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Canadian Restaurant Owner Blames Entitled Millennials in Part for Killing Her Business

Apparently the poor work ethic of millennials has contributed to the closure of a beloved Halifax-area restaurant.

At least, that’s what the owner is claiming loud and clear on social media.

Yesterday, Kim Stacey, owner of the now-defunct Emma’s Eatery in Eastern Passage, NS, took to Facebook to explain the cause of the closure. Though she names a handful of reasons – including pricey locally sourced food, exploitative landlords, and suffocating bureaucracy, among others, one in particular is sparking a growing social media uproar.

It is with a heavy heart that we inform you that Emmas is now permanently closed. To all of our customers who have so…

Posted by Emma’s Eatery on Monday, February 1, 2016

In the post, Stacey claims that that a “frustrating new generation” of employees with attitudes of entitlement played a role in ruining her business.

She says that the young employees demanded to be “paid dearly” for working shifts that didn’t interfere with their social activities, hobbies, and cellphone use. She also slams her employees of any age for not being able to work because they were too “stressed out” or were unable to deal with constructive criticism. According to Stacey, “they quit instead of learning work ethic.”

Not surprisingly, defenders of this “frustrating new generation” were quick to voice their opinions, calling Stacey out for both stereotyping and making poor hiring decisions.

In response to one Facebook comment, Stacey referenced young, social adults who still live at home and expect their employers to accommodate their extracurricular activities when it comes to their work schedule.

“School comes first and, in many cases, family,” Stacey wrote on her page. “However, when … the employer has to sacrifice their own personal lives to accommodate sports or entertainment activities, and when documented job requirements are not performed because of cellphone distractions and texts … that becomes a problem.”

According to Global News, when reached by phone, Stacey said that the expectations of her employees were too high.

“It’s gotten to the point where they actually think that I’m their family and that they are entitled to come and go whenever they want,” she said. “I’ve noticed a huge difference in the last four or five years,” she said (the restaurant was in business for nine years).

Stacey blamed the attitudes of young employees on a school system that doesn’t recognize failure and parents that keep their children too occupied with planned activities, “burning their kids out” in the process (if they’re old enough to work, you’d think the “kids” would be old enough to make their own decisions – just saying).

“When the kids get to work they say, “Finally, time to relax,” she said.

While the inevitable backlash has been undeniable, some are celebrating Stacey for unapologetically telling it like it is. The post has inspired a heated online dialogue concerning everything from the merits of flexible work schedules, to the real and perceived attitudes of millennials both in general and in the workplace.

(We already tackled millennial workplace myths in a post last year. Hint: They’re bulls*t.)

Stacey has since said that widespread media coverage had distorted her original message, and elaborated in a second Facebook post:

“Each point is certainly debatable and can be elaborated upon as these topics have gone unexpectedly viral across the nation throughout multiple media sources. I only hope the dialogue will bring awareness that can benefit my fellow community members in a positive way.”

When it comes to her “fellow community members,” however, it’s safe to say she probably won’t gain any fans from our generation.


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