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‘I wanna give you a little glimpse of what actually happens around here’: Rita’s Italian Ice owner responds to criticism for bringing her kids to work during Undercover Boss episode

'She literally has them on a public restaurant floor with everything set up like they at home.'


Jack Alban


Posted on May 18, 2023

Rita’s Italian Ice franchise owner Stefani Nieves (@snieves88) received criticism after an Undercover Boss episode revealed that she brings her kids to work.

Viewers on TikTok weren’t too thrilled with the fact that she brought her kids to work, with many saying that the working conditions of the franchise weren’t necessarily the best place to keep kids. The original clip from the show has over 5.4 million views on the social media app.

@undercoverboss_show President & CEO of Rita's Italian Ice – job 2 – part 1 #undercoverboss #dank #boss #sketch #undercover #surprise #fake #fyp #foryou #viral #trendingvideo ♬ nhạc nền – Undercover Boss

Viewers of the clip had a lot of criticism for the franchise owner in the comments.

“Why is the baby ON THE FLOOR?? in the back next to cleaning supplies???” one user asked.

“She literally has them on a public restaurant floor with everything set up like they at home,” said another.

However a few noted that due to a lack of access to affordable childcare, many moms are forced to bring their kids to work.

“My mom managed a subway 6+ years ago and I had to two to work with her. Most of the time I would sleep in the supply closet and steal cookie dough,” said one user.

“Lots of mom hate in the comments. The woman is running a business and still being available to her family,” pointed out another sympathizer.

The fed-up franchise owner also took to TikTok to directly respond to the criticism on social media. In her own video, which has since been taken down, she shows her children in the Rita’s franchise she owns.

Stefani says that reality TV programs are not necessarily indicative of “true” reality.

Stefani addresses the camera, “Hey everyone, Stefani here from Undercover Boss. It seems that my episode has been popping up on your for you page. So I wanna give you a little glimpse of what actually happens around here because everybody feels the need to lambaste me on social media. Oh your kid shouldn’t be there, oh they’re this they’re that the baby’s by the chemicals. Shut up! OK, enough! So here you can see what they’re actually doing today when I’m here making ice.”

@snieves88 #undercoverboss #ritas #ritasitalianice #hollandmi ♬ original sound – msstefanilyn

Stefani then picks up the recording device and walks around the kitchen to show viewers what the reality of her workplace situation.

“Here’s one, chillin,” she says pointing to a baby lying down on the tile floor with a blanket beside her. “Oh hey, here’s another one,” says Stefani as the camera reveals a toddler smiling in a baby carrier. “Heeeyyy, guess what she’s watching? Some dumb show. You know where the older one is? In the office watching something else stupid on the computer. Are they bugging anything here? Nope. They sure aren’t. They really aren’t, and also let’s take a look at our chemicals over here.”

The owner also addresses a recurring criticism about her children being too close to chemicals. She pans the camera over to a steel rack of what appears to be food ingredients and home cleaning products.

“What is such a problem over here that a 5-month old baby who couldn’t even roll was parked right here during the episode? The comments were just stupid. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Especially my favorite was oh well she should have her franchise taken away. Does anyone on this planet have a brain and realize how franchises work? You can’t actually do that! I own the store! You can’t tell me I can’t come to work you can’t tell me my kids can’t come to work! So yeah, that’s enough with that. So, if that episode comes around, just remember: a lot of what you see is not actual reality on TV.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to Stefani via TikTok comment and Rita’s Italian Ice via email for further information.

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*First Published: May 18, 2023, 2:00 pm CDT