HAYWARD -- A fast-food restaurant in the Fairway Park shopping center was held up by a pair of gunmen who forced eight terrified employees to the ground before making off with cash from the manager's office around 10:15 p.m. Thursday, police said.

The men entered the Taco Bell-KFC on Mission Boulevard and forced employees -- one who was off duty and picking up a paycheck -- to the ground, some physically. A dishwasher had a gun thrust against her neck, while a juvenile who tried to run slipped on the freshly mopped floor and struck his head while falling to the ground.

Police said the duo was yelling orders and urging each other to get out quickly.

They might have been driving a blue Honda Civic that pulled up to the restaurant shortly before it was robbed, with an occupant of the car asking if it was a slow night.

One robber was described as black, 18 to 20 years old, 5 foot 6 and 150 pounds, wearing a black mask with a skeletal design, a black hooded sweatshirt, dark pants and black gloves.

The other was said to be black, in his mid-20s, 5 foot 9 with a medium build, wearing a black ski mask, dark jacket and dark gloves.

Police are investigating whether another holdup minutes earlier by a masked gunman at an Industrial Boulevard motel is related. In that case, a single gunman leaped over the counter, demanding the clerk open the safe.

She said she didn't know how to open the safe, and the man took money from the register and fled.

Anyone with information may call police at 510-293-7000.

Contact Eric Kurhi at 510-293-2473. Follow him at Twitter.com/erickurhi. Read his blog at IBAbuzz.com/hayword.