“Our #1 Priority is the safety and security of our team. But…” So opened the letter tacked to the cork board of one Pizza Hut in Jacksonville, Florida as the threat of Hurricane Irma loomed.
The screenshot of the print-out appeared on Reddit and was addressed “To all Team Members.”
The bullet pointed document warned employees that while Jacksonville mayor Lenny Curry had ordered residents in certain areas to evacuate by Saturday, three days early, by Pizza Hut standards, 24 hours should be enough time.
“If evacuating, you will have a 24-hour “grace period” before the storm to not be scheduled. “You cannot evacuate Friday for a Tuesday storm event!”
The missive to employees was a hand-wringing statement about the tight-rope of balancing employee safety with the “responsibility and commitment to our community to be there when they need us.”
Minimum wage in Florida is a little over $8 an hour, we’re not sure if that’s motivation enough to risk hurricane winds to slang pizza in times of need. In fact, many people who viewed the note on the internet were outraged by it, accusing the store of putting profits before people.
Feeling the wrath of the internet, Pizza Hut issued an official apology on their corporate blog.
“All locations in the path of Irma are closed and will remain closed until local authorities deem the area safe. We absolutely do not have a policy that dictates when team members can leave or return from a disaster, and the manager who posted this letter did not follow company guidelines.”