A Chick-fil-A restaurant in Hendersonville, North Carolina, is facing online criticism after posting a call on social media for volunteers to work in the restaurant’s new express drive-thru.
The fast chicken restaurant promised free entrees instead of monetary compensation.
“We are looking for volunteers for our new Drive Thru Express!” said the Hendersonville Chick-fil-A in a Facebook post that has since been deleted after a flood of negative comments.
The post earlier this week said volunteers would earn five free entries per shift (one hour) worked and asked those interested to message for details.
The Hendersonville Chick-fil-A declined to comment and directed all media inquiries to the company newsroom. Chick-fil-A responded via email and linked to a statement given to Business Insider. The corporate press team did not respond to questions submitted by the Times-News.
A spokesperson for Chick-fil-A told Insider on Wednesday that the company does not endorse the volunteer program and the restaurant has decided to end it.
“Most restaurants are privately owned and operated, and this was a program at a privately owned restaurant,” the spokesperson told Insider.
The Chick-fil-A Facebook page has drawn comments about it, even after limiting who can comment on the page’s posts. A post featuring a backroom worker holding a young child eating an ice cream cone received comments such as “Find a volunteer who works for ice cream instead of sandwiches? It’s even cheaper. Be aware that there are child labor laws in this country. Another said: “Man, these volunteers are definitely young!”
A thread on Reddit, a popular social news forum and discussion website, featuring a screenshot of the post, caught the eye and received nearly 23,000 interactions and around 3,500 comments on Thursday afternoon.
A senior commenter asked, “There is so much wrong here that I don’t know where to start. But first: why not just (donate) money instead of vouchers? Aren’t they more than minimum wage?
With the restaurant now on the lookout for volunteer labor, Chick-fil-A of Hendersonville caught the eye last summer after proudly announcing wage increases for employees. The franchise said full-time workers would start at $19 an hour starting Aug. 23, 2021. That was a jump from the previous April, when Chick-fil-A Hendersonville promised staff $15 per hour. However, not all employees were eligible for the $19 rate. Workers aged 14 or 15 started at $12 an hour and part-timers at $14.