Easy Tiger Faces Resignations Due to Frustrations With New Management

Actions by management before and during SXSW leads to mass resignation

According to a previous employee of Easy Tiger on Seventh Street who wishes to remain anonymous, 26 employees resigned from the store with varying degrees of notice, with five workers walking out immediately on March 22.

That day, the store’s general manager and assistant general manager quit due to frustrations with upper management.

In an Instagram post shared by Texas Service Industry Coalition, the Easy Tiger employee stated problems with upper management began when employees were introduced to the company’s new President of Restaurants, Sue Kim, in January. According to the source, employees were caught off guard when Kim walked into the meeting and requested menu changes without an introduction or prior warning, leaving employees confused.

Company management proceeded to implement changes, including removing menu items and shortening store hours, which interfered with server tips according to the employee. Additionally, the employee quoted in the Instagram post stated that many store employees experienced disrespectful encounters with Kim, including an instance in which she allegedly referred to several managers as “r*****d, stupid and unable to talk to their employees.”

According to the employee, a major contention between Easy Tiger upper management and store employees arose during South by Southwest when the East Seventh location was going to be promoted as the primary location for serving festival attendees. The company, including Kim, implemented a ticket system that, according to Easy Tiger staff, forced guests to buy a minimum of five tickets for $15, even if they were not planning to spend that amount on food or drinks. “I had never apologized to that many people in all the time that I worked with Easy Tiger compared to that one or two nights,” the Easy Tiger employee said.

Though the employees were promised an immense amount of tips from the ticket system and the anticipated abundance of customers, employees ultimately lost money due to dissatisfied customers and a lack of business by the end of the festival. According to the employee, they made $430 on the third festival day, when the store stopped the ticket system. However, the employee only made approximately $150 on each day while the ticket system was implemented.

Easy Tiger representatives assure they took care of employees following SXSW, stating in an email, “After a softer than expected SXSW in terms of traffic at East, we were prompted to re-evaluate our core service model as a means of improving the team and guest experience. Prior to making these changes, however, we gave staff approximately $11,000 of sales to take care of them.”

Additionally, Easy Tiger maintains their net turnover at the East Seventh location is 10% since April 7, on par with the industry. Despite complaints from employees about treatment from Kim, Easy Tiger representatives state they have found “no wrongdoing or behavior inconsistent with core values” and are standing by their management team.

A friendly reminder: Boycotting a restaurant in an effort to make a statement to management is rarely the best solution. It ultimately only hurts the company’s workers, including servers and bartenders who depend on tips.

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