Chick-fil-A franchises in Alabama are limiting their services because they’re unable to find anyone that wants to work with them, their owners claim.
Although there is a pandemic going on and many people have died or are recovering and businesses are just rebounding, Chick-fil-A can’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want to work for a billion-dollar company notoriously owned by anti-LGBTQ advocates while being paid minimum wage or not much above it.
A Chick-fil-A franchise in Calera, Alabama claimed that they had to limit their service because of staff shortages, saying “We, along with many businesses, are in the middle of a hiring crisis.”
“You may have noticed that we have closed our dining room, turned off curbside delivery and limited the amount of catering orders we will accept. This was done to help reduce the stress on our team,” franchise operator Brad Johnson posted on social media.
He claimed, “We are doing everything we can to hire more team members. We are seeing far less job applicants, people not showing up for their interviews, or accepting a job only to resign within their first couple weeks. The restaurant industry has suffered from a hiring perspective during the pandemic and unfortunately Chick-fil-A is not immune to this labor shortage.”
The Facebook comments contradicted their narrative. “My son applied and interviewed and was never called back,” one person wrote, with Facebook indicating that the page privately responded to the commenter.
That same Chick-fil-A then announced on August 23 that they’re undergoing construction to “build for a better future” by installing canopies outside the store — and to add insult to injury, the work “will be done at night and on Sundays,” the day of the week when the chain is notoriously closed due to religious reasons.
Several other Chick-fil-As began complaining too, leading national mainstream outlets to pick up on the apparent trend.
A Bessemer, Alabama Chick-fil-A located within a shopping center posted the very next day, “We, along with many other businesses, both locally and nationally, are in the midst of a staffing crisis,” very similar to what the Calera franchise claimed.
The Bessemer franchise said, “We are grateful for the support we received from our faithful community throughout 2020 and the first half of 2021… but our team cannot continue at the pace we are at. Our team members are exhausted and there is no relief for them.”
They then announced that they would be closing their indoor facility for one day on Monday, August 23, although they would still bring enough staff in to operate their drive-thru and offer mobile orders.
The franchise thanked their “slim roster” for being willing to “serve our community.”
Again, Facebook commenters have contradicted the franchise’s claims in their post. “The dining rooms have been closed for over a year now,” one commenter said.
“Maybe if Chick-fil-A and other fast food restaurants started paying fair wages and benefits, then there wouldn’t be a staff shortage,” said another.
“Not gonna make any assumptions about your hourly rate, but you might have to sweeten the pot,” another added.
A Madison, Alabama Chick-fil-A also posted on August 21, “We, along with many businesses, are in the middle of a hiring crisis. We are doing everything we can to hire more team members.”
Commenters on this post also recognized there may be other issues preventing them from being fully staffed.
“Maybe, just maybe the lack of available employees has to do with the skyrocketing covid cases,” one person said. “No one wants to work and end up in the hospital because they got Covid-19 and must fight for their life.”
“My daughter has been trying to apply but there are no jobs posted on indeed for the Madison location. Where are the jobs posted[?],” one person asked.
A previous post by the Madison franchise page told people to apply on Indeed.com, but did not include a link to any application.
“He’s got a very simple instant solution. Raise pay,” said another commenter from Huntsville, Alabama. “100% guarantee when you get the pay and benefits high enough you will have your pick of employees as many as you want and they will show up everyday on time.
“Bojangles and Popeye’s have better food, and they’re nice to everyone,” said someone else on another post by the Madison franchise asking for people to pop in to apply, shrugging off the franchise’s concerns.
Chick-fil-A has long become a cause célèbre for Christian conservatives. Ever since it faced criticism in 2012 for its donations to extreme anti-LGBTQ organizations, Evangelicals have flocked to the restaurant to show their support for its conservative values. So any criticism of the fast food chain can be perceived as an attack on conservative Christians themselves.
After Chick-fil-A was first caught donating to extremist groups that promote, among other things, conversion therapy, CEO Dan Cathy said that the company was “guilty as charged” because they want to promote “the biblical definition of the family unit.”
Chick-fil-A later walked back that support and said that they would stop funding organizations with “political agendas.”
Years later, they were again caught donating to groups that oppose LGBTQ equality, and the chain again promised to stop donating to them. But a report earlier this year showed that Cathy – one of the heirs to the Chick-fil-A fortune with an estimated net worth of $8 billion – is giving money to organizations that are working to pass anti-trans laws in dozens of states this year and blocking the Equality Act in Congress.
Last month, the first Chick-fil-A to open in Alabama, located in a shopping complex in Birmingham, closed due to struggling business.
Conservative publications such as Christian Broadcasting Network are attributing the issue to “‘enhanced’ unemployment benefits,” which of course led to commentators such as Tomi Lahren blaming the problem on “lazies” being “incentivized” to not risk their lives trying to work in foodservice.
Juwan J. Holmes s the Associate Editor of LGBTQ Nation. The bisexual writer and multipotentialite from Brooklyn, New York previously served as the Weekend Editor from October 2019 to January 2021. He has also written for Bustle, Xtra Magazine, The Independent, and more. He is the Curator of the PRISM Collaborative and Editorial Revolutionary-in-Charge of the Renaissance Project.