COMMENTARY

Reader Poll: Restaurant confrontations - are they happening more often?

 
March 15, 2017 | by Shelly Whitehead

In Detroit, an Arby's customer has nothing short of a violent, adult-sized temper tantrum when employees at one of the chain's locations tells her they've run out of iced tea. 

Near Dothan, Alabama, a woman is partially blinded when a co-worker at a Taco Bell throws hot grease in her face after an on-the-job confrontation. 

Those are just two incidents from local headlines overnight involving abusive actions on the fast food frontlines. Sadly, the news is filled with a constant flow of such incidents, providing a disheartening daily demonstration of the very worst in human behavior and a reminder that it all too often occurs at restaurants. 

In most cases, it's stressed-out customers who somehow feel it's OK to verbally and physically abuse the often young, typically low-paid workers that man the counters and kitchens.

In fact, it could even be argued that news organizations like this one don't cover these stories as often as they occur because there are so many incidents. Often, reporters must pass them up to cover those many seemingly "larger issues," because it's believed that they apply to more restaurant industry players. 

But is that true? 

Is this constant flow of these events really insignificant or less worthy of coverage than stories about the latest technology available to the restaurant industry or information about new ways to market a brand or attract customers? I'd like your input. Through the survey below, I hope to get a take on the pulse of the industry regarding the current rate and nature of these types of in-restaurant confrontations among co-workers and customers.

To do that, please click here to answer six brief questions about these types of on-the-job confrontations at your chain. Your chain will not be identified in relation to your answers, but there is room to send me that information or even provide further information about the subject matter if you chose. 

Thanks for taking the time, and please return to this site for follow-up reporting on both the survey results and expert input on the subject in coming days. 

Photo: iStock


Topics: Business Strategy and Profitability, Food Safety, Hiring and Retention, Human Resources, Insurance / Risk Management


Shelly Whitehead / Award-winning veteran print and broadcast journalist, Shelly Whitehead, has spent most of the last 30 years reporting for TV and newspapers, including the former Kentucky and Cincinnati Post and a number of network news affiliates nationally. She brings her cumulative experience as a multimedia storyteller and video producer to the web-based pages of Pizzamarketplace.com and QSRweb.com after a lifelong “love affair” with reporting the stories behind the businesses that make our world go ‘round. Ms. Whitehead is driven to find and share news of the many professional passions people take to work with them every day in the pizza and quick-service restaurant industry. She is particularly interested in the growing role of sustainable agriculture and nutrition in food service worldwide and is always ready to move on great story ideas and news tips.

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