Just one week after Doughnut Time announced they were closing a large portion of their stores in a desperate bid to save the brand, the company's few remaining employees have been notified via text message they no longer have a job.
Last week, it was reported the doughnut chain would be sold by founder Damien Griffiths to the company's former CEO, Dan Strachotta.
But according to the ABC, Griffiths has refused to sign over the company, sending Doughnut Time into liquidation — and leaving all employees of the chain without a job and out of pocket with thousands of dollars in unpaid wages.
Last week, the chain closed six stores and was to offload another seven to Mr Strachotta, who was Griffiths' group CEO and the former CEO of Doughnut Time.
But since the failed sale occurred on Friday, the company has been forced to appoint Michael Caspaney as liquidator.
In a statement to news.com.au, Caspaney said as many as 300 employees were chasing thousands in unpaid wages.
"At this early stage there could be up to 300 employees owed wages and entitlements from 23 different sites in Queensland, NSW and Victoria," Caspaney wrote in an email.
"Most of the stores were closed in January and February with the last ones closed last week.
"There appeared to be a possible deal with the CEO for him to buy some of the profitable stores but that fell over late last week.
A text obtained by news.com.au reveals that a message was sent to remaining staff members on Friday advising that they would no longer have a job following the failed sale.
"I have been told that DT [Doughnut Time] has been put in to liquidation," the text message, sent by a former Doughnut Time production manager read. "Today is the last day of DT and the appointed liquidators will be a point of contact if required moving forward.
"Outstanding payment I am guessing will have to be claimed through the FEG [Fair Entitlements Guarantee].
"It means we are out of a job. Sorry to have to tell you via text."
Former employee Chris Boucher, who was the manager of the Manly Doughnut Time store since October 2017, is personally owed A$5,000 ($5,367) in wages and a laptop. But while he is an Australian resident and may be eligible for the FEG scheme funded by the Commonwealth government, Caspaney said other employees may not be so lucky.
"Residents of Australia who are employees will most likely be eligible for the Fair Entitlements Guarantee (FEG) scheme funded by the Commonwealth government," he said. "Employees who are not residents do not qualify for this scheme."
According to Boucher, almost 75 per cent of Doughnut Time employees were on visas, and were now potentially up to five weeks out of pocket.
News.com.au has contacted Strachotta, but he is yet to respond to questions about the liquidation.