Restaurant Manager Fired For Making Food While Barefoot In Plain View Of Customers

Everywhere you turn it seems there’s a cell phone waiting to capture your every move, whether it’s your roommate chronicling the epic blob of food on your face or a savvy customer catching a restaurant worker in the act of doing something that’s just plain gross. To wit: A cellphone pic of a taco restaurant manager in Iowa preparing food while barefoot is causing quite the stir.

According to the Des Moines Register, the 31-year-old team leader at the restaurant mowed the grass outside the franchise on Aug. 8, and then walked into the food-preparation area which is visible to any customer at the counter. She then started making food for herself and friends, says the report.

And a customer did see her — and snapped a photo of the barefoot woman and posted it to the company’s Facebook with the caption noting the location and adding:

“This woman was preparing food with bare feet, no uniform, her bra and chest hanging out all over the place, she was pouring sweat, wiping it off with her hands and not washing them. I asked for the manager — she WAS the manager!! She was extremely rude because I was upset with her appearance and behavior.”

That’s all it took for the photo to spread to the restaurant’s Facebook page, prompting the franchise owner to look at the security footage of the incident. The owner then fired the employee for her behavior, which included failing to pay for the food she’d made for herself and friends, which violated company policy as well as state health regulations.

This is all leading to a bad spate of business for the restaurant, as the owner testified at a public hearing that business has gone down 25% to 33% since the photo went viral. The parent company might also decide to revoke her franchise agreement.

Meanwhile, the fired worker filed a request for unemployment benefits after she was fired, but the owner contested that claim. A judge denied the request, citing health code violations and that the theft of food “had a negative impact” on the restaurant.”

Keep your shoes on at work and pay for food, people. You never know who’ll be watching, and they probably have a cell phone with a camera.

Photo of manager leads to her firing [Des Moines Register]

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  1. LauraNorthrup says:

    The ubiquity of cell phones with cameras is the reason why I no longer dance at weddings.

  2. SingleMaltGeek says:

    I know people feel icky about them, but I don’t see how bare feet carry more germs than shoes. The rest of the manager’s behaviors were definitely illegal and unethical, but I’m just saying, from that photo alone, the only thing I can see that is clearly a health issue is that her hair is loose.

    • IrishLad118 says:

      Yeah, I was going to say the only thing about being barefoot that I can see would be the danger to herself of stepping on something. I take issue with her wiping sweat from her brow and not washing her hands.

      • SingleMaltGeek says:

        Oh, that’s a good point, it’s probably an OSHA regulation. You could claim that bare feet might be harder to clean than rubber, but lots of shoes have cloth or leather tops, and as for the extremities themselves, your hands and face can sweat as much or more than your feet, and they both get closer to the food, as the article mentions.

        (I hope this didn’t put anyone off their lunch…but given the post on which we’re commenting, I hardly think this is going to bother anyone still reading.)

    • BikerGeek79 says:

      They don’t call it “Athlete’s Hand.”
      If she has any kind of open wound or infection on her feet, she’s just spread it all over the floor of the restaurant. Also, with her tank top and hair all a mess and that she was reportedly all sweaty, she had no business anywhere near food of any sort, but especially not for paying customers, until she cleaned herself up and put on some proper clothes.

  3. CommonC3nts says:

    There is nothing wrong with being barefoot in the kitchen. Cooks normally make food with their bare washed hands. I dont think anyone has ever made food using their feet and neither did this women??
    Wearing shoes or not has 0 effect on food contamination.

    Now the wiping your sweat with your hands and then touching food without washing your hands and then not wearing a hair net are the only sanitation violations she has made.
    She was fire for those two reasons. The not wearing shoes did not matter at all for sanitation.

  4. MissPurdy says:

    Actually it sounds like she was fired for being a dumbass. Barefoot behind a food counter in front of customers, really?