Woman says legacy restaurants are closing because nobody will work for them

@queentayshops/TikTok dglimages/Adobe Stock (Licensed)

‘I’ve gotten $0 checks’: Woman says legacy restaurants are closing because nobody will work for them

'Call me evil but theyre getting what they deserve.'


Nina Hernandez


Posted on Apr 5, 2024   Updated on Apr 5, 2024, 11:56 am CDT

A woman says legacy restaurants are closing down because nobody will work for them at the wages they pay.

TikTok user Queen Tay (@queentayshops) is a Mississippi-based shopping and fashion reviewer who posted a video about the situation that has amassed more than 644,000 views as of Friday. In the video’s text overlay, she writes, “Yall want to hear some small-town gossip? You aren’t ready for this.” 

She then reveals the gossip. “Restaurants across Mississippi are shutting down because nobody’s working for them,” she says. “I’m in like 20 Facebook groups across the state, and a lot of groups are talking about it.”

Queen Tay says the issue caused five restaurants to close down in a town near where she lives. “They can’t find anyone who will work for them for their pay. It’s literally so bad that the management and friends of management … are posting in local Facebook groups saying, ‘This restaurant desperately needs workers,'” she says.

“And it’s hilarious,” Queen Tay continues. “People are literally commenting, ‘I’ll work for you for $16 an hour’; ‘Give me $18 an hour, and I’ll start tomorrow.’ Do you want to know the gag? Every single one of these restaurants pay $2.13 an hour—servers are getting paid $2.13 an hour.”

“People were already going through poverty here,” she says. “Imagine. This is the poorest state in the country. When the recession hits, we were already at the bottom. We’ve been at the bottom for 30-plus years; we went lower. Everybody’s fed up here. So these managers and owners who are owning generational wealth-building restaurants that are very big names in the South and are 80-plus years old are willing to let that company die at 80 years old because they want to cry from their BMW and mansion and get a friend to go crying for them on Facebook saying, ‘No one will work for us for $2.13 an hour, boo hoo.'”

@queentayshops Call me evil but theyre getting what they deserve 🩷 #queentayshops #gossip #povertywages #mississippi #poverty #lowwages #minimumwage ♬ original sound – Queen Tay | Shopping + Reviews

Queen Tay writes in the caption, “Call me evil but theyre getting what they deserve.” In the comments section, viewers expressed their own frustration with the restaurant pay structure.

One viewer wrote, “I made $2.13 an hour plus tips as a server…back in 1999. The fact it’s still the same in 2024 is insane!!!”

A second said, “Yup!! And I haven’t gone out to a restaurant for a a long time because it’s so expensive and at this point I can’t afford to tip, I won’t eat out if I can’t tip! Those servers survive on tips.”

Another viewer wrote, “commenting so I stay on Mississippi restaurant tea.” Queen Tay replied, “just made an update video bc girl that’s just the HALF of it!”

In the follow-up video, she says, “People are violently angry with me right now” because of her last post. She says she’s been kicked out of several Facebook groups and received anonymous calls but says her viewers shouldn’t be concerned about her safety. She says, “They’re going to be really mad when I tell y’all the actual tea about Mississippi,” which she says is that “there’s obviously a reason why people are only getting paid $2.13 an hour … and the reason is racism. Think about it y’all.”

She points out that Mississippi didn’t officially abolish slavery until 2013 and says she believes that is directly connected to the fact that the state doesn’t have a higher minimum wage for tipped workers. One viewer in the comments wrote, “Girl, you bravely SPILL THE TEA!!!”

@queentayshops Replying to @ascheme_thattoddsetup that was just the tip of the iceberg. DEEP DIVE with me 🤐 #queentayshops #gossip #mississippi #povertywages #poverty #lowwages #minimumwage ♬ original sound – Queen Tay | Shopping + Reviews

According to the Leadership Conference Education Fund, “Yes, the Tipped Minimum Wage is Rooted in Racial Injustice.” The article states, “Not only is the current rate of $2.13 per hour difficult for families to survive on, the subminimum wage is rooted in post-abolition racist attitudes. Although the practice of ‘tipping’ dates to European aristocrats, America’s culture of tipping emerged on the premise of undercutting free African Americans from receiving equal pay. Prior to the emancipation of African Americans, tipping was not socially welcomed. It expanded in America as a way to demean and degrade African Americans as servants in what were considered ‘menial’ jobs.”

Tay declined the Daily Dot’s request for comment via email.

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*First Published: Apr 5, 2024, 4:00 pm CDT