A nicely decorated restaurant with set tables.
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Restaurant Owner Has Regrets After Hiring An Attractive Server

One woman took to Reddit to share her story of how the new server she hired completely changed the culture in her restaurant. But it wasn't the server's fault; it was the other employees who began harassing her.

User CalamityClambake posted to the TwoXChromosomes Subreddit, stating that things "got weird" after she hired an attractive server to work at the restaurant she owns with her husband.

"My husband and I own a restaurant. It's a nice place and we employ people who are expected to act professionally."

A dark blue and yellow restaurant with a few people dining.
Unsplash | Volkan Vardar

"We have low turnover so we don't hire new people that often. But last week I hired a new waitress because we need the coverage. She's a very pretty woman in her mid-20s. She brought some experience and some excellent recommendations and so far she's been a stellar employee."

"My problem is with the men who work for me."

A server taking orders in a busy restaurant.
Unsplash | natasha t

"I've done my best to cultivate a workplace that is fair and kind and ethical. But some of these dudes have turned into [explative] jackasses. It's even worse because I've known some of them for years and they've never behaved this way in front of me before."

"Tonight I had to fire one of my line cooks."

A restaurant worker cutting various vegetables.
Unsplash | Jonathan Borba

"This is a guy in his 40s who has worked for me for years. He worked with my husband before we owned our own place. I'm friends with his wife. And yet he decided that what he needed to do was ask this new waitress out... repeatedly."

"He cornered her in the walk-in and wouldn't let her leave until she said yes."

A large restaurant that's not yet open for business.
Unsplash | Nick Karvounis

"...He's fired in the middle of the dinner rush and everyone else had to pick up his slack. Now he's blowing up my husband's phone trying to get un-fired. Fat chance, buddy. My husband doesn't suck."

"I don't know. I'm just so tired. And I'm down a line cook for tomorrow."

An empty table at a restaurant with a little business.
Unsplash | Sandra Seitamaa

"And everyone is mad, or sad, or freaked out. I'm sitting here drinking a beer because my husband is gonna walk in soon and we're gonna have to talk about it. And I married a good man, but I know I'm gonna have to explain that the firings are gonna continue until the harassment stops."

The commenters on the post commended OP for dealing with the harassment on the spot.

A woman pointing to text that reads, "Women supporting women."
Giphy | Kerry Barrett Consulting

"Can I just say how proud I am of you for doing the right thing and protecting this young woman despite her being newest on the team?" one commenter posted. "I’ve seen some crappy employers in my day who would fire despite her having done nothing wrong."

Others shared their own stories of workplace harassment.

A woman sitting on a couch in a dark room, upset.
Unsplash | Annie Spratt

One user said, "You are a good manager/ boss. When I was cornered all the time and followed into the walk in freezer my manager told me to relax, he just really likes me ( while she knew I was in a relationship AND told her that I am HARASSED)."

Sexual harassment is an unfortunate reality for a lot of women.

A woman working at the counter of a cafe.
Unsplash | Irina

And it's especially worse in the restaurant industry. Up to 90% of female restaurant workers experience some kind of workplace sexual harassment as of a 2017 report published by Harvard Business Review. In addition, up to 70% of men experience the same.

People who experience harassment often don't report it.

A man shaking his head as he says, "It shouldn't be this way."
Giphy | Soul of a Nation

Because the restaurant industry has such a high turnover rate, many workers may simply leave their position rather than report harassment of any kind. There's also the problem that the culture in restaurants tends to ignore and in some cases, encourages harassment.

The restaurant owner who posted this story definitely did the right thing.

A man calmly saying, "It was the right thing to do."
Giphy | Apple TV+

It's not the server's fault that others find her attractive, and it definitely isn't her fault that they feel the need to harass her and make her feel uncomfortable. As long as owners and managers continue to punish people for perpetuating workplace sexual harassment, the culture surrounding it will hopefully begin to change.