Times are tough for hospitality staff right now, but it’s not every day a restaurant’s entire workforce throws in the towel at the same time.
This is, however, allegedly what happened at one branch of McDonald’s where staff members spontaneously decided to quit.
TikTok user @zoey.isback captured the moment on video, showing a handwritten note reading: “Everyone quit, we are closed.”
The camera then pans around the abandoned fast food joint, as the caption reads: “When everyone quit unexpectedly at the same time.”
The short clip racked up more than 10.5 million views in just two days, as fellow TikTokers voiced their support for the workers’ move.
“I think anyone who’s worked [in] service is collectively agreeing, good for you guys,” one wrote.
“I wish this would happen more often. I wouldn’t even be mad if I walked in as a customer,” commented another.
A third offered Zoey and her (now ex) colleagues “worker solidarity”, adding that their protest: “Tells me more about how terrible [the] work place [is] there than the employees.”
And a fourth said: “This is what happens after years of bad upper management and [corporations] making money on the backs of the poor.”
In a follow-up video, Zoey joked about not having to clean anymorezoey.isback/TikTok
Responding to suggestions that the employees had walked out in protest over low wages, Zoey wrote: “Y’all, we didn’t quit from our pay.
“The store was [run] by teenagers and it was a terrible work space. The higher ups had trouble helping us when needed.”
She added: “It’s a bad job to start with but that’s where most teenagers start for experience so that’s where I put myself.”
Zoey is not the only social media user to spotlight the strain restaurant workers are under, particularly in light of the Covid pandemic.
Earlier this month, a photo went viral on Twitter showing a note posted outside a different McDonald’s branch reading: “We are closed because I am quitting this job.”
Some users were shocked that a single person could be responsible for the running of an entire branch, while others focused on staffing shortages across the industry.
@GreatApeDad Wait, did they seriously have a shift of ONE PERSON at an entire mcdonalds such that one person quitti… https://t.co/viO9NjcXSP— TMP-3M Tempest (@TMP-3M Tempest) 1623694558
The debate came after a hospitality worker shared a video of her suffering a panic attack caused by the stresses of her job.
The TikTok clip showed a young woman called Tay sobbing and struggling to breathe as she tried to deal with unrelenting demands from customers.
She captioned the recording: “When you’re understaffed and overwhelmed and the customers won’t stop yelling at you.”
A recent survey of almost 1,000 workers in the UK found that one in three said the coronavirus crisis had made them re-think their career, while one in four blamed poor pay for wanting to find another job.
Two out of five respondents to the study by jobs site CV-Library said they had quit because they believed the industry was unpredictable as a result of the pandemic.
Chefs who moved away from the industry often took up work as warehouse operatives, said the report.
Lee Biggins, chief executive of CV-Library said: “The hospitality industry faces a crucial few months ahead, the repercussions of which will last for some time.
“We aren’t just seeing the effects of the pandemic – Brexit and the continuation of staff on furlough also play a huge part in the shortage of candidates in the hospitality industry.
“There are available staff out there but in order to recruit, flexibility, competitive pay and other benefits must be carefully considered in order to secure these in-demand candidates.”
indy100 has contacted McDonald’s for comment.