A back-and-forth and emotional past week for a beloved Pullman business has just taken another turn, as the Cougar Country Drive In has been closed until further notice.
The owner, Rhonda Witt-Miller, said in a Facebook post that they have applied and were approved for financing in an effort to properly compensate employees. The restaurant recently went through a change in management and some communication and apparent theft issues. They are in the process of attempting to hire and re-train employees while targeting a re-opening date as soon as possible.
“I take full responsibility for this,” the post read. “it IS my business and I should have been aware of what was happening, especially to the employees! Many customers had complained to me about Customer Service lacking in recent months...probably due to an over worked staff!!”
Rumors of a potential closing of the restaurant surfaced on Twitter last week, but the owner debunked those and communicated with KHQ that they weren’t true. The rumored closing led to a huge uptick in business, causing the drive in to run out of meat on Friday.
More from the post read: “As I was trying to explain all of this at a crew meeting I got such backlash that I gave up! YES...you have been overworked...YES I mentioned we had a thief (sorry...should have kept that quiet)...I refuse to say who that person was due to NOT wanting to destroy their life. It isn't anyone else's business (I know some of you disagree) BUT...this is my belief. It is MY fault you didn't get paid...no one elses!! None of you mentioned that Brian cashed many payroll checks that wasn't covered by the bank...makes me sad that NO CREDIT was given to Cougar Country or the Manager for TRYING to dissolve the situation. There have been exaggerations in the "chat room" which I tried to stop at the meeting...I feel like everything I said fell on deaf ears...or just irritated the crew even more.”
While the original rumors appeared to have some truth to them, the owner was apologetic for this whole ordeal. This story is developing and will be updated as more information becomes available.
“Please forgive me for my wrong doings...I will be back and hopefully stronger than ever!!,” the post concluded with. “I want to thank the public for their support and understanding...sooo many of you know me personally and I pray you know this is NOT what I wanted to happen!! I promise to all of the employees...I WILL MAKE THIS RIGHT!”