Chick-Fil-A is in hot water, as the internet rips into a franchisee’s attempt to hire “volunteers” who’d be paid in sandwiches rather than money.
The controversy comes from a now deleted Facebook post, where a Hendersonville, North Carolina Chick-Fil-A posted that it was looking for people to work it’s ‘Drive Thru Express’. The Express is meant to be for mobile order pickup, a quicker method than even standard drive thru.
One location decided that rather than staff it with paid employees, they’d see about free labor.
According to the Facebook post, shared by TikToker @bona.bones, the volunteers would get five free entrees for each hour worked. It also invited those interested to message the restaurant for details.
The post was deleted a day later, but by then it was already shared far and wide online. People were quick to criticize the company for trying to get effectively free labor for very real work.
Who thought this was a good idea?
Before the post was deleted, the store tried to defend itself. It asserted that it was an acceptable idea.
The comments said:
“This is a volunteer based opportunity, which means people can opt in to volunteer if they think it’s a good fit for them. We’ve had multiple people sign up and enjoy doing and have done it multiple times.”
“People who sign up for this chose it voluntarily. We are still hiring full time and part time team members, so if you are interested in working in our store, we pay $19/hr.”
One might be quick to look at those five sandwiches, which is easily over $5 per sandwich, and see it as a better value than the wage pay. However, the sandwiches likely cost the company significantly less, and it’s hard to pay for rent or bills in sandwiches.
This is particularly frustrating when the company brags about its $1.2 billion earnings, with franchises obtaining $8.1 million in revenue.
All of this means it’s a big ‘no’ for the company to try and get free labor.
Eventually, the backlash paid off. Joel Benson, the franchise owner responded with an update on Facebook.
“After carefully reviewing claims and other details brought to our attention, as you possibly have, we have decided to stop this program and not move forward any further.”
Benson blames the national attention on their little town, and asserts that they’re always looking for fun and creative ways to get involved in the community.
“This idea was a little too creative and the consequences unintended.”
This apology post has also since been deleted.