Commenters on a recent viral video were furious after a TikTok user claimed Chili failed to pay many employees the signing bonuses they were originally promised.
In a TikTok captioned, “The harder you try to hide it, the more it comes out,” user @alexservestea (a former Chili employee) posted numerous direct messages she received from Chili employees and called out the restaurant chain for attempting to erase any online evidence of wrongdoing.
Posted three days ago, the viral video has been viewed 12.1K times and received over 2,400 likes.
Including a short clip from an “employee appreciation” video posted by Chile’s official TikTok account, @alexservestea claimed the restaurant chain is “working overtime to protect its image.”
Then the TikToker shared a series of captured messages (with the sender’s identity scrambled) alleging that Chili failed to pay the $100 and $300 signing bonuses.
“Chili’s does not honor its signature bonuses for its cooks,” read one post. “I was hired assuming I would get $100 at the start and $300 after 90 days.”
“I’ve been there for almost a year and have called the company multiple times and still haven’t received my $300,” the post continues.
In 2021, Americans quit or change jobs at rates never seen before.
Last year, an average of more than 3.95 million workers left their jobs per month, according to the Society of Human Resource Management.
3.95 million monthly dropouts is the highest rate the US has ever seen, surpassing 2019’s monthly average of 3.5 million.
Propelling the “big resignation” or, as LinkedIn CEO Ryan Roslansky called it, the “big shakeup,” American workers quickly jumped from job to job, citing poor work-life balances. privacy and toxic work cultures as primary reasons for leaving former employers. .
To quickly fill vacancies and capitalize on a new willingness to change jobs, employers have offered signing bonuses at similarly unprecedented rates.
“Ads offering a login bonus increased across all industries by a whopping 454 [percent]“, GlobalData reported. “From 10,312 posts in August 2020 to 57,123 in August 2021.”
Large signing bonuses have prompted many unemployed workers to accept positions at new companies over the past year, however, some employees said they never received the bonuses. At Chili’s, 58% of employees said they had never received bonuses, according to data collected by Comparably, an online resource dedicated to making compensation data public.
In response to the viral TikTok posted by @alexservestea, many commenters questioned why Chili’s didn’t pay employees the signing bonuses they were originally offered, and called out the restaurant chain for its digital appreciation campaign employees.
“[Companies] stop saying it’s ‘appreciation day’,” one TikTok user commented. “What if you appreciate your team every day?”
“How much are they spending to produce and promote these videos when they can just PAY THEIR SERVERS AND COOKS?!?” user @variantsorceress asked.
“Calling a random day ’employee appreciation day’ is MUCH cheaper than paying your employees [what] you promise,” another commenter added.
In the viral TikTok, @alexservestea relayed a similar message to many commenters and said he receives direct messages from disgruntled Chili employees on a daily basis.
“I find it funny that this morning you posted a video saying, ‘We love our employees so much,'” the TikToker said. “Yet every day I receive messages about how you don’t care about your employees.”
“But you’re trying to image the public because I’m sitting here dragging her,” she added.
Newsweek contacted Chili’s for comment.