Numerous employees of the once-hugely popular doughnut franchise Doughnut Time were notified on Friday evening that the company would be put into liquidation after a deal between owner Damian Griffiths and former CEO of the company Dan Strachotta allegedly fell through.
The company's internal message board erupted with confused and angry messages from employees, many of whom are owed weeks in wages. Doughnut Time's website has also been blanked.
On Monday afternoon staff were still confused about the future of the company and their employment after only being notified of the liquidation by word of mouth or text message from those higher in the company.
"Are we actually liquidated?" Chris Boucher asked BuzzFeed News. "There has been no [official, company-wide] post internally. Until we hear something official it's like ... is this really happening? Where is Dan [Strachotta]? Where is Damian [Griffiths]?"
Some staff received messages from area managers. Around 5pm on Friday, staff angrily reacted to a notification from the Melbourne manager that it would be Doughnut Time's last day of trading by putting up signs in the store's windows.
Some staff have been told the entire Doughnut Time company will go into liquidation — including the stores that Strachotta was set to take over.
"We will all no longer be employed by Doughnut Time as it has come to an end and there will be no new contracts for anyone as Dan [Strochotta] will not continue the company," wrote one manager in a message on the company's internal noticeboard.
On Friday a liquidator was appointed to wind up a number of companies linked to Doughnut Time.
"It's ridiculous," Sydney store worker Franka Deluca told BuzzFeed News. "No statement from anyone. Our Sydney manager doesn't talk to us or anyone else."
Launched in 2015, Doughnut Time once boasted over 30 storefronts across Australia and the UK and employed over 500 people, but it is that same massive expansion that owner Damian Griffiths blamed for the collapse of the business. "I guess I had too many big ideas and dreams," he said in a statement last week.
Following its collapse, employees from across Australia came forward claiming they were owed weeks in wages, documenting a months-long battle for pay.
Dan Strachotta did not respond to BuzzFeed News' requests for comment.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.