Business

Man walks into empty Burger King

If you’ve tried to order from a fast-food restaurant recently, you may have noticed a longer wait for service.A Pittsburgh-area resident shared a video of one local restaurant with not a single employee or customer inside.”Showed up to this Burger King on Noblestown Road, and there is nobody in here. Nobody in here. Went to the drive-thru, nothing,” he says in the video.In the video, Lazz Tantalo described his experience when he tried to order food on a Friday afternoon.He went through the drive-thru and saw no workers; went into the dining room and found no one there.He even opened the door but found no one in the kitchen: “Anybody here? Hello?”Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 learned that the single employee who showed up for their shift that day just left. A manager eventually showed up to lock the doors until the restaurant could be staffed.A Burger King spokesperson provided a written statement on this incident.”We have been advised by the franchisee of this location that the shift leader had to leave due to a family emergency and sent the team home. In the process, a door was inadvertently left open. Once it was determined that the building was not secured, another manager came to secure the building,” the statement read.Chris Briem, of the Center for Social and Urban Research at the University of Pittsburgh, says this is a sign of the times.”Businesses always need to be agile to be successful. I think this has just sort of been an extreme case of, you’ve got to be willing to adapt rapidly to changing circumstances,” he said.Briem said that when COVID-19 hit, many Americans who were able to retire chose to do that, and the large numbers of student workers that were seen in the past are not returning to the workforce.For customers who are frustrated when they can’t get a quick meal on the go, scenes like this one may not go away soon.”I think employers are going to have to adjust, you know? There will probably be fewer workers out there. They’re going to adapt and shift,” Briem said. “Some employers can add more automation, can add more capital and technology to make their businesses work with fewer employees.”

If you’ve tried to order from a fast-food restaurant recently, you may have noticed a longer wait for service.

A Pittsburgh-area resident shared a video of one local restaurant with not a single employee or customer inside.

“Showed up to this Burger King on Noblestown Road, and there is nobody in here. Nobody in here. Went to the drive-thru, nothing,” he says in the video.

In the video, Lazz Tantalo described his experience when he tried to order food on a Friday afternoon.

He went through the drive-thru and saw no workers; went into the dining room and found no one there.

He even opened the door but found no one in the kitchen: “Anybody here? Hello?”

Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 learned that the single employee who showed up for their shift that day just left. A manager eventually showed up to lock the doors until the restaurant could be staffed.

A Burger King spokesperson provided a written statement on this incident.

“We have been advised by the franchisee of this location that the shift leader had to leave due to a family emergency and sent the team home. In the process, a door was inadvertently left open. Once it was determined that the building was not secured, another manager came to secure the building,” the statement read.

Chris Briem, of the Center for Social and Urban Research at the University of Pittsburgh, says this is a sign of the times.

“Businesses always need to be agile to be successful. I think this has just sort of been an extreme case of, you’ve got to be willing to adapt rapidly to changing circumstances,” he said.

Briem said that when COVID-19 hit, many Americans who were able to retire chose to do that, and the large numbers of student workers that were seen in the past are not returning to the workforce.

For customers who are frustrated when they can’t get a quick meal on the go, scenes like this one may not go away soon.

“I think employers are going to have to adjust, you know? There will probably be fewer workers out there. They’re going to adapt and shift,” Briem said. “Some employers can add more automation, can add more capital and technology to make their businesses work with fewer employees.”

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