Why People Are So Upset Over This Florida Deli's Hiring Sign

The restaurant industry is chock full of fun little paradoxes. For example, it's entirely possible that the recent shortage of restaurant workers might not even exist if it weren't for all the lay-offs in the restaurant industry that occurred early on in the COVID-19 pandemic. At least that's what restaurant industry titan Guy Fieri suggested in a controversial interview with the New York Times, in which Fieri likened furloughed restaurant workers who've chosen to stay home and collect unemployment (rather than go out and grab available work) to children who choose to eat junk food instead of healthy meals. 

While some might think he's all that far off the mark, others might believe Fieri's wording could have used at least a gentle edit or a clear acknowledgment that some people are unhappy with their job or the low pay that may come with it. Many have been suggesting on social media that perhaps if restaurants raised their wages and otherwise treated their workers better, there wouldn't have to be a labor problem in the first place (via Reddit).

With that in mind, it starts to make sense that companies like Aldi are raising their wages and offering incentives such as signing bonuses to new hires. But then – and here is the flipside – you have Jason's Deli, a national chain of delis whose Melbourne, Florida, location recently posted a hiring sign that left a bad taste in some people's mouths. Here's what has people getting so upset.

Even if it was a joke, it wouldn't really be funny to a lot of people

Just days ago, we first glimpsed a photo of the now-notorious hiring sign (via Reddit) that hung briefly in a window of Jason's deli's Melbourne, Florida location. You know, the one prefaced with, "Min Wage = Mediocre Person"? Your first thought might be to assume that irony was the intent of any hiring sign which, after such an inauspicious and inhospitable start, goes on to list the various pay rates and their corresponding credentials in an openly demeaning fashion. For example, the sign says that to make $12.00 an hour, one should be prepared to do the work of "two people." Pretty soon after, the rumblings of a LOT of offended people became hard not to notice. As it turns out, people are upset over this hiring sign because, as strange as it may seem in the midst of a restaurant labor shortage, this sign was apparently meant to entice potential applicants. 

This sign, which states that one can make as much as $15.00 per hour if one "outshines and outperforms the owner" while also doing "all of the above" duties, was posted by a manager of the deli with the intent of attracting "prospective applications through the potential for upward movement," Jason's president and COO Ragan Edgerly admitted (via an emailed statement sent to Today). Edgerly described it as "inappropriate" and not a reflection of Jason's Deli's hiring practices.