Some Ippolito’s Employees Still Waiting to Be Paid

The Hamilton Mill Ippolito’s closed on March 20, but some employees have not yet been paid. Owner said issue will be resolved soon.

Not only is Brad Supic out of a job, he has yet to be paid for time worked at his last place of employment.

Supic, along with other employees of the . Supic learned of the closing when he arrived to work his scheduled shift.

“I showed up for work on Thursday (March 22) at five o’clock and no one was there,” he said.

Supic said no one called to tell him not to report for work and he had no idea the restaurant was going to close. While losing his job was bad enough, worse news came shortly thereafter.

The last paycheck Supic received from Ippolito’s bounced, he said. As a result, the bank assessed a $20 fee against his account. Now, three weeks later, Supic still has not been paid and has been unable to reach anyone with Ippolito’s to resolve the issue.

“I heard it happened to a bunch of people,” he said.

Like Supic, another Ippolito’s employee, who asked that her name be withheld, was also surprised by the store closing.

“[The owner] told all of us that we weren’t closing and we were fine,” she said. That conversation, she recalled, took place approximately a month and a half before the restaurant closed.

Now, like Supic, she is waiting on her final paycheck but said she received a call Monday, April 9, from Hamilton Mill Ippolito’s owner Frank Genovese indicating all employees would be paid within the next 24 to 48 hours -- a claim Genovese later repeated to Dacula Patch.

Genovese admitted there was some “confusion” related to the last payroll, but said he is working to resolve the issue with the affected employees.

“Unfortunately, the store was not doing well at all,” he said. According to Genovese, most of the employees were aware of the situation and were not taken by surprise when the store closed. Genovese said he personally called “almost everybody” the day the restaurant closed and advised the employees their paychecks might be delayed.

“The reason why you close a store, you know, is because there’s no money there to keep it open,” Genovese explained.

That situation, he said, led to difficulties with the final payroll.

“What happened was -- there was a huge confusion about the last payroll that was being sent in,” he said. Genovese said there were some people that did not receive pay for the five or six days of the last payroll period.

“Since then, 90 percent of those people have been paid in full and as checks are coming in from the rest of the stuff that was returned from the restaurant, the rest of those people will be paid also,” he said.

Genovese said in all the years that Ippolito’s has been in business, something like this has never happened.

“As far as the employees go, we have taken care of, like I said, pretty much 90 percent of them, and the other 10 percent within the next week or so will be taken care of also,” he added. “It’s really not a story of not paying people, it’s just a miscalculation of payroll.”

Genovese estimates that roughly a half-dozen employees have not yet received pay.

“Everything is being taken care of with the employees,” he emphasized.

Ippolito’s owner George Ippolito is saddened by the events at the Hamilton Mill restaurant and said the situation is not indicative of that at other Ippolito’s locations.

“We take great pride in our employees and our customers,” he said.

Ippolito had high praise for other Gwinnett Ippolito’s franchise owners including Dan Smith and Dick Cunningham, who own stakes in the Norcross and Suwanee locations.

“Our family is very sorry to say we did have a location in the Hamilton Mill area owned solely by Mr. Frank Genovese who was in business for approximately a year and a half,” Ippolito said.

Ippolito said he knew the Hamilton Mill location was struggling, but had no idea Genovese was planning to close the restaurant.

“I was aware that he had financial problems and was trying to rectify them,” he said.

Now Ippolito is dealing with some of those problems.

Ippolito said he, Smith and Cunningham have paid money to some employees who came to the Norcross and Suwanee locations seeking unpaid wages. Ippolito encouraged employees who have not been paid to contact Ippolito’s corporate offices.

“For our reputation and our name being in business for 24 years, it’s hard to have an individual like Mr. Genovese do what he has done and not take care of his employees,” Ippolito said.

“We take care of our employees,” Ippolito explained. “They’re like family to us and for this to happen -- it’s our reputation at stake.”

The Hamilton Mill Ippolito’s was one of seven metro Atlanta Ippolito’s locations. The company also operates restaurants in Suwanee, Alpharetta, Norcross, Roswell, Kennesaw and Sandy Springs.

Dacula Momma April 10, 2012 at 11:47 AM
These employees need to file a complaint with the Wage and Hour department of the DOL...I work in HR and what Ippolitos is doing is illegal.
Barbara April 10, 2012 at 01:28 PM
I too worked for a restaurant that closed without notice...it wasn't really that shocking of news when I showed up to work and a note was on the door stating that they had to close business due to the financial struggles. I noticed the decrease in business with the economic downturn...my usual customers weren't coming in as often as they use too. My paycheck was returned and I didn't receive my final pay, but as a server my check wasn't much anyway after tips are taxed, a few dollars at most. I love the way media plays up the hardships of small businesses. Its unfortante when any local small business has to close, they have so much more at stake: loans, leases, payroll, and vendors, its all onthe individual. The owner should make every effort to make right with the employees. The media however should do a story on the economic conditions as well and speak to other local restaurant owners to see how business is going, how much business is down, or how the customers that frequent most restaurants have coupons...as everyone is trying to save money or get a deal. Look at your own financial situation....do you find yourself cutting out your eating out budget when gas prices rise? do you share/split meals instead of each person ordering an entree? Many many people do these day, it's becoming the norm! ..it happens everyday. Numerous people are laid off and businesses closed, some are due to mismanagement, some do to the economy and many more because of both.
GEM April 10, 2012 at 02:40 PM
Okay, how many of us waited for tables at this restaurant? Lots! I think the business slowed down due to the inspections reports ...didn't this location fail 3 times? I understand one low score. Management gets in there and addresses the problem and fixes it. But, two or three times? Come on! This is a wonderful location for a vibrant well run restaurant. There are plenty of patrons just waiting!
Ray Stanjevich April 10, 2012 at 07:13 PM
There are multiple reasons why a business closes. I can't believe that it was just one reason. As for me, I would give the owner of the Ippolito's franchise the benefit of the doubt. Obviously he has already paid 90% of the staff what he owed them. I doubt that we would stiff the other 10%. This owner has lost his shirt in this business. I say just give him time to contact the unpaid employees and paid them the wages he owes them.
Ray Stanjevich April 10, 2012 at 07:15 PM
I meant to say "he" and not "we". I have nothing to do with their business.
Annonymous April 10, 2012 at 10:49 PM
ACtually, everything Frank told the Patch is a complete lie. He never called a single employee, instead he asked his two managers to do his dirty work. There was not a payroll issue with final checks, Frank told the Manager who does payroll not to process it, because there was no money. Instead of taking care of his employees, Frank took a vacation to Puerto Rico. Funny....all the cash in the bar drawers and petty cash was gone the day after Frank decided to close his restaurant. Wonder where that went? It certainly did not go to his employees. He's a snake and a liar. Please, do not give this man the benefit of the doubt, he does not deserve it.
Ray Stanjevich April 11, 2012 at 01:41 PM
Wow! Unbeliavable! I guess I'm just naive in thinking that the owner was telling the truth when he was interviewed...
One of Frank's employees April 12, 2012 at 03:03 PM
I just wanna say this..........you never, ever know what someone is going through unless you have walked in their shoes. It is easy to pass judgment on someone based on what you may think is going on. Be very careful of judgment. God says He will judge you based on how you judge someone else. It is never, ever an easy thing to close down a business that you put your blood, sweat and tears into. Do any of you think this was an easy thing to do? I understand that things were said and people are owed money........this is a legitimate concern. Judging someone's character based on this is simply not fair. I have personally know Frank Genovese for over 18 years. 18 years is a long time. I feel I am qualified to testify of his character. He is a GOOD man. He is a Godly man. He cares about people. I have worked for him for many,many years and he has always been a good and fair businessman and a wonderful employer. God knows he didn't ask for any of this but this unfortunately is what things have come to. I ask all of you to be patient. He will make good on his promises. His intentions are honorable. Find it in your heart to cut this man some slack. You never know when one of you might need it one day.
Pasta Man April 13, 2012 at 09:32 PM
Guys need to chill out. Its funny how I have personally seen frank being a very smooth and chilled out boss. Now all of a sudden, he is a bad guy. Come on guys, Chill out..... You all employees know Frank treated you like family, at least me as a customer saw it like that. Now man up and give the love back guys..... Stop complaining and move on. The business is done stop drilling for oil where there is non............ Just my 2 cents ....... Hope this economy turns around.......
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew April 13, 2012 at 10:33 PM
Since the owner had managers break the news, he took action in business speak because thats one of the manager's duties. Perhaps those who know the former owner can comment on the validity of the vacation trip comment. It may very well be FALSE, but if those who worked for wages were left hanging, a trip would be hard to swallow...
jane April 14, 2012 at 02:46 AM
He did go on vacation. And the story is true. He is a sorry excuse for a man who couldn't keep his hands off his cute employees. It was disgusting. Godly..... When?
Dont Be So Ignorant April 15, 2012 at 02:22 AM
Why do you peole think a business closes? Because the owner wants to go bankrupt and leave his employees hanging? Come on people, don't be so ignorant. If you TRULY know Frank Genovese, then you know these comments are inaccurate. Whatever reasons were given for the employees not being paid, is the bottom line not the same...the restaurant closed because there was no money, so how do you expect to be paid? It's really quite simple, we aren't talking rocket science here. But, he is indeed a man of integrity & always treated his employees with kindness. Maybe some of these employees need to stop being so selfish. You can't milk a dried-up cow. What were you really making an hour there anyways? If you were waiting tables, probably just enough to cover what you owe in taxes. Give the man some time to make good. As for his escape to Puerto Rico, get your facts straight. He was in Jamaica and he didn't spend a dime of his money on the trip. It was gift from someone for the man's 60th birthday and once the restaurant was closed and it was handed over to lawyers to handle, why not let the man get away? Do you not think his life has probably been a living hell for the past year knowing his business was going under? Lastly, if his managers were left to inform employees of the store closing, so be it. Is that not something management can handle? Alot of you people need to ask for forgiveness in your hearts. We arent on this earth to spend our time judging others.
Dont Be So Ignorant April 15, 2012 at 02:28 AM
If you aren't the owner, then what right do you have to knowing what was done with the "bar" and "petty" cash? Seriously...don't think you know where it went now do you? And it sure as hell didn't belong to you. If you think a restaurant closes and doesn't have larger bills and bigger fish to fry than to pay an unhappy employee the likely $100 you probably make a week because you don't have and education or a real job, than you just proved your stupidity!
mr.j April 15, 2012 at 11:18 PM
Oh because jamacia is so much better. And why would you stand up for this man. And honestly I am not a scorned former employee. But he is a shaddy man. None of what he did was right. I'm not sure I understand why ANYONE is trying to justify it. Peharps an apology rather than a defense would help.
Dont Be So Ignorant April 16, 2012 at 12:39 AM
Not trying to justify it...don't think there's anything to justify. A business failed, which I can't imagine is what anyone involved wanted, owner or employee. What I'm doing is pointing out the fact that people shouldn't comment unless they know their facts, which clearly they do not. And at the end of the day, why do people feel the need to be so cruel. We're all human..
BARBARA April 16, 2012 at 09:32 PM
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew April 17, 2012 at 02:43 AM
"What were you really making an hour there anyways? If you were waiting tables, probably just enough to cover what you owe in taxes." WOW what a perspective ... THAT'S all the more reason that withholding payment is indefensible, ANYONE using that stance in the defense of the situation is suspect at best.
dave May 22, 2012 at 02:11 AM
Some thing is amiss here. Look at Ippolito' corporate website. It states that Frank Genovese has been a partner since 1994, but Ippolito here says "Our family is very sorry to say we did have a location in the Hamilton Mill area owned solely by Mr. Frank Genovese who was in business for approximately a year and a half,” Ippolito said. Ippolito said he knew the Hamilton Mill location was struggling, but had no idea Genovese was planning to close the restaurant. “I was aware that he had financial problems and was trying to rectify them,” he said. He goes on and then says he gives high praise to The other Gwinnett franchises "Dan Smith and Dick Cunningham, who own stakes in the Norcross and Suwanee locations". He omits whom else ? Look at their website it clearly states that Dan Smith and guess who? Frank Genovese are the owners of the other gwinnett locales. Either the website is wrong or someone is not telling the truth! Finally, have been told that Genovese is a relative of Ippolito's, not 100% but 3 people have said such.
Kristi Reed (Editor) May 22, 2012 at 09:36 AM
The way Mr. Ippolito explained it was that Genovese was the sole owner of the Hamilton Mill location (no partners) and was a silent partner in those other listed franchises. In other words, the sole responsibility for what happened with the Hamilton Mill Ippolito's fell on his shoulders. Genovese and Ippolito are related by marriage.
Kristi Reed (Editor) May 22, 2012 at 09:39 AM
@Dave - Also, the year and a half references how long Genovese had been in business as the sole owner of the Hamilton Mill Ippolito's, not how long he may have been affiliated with the company.
Dave May 22, 2012 at 12:29 PM
Something Amiss,= What you leave out is as important as what you leave in. " Silent partners"? What, why! Not so silent when your own website declares he is the owner/partner. The perception obviously one gets from reading all the comments was that he was there for a short time now gone from the picture, after only being there for 1.5 yrs and that the corporation did not know the place was closing, perhaps. Yet the facts as you and the website anunciate long term and current partnership and relative. Maybe they did not know what was happening, pehaps? Perhaps odd?. Quick aside a legal relative is always by marriage, one way or another. Thanks for the info/update.
justice Veritas September 11, 2012 at 08:02 AM
To "Don't Be So Ignorant" - There is irony in your screen name. You spouted some of the most incoherent, ignorant, ill-informed, classist idiocy I have ever read. You assumed that "Anonymous" wasn't a manager, who would absolutely know what happened to the money in the store. You also assumed the employee was only owed $100, which by the way is completely irrelevant because money owed is money owed. Then you stooped to insulting them by calling them names and, showing what an ignorant, addled moron you are, and deigned to describe serving people such as yourself as not "a real job" because of yet another assumption of lack of education of the employee. (*At one point the servers at Ippolito's degrees outnumbered the servers with out) Your grammar, spelling (atrocious) and rhetoric are indicative of your intelligence.


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