modesto institution. It's a family institution. It's sad that it's gone," said Eric Humphreys, a regular customer.

Customers showed up to find a sign on the front door that said the restaurant was closed for good. Employees were told not to show up for work.

ABC10 found high chairs that had been thrown into the dumpster and old baking racks were being packed up outside of the popular restaurant. 

"I don't think they took into consideration that they're dealing with people whose livelihoods are tied up in this restaurant. You don't just call them up and say 'Don't come to work.' That's very unethical," said Marylou Swartz, a regular customer.

According to a release, the restaurant's parent company filed for bankruptcy, forcing what they are calling a "restructuring" of the business. They're shutting down 19 Marie Callender's restaurants and 10 Perkins restaurants across the country.

Because of that local restaurants like the Modesto Texas Roadhouse, are stepping in with hopes of helping dozens of experienced workers now out of a job.

"We'd love to try to help these people out that are probably trying to provide for their families and themselves," said Tom Chandly, a managing partner of the Modesto Texas Roadhouse on Sisk Road.

Chandly is encouraging laid off employees from Marie Callender's to apply online here and come in to drop off a resume.

Stanislaus County offers a Dislocated Worker Program for all affected employees, which allows their Workforce Development Department to provide resources like emergency funding.

A spokesperson for Stanislaus County said Workforce Development can also connect employees to state benefits, help with updating their resumes, offer interview skills training, assistance finding another job and walk people through the process of applying online for unemployment benefits.

WATCH ALSO: Dressbarn closure announcement adds to string of empty buildings in Modesto