Applebee’s franchise executive fired over leaked emails that said high gas prices could mean cheaper labor

As one Applebee’s franchise executive recently demonstrated, the old adage “no bad ideas in a brainstorm” may need some caveats. American Franchise Capital, which owns over 100 Applebee’s and Taco Bell locations in the Midwest, fired an executive, Wayne Pankratz, after an email he sent this month went viral, reports Insider. The subject line? “Why gas increase is good for hiring.” Channeling what seems to be his inner comedy antagonist, Pankratz laid out a theory that rising gas prices and inflation would cut into people’s disposable income, ultimately forcing more people to return to work and giving Applebee’s the leverage to lowball on pay. Shockingly, the leaked email didn’t go over well with the staff at an Applebee’s location in Lawrence, Kansas, where at least four managers and 10 other employees quit on the spot or handed in their notice, reports Vice. With Pankratz now on the job hunt, it remains to be seen whether any hiring managers will apply his thinking to their own salary offers. —Matthew Sedacca