Just looking at that sign quite literally fills me with rage, but TBH, even in non-extreme examples (i.e. not the sign above), I find it wildly problematic to center a nationwide restaurant industry staffing shortage on "the ones who showed up vs. the ones who didn't." I mean, "be kind to the ones who showed up" seems like a weirdly aggressive way for restaurant owners to simply ask their patrons to "be kind to [their] staff," amirite?
Now that enhanced unemployment benefits at the federal level have officially ended, restaurant owners are still struggling to understand the hesitancy for folks to join (or re-join) the workforce. Any restaurant owners anticipating an "instant" return to pre-pandemic staffing numbers following the end of enhanced unemployment benefits were quickly proven wrong, as the percentage of job openings in hospitality still remains higher than any other industry.
So...if you previously worked in the restaurant industry and decided you're not going back, we want to know your reason(s) why.
For example: perhaps your place of employment wouldn't actively enforce COVID-19 protocols, leaving you in a dangerous position.
Maybe your final straw came after dealing with customers who were unwilling to comply with COVID-19 regulations, or you've decided it's just not worth risking the possibility of contracting COVID from unmasked guests.
Maybe you realized you could be paid a comparable amount in a new field entirely, without the inherent physical demands of working in a restaurant environment.
Or maybe you needed a steady paycheck with tangible benefits...one that didn't rely on tips from increasingly-impatient customers.
Whatever your reasons, tell us why you're not going back to the restaurant industry in the comments below. If you'd rather remain anonymous, all good — just go ahead and fill out this form. We'll feature your responses in an upcoming BuzzFeed Community post.