A former Chick-Fil-A employee reveals that she was made to take orders outside without a jacket in the wintertime and without any breaks in the summer.
In a TikTok with over 515,000 views as of Thursday, Teacher and content creator Elsa (@semihippieteacher) shared how she was made to work outside at Chick-Fil-A even to the point of almost blacking out from the heat.
The video begins with a clip from another TikTok, in which a Chick-Fil-A employee is seen outside without a jacket, shivering.
“People are mad at Chick-Fil-A for leaving their employees outside in the cold without providing winter clothing,” the voiceover in the clip says.
Elsa chimes in, sharing that she worked at Chick-Fil-A for two years and as such, has some thoughts to share.
“The jacket part is absolutely true. They would not let us wear our own jackets because it didn’t have the Chick-Fil-A branding on it. Instead, if we wanted a jacket, we had to pay for it out of our own paychecks,” she confirms.
Else says that employees would be outside in the cold for hours.
“They would have us out there for like, two hours straight and it was freezing,” she says.
As bad as the working conditions in the winters were, however, Elsa insists that the summertime was even worse.
“I was working at a Chick-Fil-A in Oklahoma where in the summertime, it gets super hot and the humidity is ridiculous. Also, keep in mind our uniforms are like, these gray slacks and red polos, so it’s really hot inside of them,” she explains.
Elsa recounts a particular time in the summer when she worked hours in the heat without a break, causing severe physical symptoms.
“One time I was scheduled to go outside and I was out there for two hours straight with no break. They gave us walkie-talkies to let the people inside know that we needed a break. I was doing that. Nobody was answering,” she recounts.
“I was sweating profusely, I was panting, and the world around me was starting to look black. My body was starting to shake.”
Elsa’s physical reaction even elicited concern from customers.
“The customers as they were coming up to me were noticing I wasn’t feeling well. This one lady was like, ‘Oh my God, whenever I come around the drive-thru I’m gonna let the people inside know that you are feeling awful.’ And yet, no one came to check on me.” Elsa says.
Despite her condition, Else says she couldn’t just go back inside the restaurant. “I couldn’t go inside because I would get in trouble for leaving the post where I was supposed to stand.”
Eventually, a manager walks outside and Elsa asks him to take her spot temporarily. He complies, but it isn’t long before he’s asking someone to relieve him as well.
“Within five minutes of my manager standing outside, taking my spot, he [was on the] walkie-talkie like, ‘he, when is somebody gonna take my spot?’” she says.
“I was about to pass out and all this man cared about was for either me or someone else to come back outside,” Elsa vents.
As the video ends, Elsa suggests that this is just one of multiple incidents she endured while working at Chick-Fil-A.
“I have more stories on how they treated me, so let me know if you want to hear some more,” she offers.
In the comments, users shared their similar experiences with employers.
“I worked for In-n-Out. They forgot me in 100 degree heat and I ended up passing out. The customer I was with was a nurse though so win,” one person commented.
“Worked at Chick-Fil-A and was sent to do outside drive-thru when it was FREEZING RAIN. soaked through all my clothes and my skin stayed cold for 24 hours,” a second viewer noted.
“I’ve had to stand in the freezer before from being outside too long,” another viewer shared.
“Worked at Chick-Fil-A for 2 years. I mainly worked in the back but the put me outside for 4 hours in 100 degrees…I have POTS [Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome] and they wouldn’t give me water,” came another response.
The Daily Dot has previously reported on a TikTok showing a Chick-Fil-A employee freezing outside because he refuses to buy a $60 uniform jacket.
We’ve reached out to Chick-Fil-A via email and Elsa via TikTok message for more info.
Update 12:51pm CT, Nov. 30: Elsa, in a follow-up video about her time at Chick-fil-A, recounts the time she was harassed while on the job.
She says she worked at Chick-fil-A as a teenager and that, one time, a male middle-aged customer noticed her while in the drive-thru. She says after leaving the drive-thru, he later called the store and asked to speak with her. “‘Hey, I forgot to get your number in the drive-thru,'” she recalls the man telling her.
She says she informed the man that she’s a minor. “‘I’m 17. I can’t do that,'” she says she responded.
“‘Oh that’s not too bad. Can I still have it?'” she says the man responded.
Elsa says the man was 30-50 years old, and she remembered that because only older people had come through the drive-thru that day.