The video shows several restaurant employees hiding behind the counter to grab bites of food in the middle of their shift.
A six-second-long video went viral on TikTok that showed the harsh reality of the abysmal working conditions for people in the foodservice industry. Posted by musician and chef Nestor Consuegra, the video shows several restaurant employees crouching behind the counter to grab bites of food in the middle of their shift. While it isn't clear which restaurant the video was filmed in, Consuegra's caption seems to imply that the employees were not given time to eat during the workday and that they're not allowed to eat in front of customers either.
"[Chefs] deserve better, let's work together to give [chefs] the proper breaks and time to eat," the caption reads. Gaining over 2.3 million views within four days of being shared on the popular social media platform, the video racked in nearly two thousand comments from TikTok users calling out the inhumane working conditions. "I used to be a server and came home shaking from exhaustion. No time to eat. TIP your servers people," commented one netizen with the username julezsoldierofchrist2.0. "That's sad. That's why I hate restaurants. Eight hours breaking your back and look at the meager rest they give. Underpaid and mistreated," wrote Big Boy Pacifico.
i talk about how dangerous the working conditions are in the food service industry right now & people really have the fucking nerve to look me in the eye & say “yea that’s why i tip like 30%” as if that’s any fucking consolation for my life being at risk— seitan’s trap queen (@SatansTrapQueen) July 19, 2020
Another TikTok user with the username Matina shared her own experience of working long days with little to no food in between. "This is our life. It's unbelievable how little time we get for necessary things like water and food. 18 hour days, maybe one meal," she wrote. TikTok user nayeli4396 commented: "I, as a server, find it ironic that we are serving people and running around... them enjoying their food while we starve." Kathryn Price Meade vouched for the heartbreaking scene depicted in the video, writing: "I work in a restaurant and this is literally how anyone gets to eat, if at all."
How many times do I have to say it? It's not just poor pay that has employees quitting the Food Service industry, but poor working conditions is a very big reason also. https://t.co/QV443reZfe— Gloria Spottswood (@spottygp) November 16, 2021
One user named Cari Salas claimed she used to have to eat in the walk-in freezer because they weren't given a break to eat during their shift. Meanwhile, several netizens used the opportunity to urge folks to be more understanding and patient when they visit restaurants from here on as it's highly likely that the staff is exhausted and hungry. With the video going viral, it also called attention to another TikTok video where the TikTok user complained about a Pizza Hut employee eating at work. "Imagine picking up your food and seeing a worker EATING over your food," the on-screen text read. In the video, the woman, whose back is turned to the camera, is seen chewing and quickly putting something in her mouth in the Pizza Hut kitchen.
However, instead of agreeing with her comment that it was "disgusting," most people sympathized with the Pizza Hut worker. "What if she didn't have a break? What if [they're] short on staff and she been there every day... I swear people always have to [find] something!" one person wrote. "She's not even leaning over food," another person on TikTok named Ashley Gustavson pointed out in the comments, which several other people agreed with. "They [probably] are short-staffed and she didn't get a break and is having to eat while working so Karens like you can get your food. Smh," @iamtheone100 wrote.
Glad to see Eater writing about this—we all depend on food industry workers in our lives, whether at the drive-through or a sit-down restaurant, so we should all be advocating for better working conditions at their jobs!https://t.co/NOFwQljAZb— Liz Shuler (@lizshuler) December 13, 2019
Another TikTok user, who claimed to be a former Pizza Hut employee also chimed in. "As a [former] employee for Pizza Hut we don't have break rooms but never ate near the oven and I don't [see] the oven or food there," @crazygal023 said in the comments.