Ex-Chick-fil-A worker says his manager made him wear a cow suit in 100-degree heat for Cow Appreciation Day

@ryantempletbh/TikTok Summer_Wind/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘We have chicken to sell’: Ex-Chick-fil-A worker says his manager made him wear a black uniform in 110-degree heat for Cow Appreciation Day

'They kept me there 'cause I hadn't passed out yet.'

 

Jack Alban

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Posted on Feb 2, 2024   Updated on Feb 3, 2024, 12:52 am CST

Several current and former Chick-fil-A employees have called out the outdoor conditions they have to face as they field drive-thru customer orders on foot.

One worker for the chain recently posted a TikTok about being forced to wait outside in the cold as they didn’t want to purchase an official Chick-fil-A coat approved by management for use while on duty. This experience was shared by another worker who also posted about it online.

Others have highlighted their disappointment with the franchise for expecting employees to work outdoors for extended periods in 28-degree weather or having its workers rock rain “tents” even when there’s heavy precipitation going on outdoors.

And now, another employee for the chain has posted an outfit gripe of their own that deals with extreme temperatures and work uniforms, except their story time is a bit different from the other aforementioned examples.

TikToker Ryan Temple (@ryantempletbh) posted a viral clip about how they were asked to wear their all-black uniforms while working the Chick-fil-A drive-thru in the middle of July in Phoenix, Arizona. The temperature? 110 degrees.

Temple begins his story by talking about the precarious position Chick-fil-A management put both he and his co-worker in.

“When I was in high school I worked for Chick-fil-A because no other job would hire me, so I took what I could get,” he explains. “Chick-fil-A’s biggest day of the year was always Cow Appreciation Day. For anyone lucky enough to not know this, Cow Appreciation Day falls on the second Tuesday of every July and I worked in Phoenix Arizona.”

The TikToker notes that this time of year becomes incredibly hot in Arizona.

“So by the time we got to mid-July, temperatures were regularly hitting 110 degrees,” he says. “And despite the absolutely nasty conditions outside, my manager said, ‘Well we have chicken to sell.’ So myself and this other girl were put outside to work the two drive-thru lines.”

The TikToker went on to say that as brutally hot and uncomfortable as the experience was for him, he was somewhat used to the heat being born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. Unfortunately, his co-worker was not, and she wasn’t faring too well wearing the all-black uniforms under the merciless sun.

“Our uniforms were all black, the sun is beating down on us. I’m sweating, but I’m also born and raised in Phoenix, so like, I kinda know how to handle it,” he recalls. “The girl I was working with was new to Arizona. Her body did not know how to adapt to that. It was so ridiculous they ended up assigning another person from inside to periodically like run ice and sh*t out to us to keep us from passing out.”

However, Temple says this wasn’t effective enough. “Which didn’t actually work, because the girl I was working with got light-headed and had to sit down on the ground in the middle of an order,” he notes.

Instead of management calling it quits after seeing the health of one of their employees being jeopardized, they instead replaced her with another worker and kept Temple out there—because he hadn’t succumbed to heat stroke yet.

“For any logical management team, this would have been the moment where you say: ‘Let’s bring both people inside. It’s too hot to work out there. We have the speaker box, we’ll just run the drive-thru like that,'” Temple argues.

But his managers didn’t do that.

“This location said, ‘No, no, no, no, no, no. We’re gonna get someone to replace you, sweetie.’ They swapped her out for another girl,” he says. “They kept me there ’cause I hadn’t passed out yet, and they said, ‘Thanks for doing such a swell job guys.’ They wouldn’t even give us a free meal to say ‘thank you’ because our staff’s meal privileges had been revoked because we ‘hadn’t earned it.’ So genuinely, nastiness across the board.”

@ryantempletbh

every other customer also yelled at us that it was “too hot for us to be working outside” like yeah do you think I chose this??

♬ original sound – ryan temple

To make matters worse, as Temple mentions in a caption, several customers in the drive-thru questioned why they were working outdoors: “Every other customer also yelled at us that it was ‘too hot for us to be working outside’ like yeah do you think I chose this??”

One commenter quipped in response to his video that they thought the story was going in a much worse direction: “I thought you were going to say that you were in the cow suit that day! That would have been so much worse!”

While another remarked that this is an inherent issue with a corporate, profit-seeking mindset. “Capitalism: because our money is more important than your wellbeing!” they said.

A further commenter remarked that as a Chick-fil-A employee, they, too, were expected to endure the harsh elements just to patrol the drive-thru: “I can relate to that (I live in TX & the summers are brutal here) … they’d have me taking orders outside from 9:30am-2:30pm without a break.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to Chick-fil-A and Temple via email for further comment.

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*First Published: Feb 2, 2024, 1:00 am CST