Low-wage employees are mass quitting restaurants resulting in a shortage of workers in the service industry.
A customer walked into an IHOP in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and was shocked to find that the restaurant was empty. The employees had all reportedly quit the restaurant mid-shift. The video of the customer going through an empty restaurant and the kitchen has gone viral on TikTok where it was uploaded. Text over the video read: "The whole shift quit IHOP." The video was posted at the end of July by TikToker @dj20grand, reported Comic sands. Low-wage employees have mass quit restaurants during the pandemic resulting in a shortage of workers in the service industry.
User @dj20grand was hoping to get a meal but soon realized the staff had mass-quit their job at the IHOP in the middle of their shift. "I don't know where the f*ck everybody at," he can be heard saying as walks around the restaurant. "I'm just trying to make a god damn order." The kitchen is empty with not a soul in sight. He gives a video tour of the empty IHOP and the phone can be heard ringing. He walks to a closed cabin that appears to be the manager's office. He picks up the phone and can be heard saying, "Thank you for calling IHOP, how you doing?" After they respond, he continues, "Nah, I don't even work here... Everybody walked the f*ck out." He adds that he wasn't joking because it sounded preposterous to the other person on the line. "I'm dead the f*cking serious, I don't know where nobody at. I'm finna to start grabbing bacon."
While he's on the phone, someone claiming to be the manager appears at the doorway asking what he was doing in his office. He leaves the office and the kitchen before heading out where he sees three people waiting in the lobby for a table, unaware that there are no employees to serve them, take their order, or prepare their food. The video from IHOP, Chattanooga, Tennessee, has been viewed more than 5 million times and liked by 1 million people.
Many people called out the service industry for providing poor wages and for not providing benefits. Many service industry workers also felt little was done to protect them during the pandemic, with staff rarely given protective equipment. "I hope this trend of walk-outs never stops. They deserve better," wrote one person. Another person commented, "That's what happens when the workers aren't treated right. They don't have no more. Businesses are gonna learn real quick."
Some pointed out that the workers were so poorly paid irrespective of the effort they put in and were always looked at as disposable. "I don't blame them. Doesn't matter how hard you work/how much extra you do, you're replaceable," wrote one TikTok user. Another user commented, "I saw one like this.. one manager saying remember y'all are replaceable and they all quit." Some called on workers to unionize, so they aren't abused by businesses. "See what happens if we united like this! We would rule businesses and not businesses own us."
See what happens when employers have a hard time finding workers.....? They can afford to pay you. pic.twitter.com/1dHIr9VV3I— Derenic Byrd (@DerenicByrd) May 16, 2021
When businesses reopened earlier this year, they struggled to find workers to return to work. They were forced to increase wages and offer employment benefits to entice workers back, and just highlighted that they always had the ability to do so but chose not to. McDonald’s, Sheetz, Chipotle, Amazon, Walmart, and Costco were some of the businesses that raised the wages to $15 an hour or even higher recently. In 2019, the House of Representatives had passed a bill to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 from $7.25, but it didn't pass in the Senate. According to CNN, it was also the first time in a decade that a proposal to raise the federal minimum wage has been passed.