The entire staff of Barberitos burrito restaurant in Georgia walked away from their jobs and posted a sign in the window that cited reasons for their quitting including low pay, long hours, and a "lack of appreciation."
According to a report from Insider, the number of people working in the restaurant industry dropped in August for the first time since April 2020 — the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
What are the details?
The report noted that the Barberitos location in Macon, Georgia, was forced to cut its opening hours after its entire staff quit.
Before staffers left, they shared a sign stating that they worked seven days a week for at least a month with "barely any time off," according to local reports. Employees also complained about low pay and a "lack of appreciation."
"Store is closed. Whole staff as [sic] quit do [sic] to under pay and lack of appreciation. We have worked 7 days a week for the past month and barely any time off," the sign read. "We are so sorry and love you all! [O]ld Barbs family, out," the sign read, according to a Facebook post featuring the store's exterior.
What has the company said about this?
A spokesperson for the restaurant said that the claim was "simply not true."
"Due to COVID, the labor shortage has impacted many — if not all — small businesses across the country," the spokesperson said and noted that another area restaurant "uniformly hired away six of our employees at the same time."
"While we are saddened whenever an employee leaves the Barberitos family, we understand that the marketplace has changed and thank them for their service," the spokesperson added.
The full statement is featured below:
Due to COVID, the labor shortage has impacted many – if not all – small businesses across the country. Unfortunately, a local restaurateur uniformly hired away six of our employees at the same time. While we are saddened whenever an employee leaves the Barberitos family, we understand that the marketplace has changed and thank them for their service. As for the claims of employees being forced to work seven days straight, that is simply not true. The downtown Macon location is currently open for lunch only this week, but we hope to resume normal business hours as soon as next week and look forward to welcoming all our guests back with a farm-fresh, high-quality meal that is made in-house daily.
WGXA-TV reported that the former employees' sign has since been removed. Two new signs note the store's updated hours and that it is "now hiring."
One sign reads, "Temporary hours: 11am to 3pm. Thank you, Barberitos Management."
The other says, "Now hiring! Inquire within, or visit barberitosjobs.com to apply!"