Since the coronavirus pandemic crushed the American economy under Donald Trump, restaurants and other service industry businesses have been forced into dire straits. Now, a California taqueria restaurant has come under fire for posting a controversial sign alerting customers to the slow service. However, the way the restaurant told customers to be patient was infuriating to many locals who felt that the restaurant was being shorted sighted and inconsiderate of the millions of Americans whose lives were turned upside down by the economic collapse the followed the spread of the deadly virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although Taco Loco in Folsom, California, wanted to make a statement with the sign they posted in their restaurant, they ended up rubbing many customers the wrong way by blaming the COVID-19 relief efforts for failing to keep employees on the job.
The sign at Taco Loco in Folsom read: “To our loyal customers. Sadly, due to government and state handouts, no one wants to work anymore. Therefore, we are short staffed. Please be patient with our staff that did choose to come to work today to serve you. Thank you for your business. We sincerely appreciate it!”
California reopened restaurants and other such establishments on June 15, 2021 – although that might soon change due to the Delta variant. Nevertheless, Taco Loco and other restaurants are still struggling to fill their low-paying positions because they require workers to expose themselves to COVID-19 risk by dealing with the general public and the customers at the restaurant.
Because millions of Californians are still struggling to put food on the table amid the coronavirus pandemic, the California state legislature voted on June 25, 2021, to extend unemployment benefits twenty weeks until September 11, 2021.
However, Taco Loco owner, John Voels, blames the COVID-19 relief effort on his restaurant’s shortcomings. He continues to struggle with staffing problems because his restaurant is a risky place for service professionals to work and does not pay enough to make it worthwhile to come off of unemployment.
He told CBS Sacramento: “It’s hard to find people who want to work right now. They want us to hire more people right now. We’re trying to hire more baristas. We’re trying to hire cooks. It is really hard.”
Locals believe that Voels needs to understand the struggles of everyday Americans before complaining about the number of people out of work.
Erica Oresky, a local resident, stated: “They were laid off and they went on employment, and they come back, and then they get laid off again. It’s a back-and-forth situation. Why not go on unemployment? It is an easy paycheck.”
Meanwhile, fast-food giants, including McDonald’s, are going above and beyond to attract employees by giving them sign-on bonuses and other incentives. Axios reported that an Arlington, Virginia McDonald’s location was willing to pay people $500 to work for their establishment. And Wendy’s is offering a $100 sign-on bonus as well as a referral bonus to those who help recruit workers. Plus, Wendy’s has begun offering same-day pay.
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