Steakhouse CEO: Waiters Who Go To School Shouldn’t Get Minimum Wage

The NYC steakhouse chain founder appeared on Fox to whine about the recent minimum wage hike and ended up insulting both his waiters and customers.



William Jack Degel, the founder and CEO of Uncle Jack’s Steakhouse chain, is not interested in giving his waiters their minimum wages.

The NYC restaurant owner appeared on “Fox & Friends” to bemoan the recent minimum wage hike — and made no bones about the fact he thinks waiters are entitled people who shouldn't be allowed to go to school and customers are ignorant.

Degel told a fascinated Ainsley Earhardt he missed the good old days when “servants” used to take pride in their work — as opposed to now, when they are only filled with a “sense of entitlement.”

“I had busboys before. I cut them two years ago when the minimum wage for tipped employees went from $5 to $7.50. So I used to have a captain, waiter, bus boy,” he recalled. “Now I have only a captain and waiter.”

When Earhardt said, “So they have to do more work but it’s hard to find really good people, right?” Degel agreed it’s harder today to find such people — but made no mention of the fact the staff, which is now short, should be paid more if they are working more. He then ranted about how lazy waiters nowadays are.

“Today, it’s always harder. The way of wait staff is different," he said. "They used to be servants when I first opened years ago, people took great pride in being a servant… The younger people, they are not used to working, they are starting later. They’re going to school and they don’t wanna work.”

Apparently, Degel also thinks his customers are stupid.

When asked about what will happen if he does decide to pay his staff minimum wage, Degel said the “guests” will feel “insulted” if he raised prices of the menu and will stop coming to his restaurant.

“They’re not educated, they don’t understand what’s happening,” he said of his customers.

Uncle Jack’s Steakhouse apparently charges $10 for a concoction of lettuce, carrots, Bermuda onions and dressing, which it calls “house salad.” Apparently, the ridiculous price is normal in the high-priced locations of New York. However, if his customers are paying $10 for a really basic salad, then it’s probable they wouldn't have much problems paying $11 for it when the minimum wage increases. In fact, if Degel is charging that much for just a salad and still says he can’t pay his workers, then the fault appears to be his.

Perhaps Degel charges so much because living in New York is expensive, but the same goes for the people who work in his restaurant. The new minimum wage rate is $10 per hour. Does Degel really believe his employees don’t deserve a simple side salad for an hour of their work?

Apparently so.

Banner / Thumbnail : REUTERS, Paulo Whitaker

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