This may sound cutthroat and cold, but the fact that Ric's Grill is blaming the recession, seasonality, and personal issues for not paying their employees is absolutely embarrassing.
The winter months are hard on every single restaurant out there, and it's public knowledge that these establishments make a killing in the summer to get through the slow winter months. How can the owners even ask the employees to "help them out" and on more than one occasion, and why would the employees do it repeatedly and expect a different result.
As far as the temporary worker situation, this sounds like an effort to cut costs goes a lot farther back than we think. The amount of out of work servers in Kelowna looking for an opportunity to work in a fine dining establishment, and they pull their staff from a placement agency in India, something is not adding up.
There are no excuses. Pay your employees, and develop a working business model for your restaurant. There are enough restaurants out there that have the system dialed in, follow the rules or shut it down.