Portland Ghost Kitchen Proprietor Tells Employees His Enterprise Will File for Individual bankruptcy
The owner of a “ghost kitchen” that advertises around 75 manufacturers on meals delivery apps and prepares foods in the previous Pok Pok constructing in Northwest Portland told his workers in a Saturday information that the company would be filing for personal bankruptcy this week.
John Wirtz wrote the adhering to to his employees on Sunday evening, a minor above two weeks right after WW wrote in a Dec. 15 story about his business enterprise and his 2018 felony conviction in Washington County of raping a 14-yr-previous female.
A previous employee shared a screenshot of the information with WW.
“For all of those people inquiring, I do not have any great solutions for you, future 7 days Homage Industrial Kitchen will be entering chapter 11 individual bankruptcy and restructuring,” Wirtz wrote. “Off this skeleton crew we will try out to operate the organization the best we can in January and ideally have some responses for its long term. If not the small business will enter into a liquidation faze in which all debts and liabilities will be taken care of.”
Wirtz added: “One of the issues this indicates is anyone that has organization assets or keys requires to switch them in as they will be registered into the court filings and require to be tracked.”
WW visited the storefront on Monday afternoon. A sign on the door go through “CLOSED.” A shipping and delivery driver knocked on the glass door, which was blocked by a stack of containers and boxes. A man sitting down at the counter within, who appeared to be the chief economic officer, Seth Thayres, yelled at him that it was closed.
(Thayres was a Salem cop for a number of yrs until eventually he was arrested and convicted of thieving in excess of $30,000 from corporations along with an accomplice. He fled to Florida quickly soon after currently being charged with an additional rash of crimes. He was sentenced to two a long time in jail, court docket documents present.)
WW knocked on the Pok Pok doorway, also. The person pointed at the signal and yelled, “Closed!” When WW knocked all over again, he yelled once more and threw up his fingers in exasperation.
Achieved for comment by WW, Wirtz available a assertion that read in element: “The intent of making [our company]…has been to add benefit to the local community in as beneficial a way as doable…and your actions and phrases have been incredibly hurtful not to me but [to] about 43 other superior persons that every time this receives drug up they have to clarify to their households and close friends I’m the variety of individual I am and striving to keep on to be rather than what occurred in my earlier.”
About the past two a long time, seven previous employees of Wirtz’s submitted grievances with the Oregon Bureau of Labor & Industries, alleging withheld paychecks, unpaid additional time, and stolen recommendations. All problems remained underneath investigation in mid-December.
When WW spoke to Wirtz in mid-December, he touted his enterprise design as “business by figures.” (He also claimed that Homage was producing the most food items of any ghost kitchen area in the overall environment.)
“Let’s say you have a new man or woman go on to DoorDash and they do not acknowledge any of the manufacturers,” Wirtz explained at the time. “If there are 10 manufacturers on there, and you personal five of them, you have a 50% prospect of them choosing you.”
He instructed WW that 85% of the menus for his models with very similar cuisines—say, Breakfast Burrito Fetish and Blessed Burrito Bowls—is equivalent.
The ghost kitchen area model rose to relevance when the pandemic shut down in-person eating in 2020. A lot like Wirtz, but on a nationwide scale, Miami-centered Reef Technologies capitalized on the burgeoning marketplace. But a current investigation by WW observed that Reef’s footprint in Portland is quickly shrinking.
Some of Wirtz’s 70 manufacturers outlined on apps like Grubhub and DoorDash on Monday afternoon ended up outlined as quickly shut. The profile for a person of those makes on DoorDash, Panini Dreamin’, stated that it was not accepting orders “due to substantial need.”