Chick-fil-A restaurant tried to pay workers in food instead of money

Josue Torres
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A Chick-fil-A franchisee is receiving a lot of attention for the compensation it promised in a recent job posting.

On its public page, a Chick-fil-A franchise published a job posting requesting volunteers to staff its drive-thru, however, the restaurant did not offer payment but rather Chick-fil-A dinners.

The post said the restaurant needed volunteers for their brand-new Drive Thru Express, and the selected volunteers would earn five free dinners for every hour of work.

The Chick-fil-A franchisee removed the post a day later, but the criticism was immediate and is still being discussed on social channels.

“State and federal minimum wage laws require you pay workers actual money, not chicken. It’s not like you can hand a bag of Chick-fil-A to your landlord and say “here’s my rent,” a user said.

Another person sent a message to Chick-fil-A saying: “Do all your stores pay workers in French fries instead of actual wages? Why do franchise owners make $200,000 a year and they’re hiring for 0$ an hour?”

Someone left a review explaining the events on the restaurant’s page: “This place had the audacity to try and recruit for unpaid labor to work their drive-thru. No thanks. I support the gays, and I don’t enjoy burping up peanut oil all day in return for eating 6 tiny freckles of chicken nuggets. Imagine… a wealthy business owner asking for unpaid labor. Popeyes is a MILLION times better”

Another review was short and to the point: "Nice try on paying people with chicken."

In the comments of the since-deleted post, the business stated that since this is a volunteer-based opportunity, anyone who feels like volunteering can choose to do so. They also said that numerous people have signed up, enjoyed participating, and everyone that signed up did so willingly. 

While it’s normal for many restaurants to provide staff members free lunches, these businesses often also pay their employees in cash. According to the Fair Labor Standards Act, a for-profit company is not permitted to employ volunteers, and employees are not permitted to provide free labor to for-profit private sector companies.

The restaurant updated its page on Thursday night, explaining they have chosen to terminate this initiative and not move any further after thoroughly analyzing claims and other information brought to their notice. They apologized for what happened. They mentioned they will continue to do everything they can to treat their guests with honor, dignity, and respect.

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