HomeNewsDeli Chain Sparks Backlash After Controversial Hiring Sign

Deli Chain Sparks Backlash After Controversial Hiring Sign

by Matthew Memrick
(Photo by: Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

A controversial sign outside a Jason’s Deli restaurant in Florida has stirred up backlash over the kinds of workers and how they should be paid.

A Twitter user called @haitiandvorce posted the sign recently, which tied worker wages to attitudes and expectations that many considered unreal at the Melbourne, Fla. Jason’s Deli.

According to Today, the sign listed a series of different wages. Various categories are on the sign, with the lowest-paid worker starting first at minimum wage. That worker is called “mediocre” by the chart. Florida’s minimum wage is $8.65 per hour. 

As a matter of fact, a $12 an hour worker must be better than most, working the job of two people.

Finally, an employee “outshines and outperforms the owner” to earn $15 dollars an hour.

Jason’s Deli Responds to Backlash

As a result, the chain swiftly responded to the sign after the backlash.

“The manager of our Melbourne, FL location recently posted a sign intended to attract prospective applications through the potential for upward movement through our Career Path,” president and COO Ragan Edgerly told TODAY Food in a statement from Monday.

Edgerly went on to say the sign did not reflect Jason’s Deli hiring practices. Furthermore, he said it inappropriately presented employee pay in an inaccurate manner. The company said it “regretted any misunderstanding that (the) sign may have caused.

Edgerly’s statement went on to say that the Jason’s Deli manager “recognized the sign’s inappropriateness and immediately removed it.” The company said they “regret any misunderstanding that (the) sign may have caused.”

Finally, Edgerly called the incident “a learning opportunity.”

He said “to maintain the high level of service that they provide — and that our customers expect — we hire highly motivated people by offering competitive and fair wages.”

According to QSR Magazine, hospitality turnover rates have skyrocketed. In January, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced a whopping 130.7 percent turnover rate for 2020. That contrasts the 78.9 percent one in 2019. 

What’s More, Companies Struggle to Fill Positions

Pandemic conditions have made employee hiring tough for fast-food restaurants and other service industry businesses. As a result, many face staff shortages, customer complaints, and limited service.

The sign stirred up social media, and many commented that the manager’s attitude was why employees avoided service industry jobs.

“This wasn’t a spur-of-the-moment thing. Someone took a great deal of time and care to write out this travesty. Bet they were laughing to themselves the whole time, too. Shows how they really think of their employees,” wrote one person in response to Jason Deli’s Facebook statement.

Furthermore, some called the Jason’s Deli sign realistic. Others said it provided “incentives” for people to work hard.