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Lynn's has closed!

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Re: Lynn's has closed!

Postby Robin Garr » Sun Jan 13, 2013 4:14 pm

Mark Gilley wrote:sorry to be another "social media terrorist", but i heard that they have security on premesis to stop people from taking photos and/or video. anyone else hear or see this? seems extreme but, giving some of the accusations regarding a certain persons ego, not entirely unlikely.

Photography in a public place is not a crime, and I believe LMPD understands that. If this report is factual, I'd like to know about it, and would consider heading over that way with a vidcam and my Nikon as soon as the frappin rain quits.
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Re: Lynn's has closed!

Postby Dan Thomas » Sun Jan 13, 2013 4:19 pm

Here's my take on the whole thing. Yes, the mob mentality can be a little disconcerting when it's based mostly on rumors and hearsay.
But I have known more than a few people over the years who were employed at LPC and none have had anything positive about working there. I chose not to patronize the place mostly because of stories I have heard about the state of kitchen sanitation there. And most of us in the Bizz were perfectly aware of the practices that took place there that seemed to lead to a perpetual plea for workers on the Craigslist Help Wanted page.

I've read through a lot of the comments on various other outlets and none that I have seen (except for the occasional Tea Party zealot who blames the closing on unions and Obamacare) have been in support of Lynn, Patty or any other manager there. Certainly it could't be as bad as everyone says right?
But it doesn't seem that any one of her current or former employees has come running to the defense of how the place was managed or how wonderful a person Lynn is.

To perhaps gain some insight, I just went back and read the Nov. edition of Louisville Magazine interview with Ms. Winters and came away with the conclusion that what ever passion she may have once had about running a successful foodservice operation had been replaced with contempt for her vendors and little thought about her staff. The article made her seem, well to be honest, kind of like a wing-nut.

It makes me harken back to this summer when a certain local chef was unsuccessfully tried by some in the local media to be painted as a hard drug pusher. Several in the foodservice community, and former employees(myself included) came to the defense and testified publicly to the character of someone being presented through an obvious media smear to sour the reputation of someone who has given much back to this community through personal donations of time and money to various causes over the years.
The only contributions to the community that I can ever remember coming from Lynn's over the years are ugly lamps at the fair and $15 French Toast. :roll:
Just my .02
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Re: Lynn's has closed!

Postby Amy B » Sun Jan 13, 2013 5:16 pm

Doug Davis wrote:Someone posted this information in a comments section about LPC. As I said its a rumor/allegation. I assume it must be fairly easy to verify one way or the other though by speaking with some of their servers.


I finally found the post in question. I do not know whether that is true or not. I have not heard anything through the grapevine, so who knows.

Dan Thomas wrote:To perhaps gain some insight, I just went back and read the Nov. edition of Louisville Magazine interview with Ms. Winters and came away with the conclusion that what ever passion she may have once had about running a successful foodservice operation had been replaced with contempt for her vendors and little thought about her staff. The article made her seem, well to be honest, kind of like a wing-nut.


I read that article last night and I basically thought the same thing. I'm sorry, but if I was a nationally known business woman that owned my own restaurant, I would not be cussing during an interview that will be available in print and online for all to see. Don't get me wrong, I cuss a lot too, but I also known when to bite my tongue. I find it very rude and unprofessional.

My two cents as well. One employee speaking up is the norm. You will always have that one employee that disagrees with the way things were done. However, reading comment after comment of former and current employees (not just a few either) all complaining about Lynn and the management is something that shouldn't be swept under the rug. All their stories sang the same tune and this is just those that did have the guts to speak up. Wonder how many more there are. I didn't see many comments defending Lynn either. After reading Lynn's interview in Louisville Mag., it brings things back to perspective. Many of those that spoke up, spoke of Lynn's cussing them out, bringing them to tears. Reading that article pretty much summed that up. I don't think anyone wanted Lynn's to close, they just wanted change. Lynn seems like she didn't want to receive negative feedback on the new policies. It was her way or no way. Now that she abruptly closed up hours after Wave 3 did a story on it just seems way way to suspicious. If she did no wrongdoings, you would think she would stand up and deny allegations. Maybe she just doesn't care anymore and wants to move on. There are still too many unanswered questions.

I will admit, I was one of those that almost fell for their craigslist ads but something didn't sit right with me. It wasn't the fact that there were so many postings, it was what she had put in the bottom about her having some psych degree and an anti-bullying policy in place. That was a red flag to me. I was wondering why that seemed more important then the actual position they had open. So glad I decided not to apply as I had no clue about what really was going on. No one warned me and I know I wouldn't have lasted a week there. After 20 years of working, I refuse to tolerate belittlement from management, messing with my pay and schedule. Seems like Lynn was doing just that to her employees from what I've read.
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Re: Lynn's has closed!

Postby Antonia L » Sun Jan 13, 2013 6:24 pm

Nicely written post, Amy. Hope we hear more of your perspective.
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Re: Lynn's has closed!

Postby Mark R. » Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:02 pm

Steve A wrote:...Employers with fewer than 50 employees are exempt from new employer responsibility policies (source). This means they aren't required to offer health insurance, though they will receive a tax credit if they do.
(source).

this is a known fact however I'm sure Lynn's as well as many other restaurants have over 50 employees. That's not really that many people when you consider all the positions they have on staff.
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Re: Lynn's has closed!

Postby Nimbus Couzin » Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:39 pm

I can't speak to the particulars of the employee situation. But I can summarize my impression and reaction in a few words:

Overpriced tourist food. Good riddance.

Sorry for the employees who abruptly lost their jobs. That sucks.
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Re: Lynn's has closed!

Postby Doug Davis » Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:56 pm

RonnieD wrote: but I find it difficult to believe that security at the restaurant was necessary. What was "the enraged public" going to do? Attack innocent customers and employees? What would their end game be? Burn down the restaurant? Is this the Middle Ages?


Carla G wrote:I apologize Doug for not being more specific in my response. I think it is obvious LPC utilized a policy as described in previous postings. What I had a very hard time believing was that the public was so up in arms that police protection or some sort of additional security was necessary to escort diners out to their cars.


Yeah the excuse that they hired security because the public was so up in arms they were converging on LPC with torches and pitchforks smells like Grade A fresh grass fed, free range, bull poop to me as well. I mean its strange isnt it that not a single local news station caught any of these vigilante mobs or even any word of said mobs mobilizing for a demonstration.

What could have been a simply remedied non-story, "Oops our bad. Upon further review and in talks with our awesome staff we have rescinded/changed/revoked our bank policy. It was a policy made in earnest to benefit all of our amazing hardworking staff, but wasnt as well though out as it should have been. Lynn's Paradise Cafe regrets the error and we look forward to continuing to be a part of the Louisville local scene for a long time to come!"

Has become a drama filled train wreck worthy of making popcorn and watching as it unfolds. This is why you hire a PR firm. We need a popcorn smiley for the forum Robin.
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Re: Lynn's has closed!

Postby Robin Garr » Sun Jan 13, 2013 10:56 pm

Doug Davis wrote:We need a popcorn smiley for the forum Robin.

Here's a start! Someone who knows more PhpBB than I do is going to have to iconize it, though ...
Popcorn4.jpg
Get the popcorn!
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Re: Lynn's has closed!

Postby Jason H » Mon Jan 14, 2013 1:51 pm

It is sad that Lynn's has come to this, but lets be honest for one moment. A restaurant does not close because of issues with it's staff. Lynn may have not been the easiest to work for. Just look at the last six months there was a dramatic turnover in the wait staff. The only reason it closed could have been due to something far worse (i.e. tax problems/financial problems). This is usually the case with popular establishments. There is no ply or game being played. Its a matter of an owner who did something wrong and does not want to get caught.
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Re: Lynn's has closed!

Postby Gary Z » Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:49 pm

Alright, now this Lynn's thing is really on my nerves.

My girlfriend has been actively searching for a job for the last two weeks. Today she was on the phone following up on some applications she put in last week when she got this response from a local chain:

"Well, we're really not hiring right now and to be completely honest if we were we would give top priority to the servers from Lynn's Paradise Cafe."

A noble sentiment. Unless you're better qualified.
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Re: Lynn's has closed!

Postby Dan Thomas » Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:41 pm

An interesting take from a former back of the house employee at Lynn's gleaned from the "SAVE Lynn's Paradise Cafe" Facebook page. I post it only because I have heard similar stories from others who have worked there. Disclaimer, it it very long but worth a read if you have been following this story. It is an eye opener to some of the inner workings.

I am a chef and I worked at Lynn's for a very brief period. This my entire experience. Please read it before you consider deleting it. It's lengthy, but it will give you an idea of what LPC was really all about.

The place was a tyrannical circus. Every person there, except maybe those in upper management, walked around on egg shells waiting to be fired for something trivial. I always thought it was funny that she claimed her restaurant to be a "zero tolerance, harassment free work place", when in reality it was without a doubt the most stressful and hostile work environment I have ever set foot in.

I was hired, supposedly for a kitchen management position. Lynn told me that for the first 30 days I would be working hot prep and getting accustomed to the way they did business (fine), and after around the 30 day mark, I would assume my roll as a kitchen manager.

I was very excited about the opportunity because I had been out of a job for awhile, and was in desperate need of a way to support myself. I immediately moved from Shelbyville KY to the Highlands to start work. This was a horrible inconvenience, but I was acting on Lynn's word and hated the idea of driving back and forth for the entire month. I couch surfed at a friends house waiting to get my first pay check.

The first day I started work, I was cautioned by nearly every employee in the kitchen, especially my trainer to "never let my guard down and always cover my ass." He then pointed to the ceiling where I observed a CCTV camera directly positioned above our work station. He said and I quote "They are always watching us. One mistake and your gone." I said "You've got to be kidding me." "No sir, I've seen it happen time and time again" he said. "They fire people around here everyday for nothin." Wow, what a way to start a new job right? As the week went on, the horror story continued to unfold.

On my third day of employment, I was pulled into the office and told that the position I had been hired for HAD BEEN FILLED BY ANOTHER CANDIDATE, but not just any candidate, it was a SERVER who was FRIENDS WITH LYNN who had little or no kitchen experience. Evidently, even though she had never run a commercial kitchen, they thought she had the right "demeanor" to be a manager. I was floored, sickened, and angry. I should have walked out right then, but, I was in a terrible position financially at that time, had no car, and was sleeping on my friends couch in hopes of a new job prospect.

"Do you want to continue on working in hot prep, and maybe at some point in the future have the opportunity to work your way into management?" I was asked by PATTY (she is/was Lynn's spokesperson for hard conversations). "Not really" I thought to myself, but then again, considering my current circumstances, I really had no choice. "Are you sure you just didn't need someone with a ton of experience to run your hot prep station?" I said half jokingly (this was EXACTLY the case). Evidently Patty didn't find that very funny. I was excused from the office, and I back about my menial tasks knowing I had been duped.

I went back to my trainer and explained to him what happened. He laughed and said I wasn't the first it had happened to. Wow, was a fantastic recruiting process. Lure experienced chefs in with the promise of a cushy management job, and then demote them on the spot to the position you were trying to fill. Classic.

A week passed and I continued on in the throws of misery until Lynn herself finally approached me. "Even though you wont be part of the management team, I do recognize a good chef when I see one" she said. If you have any thoughts on our menu, or you have any "dish ideas" you would like to bring to the table, I would love to hear them. Ok, got a little confidence back now. I don't know a chef on earth, who doesn't mind having his ego stroked from time to time. Do I have menu idea's? Are you kidding lady? I walk around with a notebook in my pocket full of recipes. I'm constantly thinking about food, having new ideas, and coming up with my own dishes...that's what a chef does. We OBSESS about food.

I foolishly think to myself that there may be hope yet. Surely after she tastes my food, she will reconsider her mistake and place me in a proper position. I begin planning. I review her menu and come up with three or four new ideas that fit the bill exactly. I approach Lynn with these ideas, and she immediately wants me to cook my dishes and present them to her "management team" for review.

The next day I arrive early. I shop for my ingredients and come back to the restaurant to begin cooking my food. My trainer asks what am I doing? I tell him that Lynn is interested in tasting some of my food, and will be reviewing it for a possible menu addition. Again he laughs. "That's a bad idea man. She's done that before too. She'll take that recipe and all the credit that goes with it. If you were smart, you'd just hang your head and do your work like me." Well, I should have seen that coming. My heart sunk. Obviously she was a little tyrannical in her treatment of employees, and her hiring process was a complete and total lie, but surely she didn't STEAL ideas from her workers as well?

I cooked my food. The management team LOVED it...ALL OF IT. I was called in on the carpet in front of them, where they proceeded to tell me how amazing I was. "Now, just write all those recipes down for me, and get them to me ASAP." I went back to work with my head spinning. The rest of the day I poked around, asking questions that others probably should have. I was regaled with horror stories of chefs who had been treated the same as me. Men and women who had come to work for this woman. They were lied to, promised things, and had their creativity OUTRIGHT STOLEN. As I left the building that evening, I was reminded by a manager to get those recipes to them via email as soon as I got home. I never sent that email.

The next day I was immediately pulled into the office by Patty. I thought I was in for more praise...boy was I wrong. She told me that SHE HAD BEEN WATCHING ME ALL DAY YESTERDAY, and at one point, I poured pepper into my hand to add to a dish, instead of measuring it with a spoon. This was while I was COOKING MY RECIPES mind you. She told me that it was a terminable offense, and that if I did ANYTHING else wrong...I was gone. Talk about a hostile work environment. I'm a chef. I've been doing this for years. I can measure a tablespoon of ANYTHING in my sleep without a spoon. Of course, Lynn was always VERY particular about "her" recipes being followed to a tee. I can't imagine why.
I laughed at her and walked out of the office. I didn't go back in the next day. I didn't send her my recipes. I was forced away angry, sickened, and mistreated...like hundreds of others.

When payday came I showed back up to get my check. I was broken, not a dollar to my name. Big shock there was no check to be found. They called downstairs to Patty, who coldly informed me that she had mailed it. She also told me that was "policy", that former employees "were not to be allowed on the property." She then told me that if I came back, even to eat or spend money, that I would be asked to leave or removed. I told her that was the most ridiculous thing I had ever heard, and that it WAS BLATANTLY HOSTILE AND INEXCUSABLE. I threatened legal action against them...she hung up the phone.

The short two weeks I spent working for Lynn taught me A LOT about running a restaurant. Most importantly, it taught me how NOT to treat my employees. Of 14 years migrating in and out of various commercial kitchens, I can say my time spent with Lynn was without a doubt MY SINGLE WORST EMPLOYMENT EXPERIENCE. She built an empire on the backs of talented people, tossing them aside when she had taken all she needed. And now that she has made all of the money, she closes up shop and leaves everyone out in the cold..it is a terrible, sad situation. This page is disrespectful to those who suffered under her management, and to those who are suffering now because of her lies and actions. Please, I implore you to take it down...or don't. What do I know? I'm just a pissed off guy with a sauce pan.
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Re: Lynn's has closed!

Postby Joel F » Mon Jan 14, 2013 9:19 pm

During a brief off-camera conversation Sunday with a WDRB News reporter, Patty Schnatter would not name the reasons for the closure other than to say it was "personnel" related. Schnatter said of the restaurant's 22-year history: "it was a good run."

She added that the closure had nothing to do with a recent controversial policy that required servers to carry $100 cash to tip out other co-workers. After 22 years in business, Lynn's Paradise Cafe closed unexpectedly Friday. Schnatter said Sunday that owner Lynn Winter was unavailable for an on-camera interview. Schnatter also declined a request to speak on camera.


http://www.wdrb.com/story/20576832/four ... adise-cafe
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Re: Lynn's has closed!

Postby Robin Garr » Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:25 am

Patty Schnatter

I've been meaning to ask. Does anyone know if she is related to "Papa" John?
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Re: Lynn's has closed!

Postby RonnieD » Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:33 am

The more this story unfolds, the less shady it all seems... :shock:
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Re: Lynn's has closed!

Postby Carla G » Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:22 am

As completely outrageous as Dan's story is, I have heard very similar things from others that worked in the kitchen at LPC.
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