Some Restaurants Only Hire Hot People -- Get Over It

texas roadhouse restaurantsMuch has been made over a recent lawsuit (brought by the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) alleging the Texas Roadhouse restaurant chain discriminated against job applicants over the age of 40. According to the claim, the national chain instructed its managers to only hire younger workers for front-of-the-house positions like servers, hosts, and bartenders.

Now, you don't need a law degree to know that age discrimination in the workplace is illegal and disgusting. But I'm betting that if the EEOC were actually to investigate all the other restaurant chains in the country, it would discover that many more than just Texas Roadhouse are guilty of the very same violation. Whether we like to admit it or not, restaurants like to hire hot people. And I happen to have a personal story that illustrates this very fact baseless speculation.

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I spent many of my younger years working in bars and restaurants and had built up a fairly hefty food service resume. One summer, whilst in between restaurant jobs, I got a call from a bar owner who had received a resume I sent. He said he liked my resume but wanted me to come answer a few questions in person. When I dropped by that same afternoon, he took one look at me and told me the position had been filled.

It was obvious what had happened: This guy didn't think I had the "look" for his place. I'm guessing I'm not the only "not hot enough" person in the food service industry and that other people have had a similar experience -- maybe at a big chain, too.

The fancy word for it is discrimination, but seriously, this happens all the time. Many restaurants think customers prefer spunky, young, good-looking people regardless of experience and hire accordingly. It's not personal, it's business. Of course in the case against Texas Roadhouse, there seems to be a possible pattern of age discrimination with managers allegedly saying things like, "We're hiring for greeters, but we need the young, hot ones who are chipper and stuff." But generally you can't fault businesses for hiring the people they think will sell their product the best.

(Ultimately, however, the joke's on the restaurants who only hire young, hot people. Because truth be told, I'd prefer an older, experienced worker any day of the week. Don't you agree?)

 

Image via dno1967b/Flickr

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