The Fast Food Industry: A Horrible Work Environment

Daniella Machinski, Writer

Imagine you’re sitting at a Chick-fil-A or a McDonald’s, and you see a chair get thrown across the store at an employee. It seems like something like this would never happen, but it did. In December of 2022, a video surfaced on the internet of a brutal fight between a Texas Waffle House employee and a group of customers. Things were being thrown, and vulgar language was used between both parties. In the video, there were sugar shakers and chairs thrown. It’s beyond belief.  Something like this should never happen. 

Multiple women got up in the employee’s face saying nasty things to her, and one girl even got up on top of the counter and started screaming at the employee. A lot happens in the short two-minute clip, but once the customers were pushed back on the other side of the counter, they fought back even harder.

Photo by New York Post/Twitter / @rbaylor_74

That’s when the chairs and silverware started to get thrown. Once the chair was thrown at the employee, she caught the chair mid-throw, and seemed to make it freeze in the air. It looked like something out of the movies. You would think that some employees would step in and stop this madness, but most of them jumped right into the fight as bystanders recorded and laughed. Laughed.

Being a fast food employee in today’s society is scary. Fast food workers are being pushed beyond their limits. They applied for the job to make food and serve it to people, not to be treated disrespectfully or physically fight customers in self defense. Being in the fast food industry is tough to begin with, especially when you consider the low pay and constant interaction with hangry people. Having to deal with rude people is alright to handle, but having a chair thrown at you? That is not what they signed up for. 

Even after people returned to work after COVID, no one wanted to work in the fast food industry due to the violence and health risks. During COVID, fast food workers were considered essential. They risked their lives and their health to keep the stores open and work, and yet now they are being treated with the most disrespect and encountering more violence than ever. did a survey on fast food workers, and discovered, “Half of the fast-food workers … experienced verbal abuse, and over a third experienced violence such as threats, racial slurs, and even assault. And this is on top of dealing with wage theft, insufficient hours, and other health and safety hazards” (Fast-Food Workers Face Increased Health Risks and Labor Violations During Pandemic). 

It’s not okay how these workers are being treated. If people continue to treat these fast food workers like they are being treated now, soon there will be no more fast food restaurants. With the pandemic and these videos surfacing, there should really be a change on how customers treat employees. 

There really needs to be a change in how we all treat each other.