Extreme heat forces Just Joel's among others to close up shop fo - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Extreme heat forces Just Joel's among others to close up shop for worker safety

Posted: Updated:

KENNEWICK, WA - You may be thinking people who work indoors are dealing with better conditions... but that's not always the case.

In fact, the inside of a restaurant's kitchen can reach up to 130 degrees!

Joel Watson, the owner of Just Joel's Cafe actually took matters into his own hands and decided to close up shop a couple hours early this week. He says the temperatures in the kitchen aren't worth the extra hours, and that he'd rather have happy employees.

Watson says before opening his own place, he used to see employees at his other jobs at their worst because of this heat... and that he wouldn't let that happen under his management.

"I've seen people cry in the kitchen because it's too hot; Iv'e seen people get sick," Watson said. "I've seen people fall and hit their head on the ground; I've seen people not drink water, and get heat exhaustion and heat stroke. I'm more concerned with my employees than I am with making money. There comes a time when you have to stop, where you have to pull the plug and say this isn't worth it."

Watson says that he has some of the best customers out there who haven't complained once about the earlier closing hours. And when it comes down to it - happy employees equals happy customers.

Just Joel's isn't the only place that has closed early this week; Watson's friends and owners of El Fat Cat are also closed because of 125-degree temperatures in the kitchen.