Employees of a restaurant in Winter Park, Florida were outraged this month when they found out they were no longer employed…via text.

Gregory Kennedy, owner of Barducci’s Italian Bistro, was reportedly forced to close the restaurant. But instead of speaking with his staff in person, he fired more than a dozen employees by SMS.

“I unfortunately need to inform you that I have been forced to close Barducci’s effective immediately,” read a frank text message one of the employees received on her July 4 holiday.

The mishandling of this unfortunate situation provides an essential lesson about the importance of using the proper channels to communicate with your audiences. While texting is a convenient option used by many of us every day, Kennedy’s use of the informal, impersonal medium as a means to fire employees made the owner seem insensitive, tactless and cowardly, according to some who were on the receiving end of the messages.

It’s safe to assume that employees who had worked at the business for any significant amount of time had some degree of personal relationship with Kennedy. If he had simply sat down with staff and explained that he was closing due to financial pressures, personal reasons or other situations beyond his control, they would likely have been much more understanding.

However, the poor communications choices and inept approach to the situation has now placed the former owner in a comprised situation. He is currently being attacked by disgruntled ex-employees, and his actions have also attracted negative news headlines.

After the local news station made multiple attempts to contact Kennedy, he finally provided them with a lackluster response that took little ownership of the situation…also via text message.