Shock 'eviction' leaves Yeppoon business owners heartbroken
A SHOCK eviction notice has devastated a beloved Yeppoon couple, whose franchise has become a pillar of their local community.
When Wendy's Yeppoon owners Linda and Michael Robinson heard rumours fellow Keppel Bay Plaza tenants were looking to relocate, they sought advice from their lawyer and regional manager before renewing a five-year lease.
The Robinsons claim they requested a month-to-month lease until Race Property Group, which took over centre management as of July 1, could provide information on whether foot traffic and sales had increased in the centre.
Weeks later, on Wednesday July 5, Race Property responded to their request with a "self-explanatory" letter, viewed by The Morning Bulletin.
Attached was a one months' notice to vacate the premises, and remove all fixture and fittings.
Only five minutes before Linda opened the email, it was business as usual; she had just ordered cake decorating supplies, brochures and written up the rosters for the 10 staff she would now have to tell had no job.
On Sunday, she was reduced to tears at the thought of losing the livelihood she and her husband had built up over 13 years on site.
Linda recalled how the couple had kept afloat during the economic downturn to pay their wage and keep on young, local employees.
Some have been with them for more than five years, others have just started their very first job.
The hardest part for Linda and Michael is now finding their employees a job, many of whom Linda has watched grow up from behind the counter.
She is also at a loss over what to do next; Linda is not one to sit still, and Michael is a quadriplegic who did the Wendy's bookwork from home.
"Sometimes the decision to close a business it taken out of the owners' hands and it's not for lack of trying or getting along," Linda said.
The couple made the regretful announcement their last day of trade will be July 21 on the Yeppoon Families Facebook page Saturday night.
Race Property Group were contacted for comment, but advised "due to the privacy negotiations going on with the lease, we would prefer not to comment at this stage".