A Panera Bread manager was fired after video was posted online showing a manager at a Manhattan shop knocking out an employee who had allegedly attacked him after losing her job, according to officials and the company.
NYPD officers were called to the chain bakery’s location at Park Avenue South and East 23rd Street after the scuffle Wednesday afternoon.
The manager told police he had fired the employee earlier in the day. She came back into the store hours later and hit him first, the manager said.
Video from the altercation, posted to YouTube, shows the female employee coming into the store yelling at the male manager. She hits the manager as several people inside the restaurant let out loud, “Oohs,” according to the video.
The manager then grabs the woman by the collar of her shirt and knocks her unconscious with a single haymaker, the video shows. Several fellow employees tried to pull the pair apart before the punch, and several people are heard saying, “Don’t punch her!”
After the fight, the NYPD said the former employee admitted to hitting the manager first. The manager declined to press charges.
Panera said in a statement Thursday that both employees were fired following the dust-up.
“We have a zero tolerance policy for violence and worked swiftly with authorities to investigate,” Panera said. “The health and safety of our associates and guests will always be our top priority.”