I used to enjoy watching Bar Rescue, the reality TV series in which bar consultant Jon Taffer visits various failing taverns and bars across the country and converts them into successful eateries.
Notice that I said “used to enjoy.”
Because here’s the thing. Most of the episodes featured Taffer yelling at bar owners about the restaurant’s cleanliness, about its inconsistencies, and mostly about the poor treatment of bar staff. Taffer did not appreciate finding bar owners who were late with staff paychecks, or didn’t even bother paying the staff.
Which made Taffer’s appearance on one of the Fox News broadcasts rather jarring.
Taffer was discussing the concept that workers are choosing to stay home and collect unemployment insurance, rather than taking whatever low-paying, long-houred jobs are available. He uses some wonky mathematics to explain his argument, claiming that a man can earn $800/week in unemployment, he and his wife can earn $1,600/week together, etc. Never mind that unemployment is taxable income, that right now the government is only adding an additional $300/week per worker, and that’s still part of surviving a freaking pandemic.
Then, in the middle of the interview, he compares workers to dogs.
You gotta be kidding me. Taffer works as a consultant to an industry where employees are routinely UNDERPAID, and who have to try to reach at least a minimum wage with tips – which, in turn, could be pooled for all employees. But, yeah, let’s treat workers with that kind of contempt. Sure.
Naturally, after the interview, Taffer tried to backpedal, with an “I’m sorry if anyone was offended” apology that wasn’t really an apology.
By the way, if Jon Taffer’s company wants to run their business without the assistance of the government, why did they take PPP loans in 2020? Oh, yeah … they did, because they could. Figures.
All right, let me step up to the soapbox here. (clears throat)
Mr. Taffer. Your apology was just an attempt to cover your ass after you shoved your foot in your mouth. That being said, treating workers with that kind of contempt, to make them starve until they take jobs that barely pay pennies, is the equivalent of telling workers, “I’ll stop the beatings when I see morale improve.”
Especially when your television series has you ripping new ones from bar owners who do the exact thing you just espoused on that newscast.
Maybe it’s time you took your own words to heart.
SHUT IT DOWN NOW.