"Until the Wahlbergs do something, their words are meaningless," said former employee Katy Nester.
NEW: Katy Nester rebounds with a new job @PizzaLaStellaUS after @Wahlburgers in #Raleigh abruptly closed. Katy and staff say they were left in the dark and with bounced checks. @DonnieWahlberg and @markwahlberg say they are getting to the bottom of this. https://t.co/YRliB9PbJa pic.twitter.com/PWBpvv9yg8— Tim Pulliam (@TimABC11) January 6, 2019
Nester wrapped up her first day on the job at Pizza La Stella, a week after ABC11 first reported Wahlburgers shutdown shortly after Christmas.
"Now I don't have all of December's pay to pay for my January bills. I'm four days away from being evicted," Nester says.
The celebrity burger chain, supported by actors Donnie and Mark Wahlberg, left without much notice amid workers' claims of franchise owner Greg Pranzo's poor management of the business and a failed state health inspection.
The result left Nester, a bartender, and other staff without their pay checks.
"The question I get asked often is why didn't I leave sooner because I just started there. I had just started and I was trying to, you know, have some sense of job loyalty and in my own heart have some sense of job security," stated Nester, who says she started working at Wahlburgers in October of last year.
The chain opened last May.
Rapper and actor Mark Wahlberg posted this New Year's greeting on Wahlburgers' Facebook page:
But over the weekend, there was a more serious tone from his brother, Donnie, who directly addressed the controversy in a message to ABC11 from his verified social media account.
"Any employee of (Wahlburgers) is of the utmost importance to me and my family and we will get on this immediately," the message read.
Nester says actions speaks louder than Wahlbergs' words.
"For the Wahlbergs, I really appreciate them reaching out to us and making an effort but I would actually like to see some results," Nester stated. "But as far as Greg Pranzo and Carolina Burger Company and Raleigh Burgers LLC, who ever was the franchise company behind it...honestly, I hope you never, ever own another restaurant again."
Nester says she needs $1,100 dollars to pay her rent or she will be evicted.
There is a GoFundMe page set up for employees to collect money for possible legal action and missed wages.
We reached out to the franchise owner for comment but didn't receive a response.