As I stand in a long line, waiting to order, I reflect on recent news. Shrinking labor unions have made a bid for relevance by trying to organize fast food workers.
Nationwide, there are periodic protests complete with civil disobedience. They want a Living Wage for flipping burgers. Adult, unwed mothers want enough money to support their families.
At register 1 is a heavy set woman who always looks exhausted. At register 2 is a middle-aged woman who appears to have had a very hard life. I avoid register 4; that woman makes too many errors and is combative. So here I am at register 5. The young man is heavily tattooed. No uniform, he is wearing a Pittsburgh Pirates ball cap and t-shirt. He has all the personality of telephone pole. He botched my order. No eye contact. He mumbles what I assume is an apology. Oh, no he is blaming the the people in back. Whatever.
Remember when fast food was served by clean cut, perky teens? They did their best to ‘act adult’, they were quick and accurate. Granted, the menu was much simpler back then. Back then everyone knew that gas pumping, paper routes and fast food were entry level jobs- not careers.
Fast food should voluntarily pay higher wages. They should also hire only clear cut, perky kids. I am serious, I don’t want a bitter forty year old glaring at me. I want a happy, energetic college freshman to serve me. I don’t want to see a hungover ‘Thug Life’ looking teen with no personality taking my order either.
I salute Chik*fil*A for hiring quality youth (including my niece Aliyah) consistently. I guarantee you, none of the servers at Chik*fil*A are demanding higher wages. They are too busy earning experience and good work habits. The Chik*fil*A server expects to get a promotion or start a higher paying career.
So there are two business models that work: the Chikffil*A model or the Sheetz model. I place my order at Sheetz via touch screen and get exactly what I requested every time. If we allow the government to create a flawed third model – we all lose out. No one size fits all mandates please.