In just six seconds, this TikTok illustrates a whole world of exhaustion and working conditions for people in the food service industry.
Posted by chef Nestor Consuegra, the video shows restaurant workers crouching down to eat in the middle of their shift. They evidently don’t have time for a break, but they’re not allowed to eat in front of customers either. “chef deserve better,” wrote Consuegra. “let’s work together to give chef the proper breaks and time to eat.”
Commenters were quick to chime in, highlighting similar experiences in the industry. “That’s why I hate restaurants,” wrote one. “eight hours breaking your back and look at the meager rest they give. underpaid and mistreated.”
Others complained of long hours (“18 hr days and maybe 1 meal”) and shared their own stories of having to hide from customers in order to have a snack and keep their energy up: “I work in a restaurant and this is literally how anyone gets to eat if at all.”
This kind of situation is common knowledge among food service workers, and social media is helping to spread the word to outsiders. For instance, when another TikToker recently went viral for complaining about a Pizza Hut employee eating at work, she didn’t get the response she expected. Instead of people agreeing with her comment that it was “disgusting,” more people sympathized with the Pizza Hut worker. A lot of fast-food chains operate on an “If you’ve got time to lean, you’ve got time to clean” mentality, leaving employees feeling overworked. That’s part of the reason why people are quitting the restaurant industry in droves.
The Daily Dot has reached out to Nestor Consuegra.
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*First Published: Nov 15, 2021, 8:05 am CST
Gavia Baker-Whitelaw is a staff writer at the Daily Dot, covering geek culture and fandom. Specializing in sci-fi movies and superheroes, she also appears as a film and TV critic on BBC radio. Elsewhere, she co-hosts the pop culture podcast Overinvested. Follow her on Twitter: @Hello_Tailor