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Restaurant Workers — What Was Your Last Straw For Not Returning To The Industry?

Front-of-house or back-of-house: we want to hear from you.

Y'all have seen signs like these, right?

Bummer to see this coming from @VPizzaJax

Twitter: @DRHegedus

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?

All I'm saying is, if I walk into a restaurant and they have one of those "we're understaffed because we hate our employees and don't want to pay them" signs, I'm leaving, but not for the reason the owners think

Twitter: @RifewithKatie

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.

Sign on door stating "ATTENTION: Please wear a face mask before entering. Thank you."
Nurphoto / NurPhoto via Getty Images

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.

Imagine going out to eat at a restaurant, being provided a service, and this is how you act. They also didn’t tip the server and wrote “no free hand outs liberal” on the receipt

Twitter: @FakexJake

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.

Chef taking a break in the kitchen.
Fotografia Inc. / Getty Images

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.

restaurants: omg we’re so understaffed. It’s like no one wants to work anymore /: Also restaurants:

Twitter: @SydneyMarieL