Young hospitality workers have bitten back at claims made by the owners of popular Sydney burger empire Mary’s that they are ‘whining’ and ‘self-entitled’.
In a recent episode of The Fat – A Mary’s Podcast, Mary’s Group founders Jake Smyth and Kenny Graham unloaded on “whining” and “self-entitled” young workers, as well as discussing cancel culture and political correctness in an expletive-ridden tirade which was picked up and published in the Sydney Morning Herald.
“It’s almost impossible to run a business now without offending somebody. It’s almost impossible to run a life without f—ing offending somebody,” Mr Smyth said.
“You’re seeing it so clearly with this cancel culture behaviour, which seems to be getting some sort of push-back now, thank f—. I think COVID has given some perspective to life, to a degree.”
On the concept of work-life balance, Mr Smyth, 38, said: “It is one of the most dangerous terms young people have been introduced to.”
“The luxury that I got given as a kid was you can choose what you want to be. That was the thing my parents and my grandparents fought to give me. I thought the whole idea was trying to find a f—ing job that you loved, and that’s your work-life balance.”
While Mr Smyth acknowledged on the podcast that the vast majority of his company’s young employees were “hard-working beasts” and only a small number were “self-entitled little f—s”, the pair were forced to issue a statement apologising after backlash from the hospitality community over the comments which were described as “insensitive and unfair.”
“To those hurt, we apologise for what has been framed to be a public shaming. This is not what was intended,” the statement read.
“Our staff’s passion, dedication and sweat has been the cornerstone of Mary’s success and we are beyond grateful for your energy, grit and determination in a tough and unforgiving industry.
“For those of you that feel that Mary’s is not doing their utmost to provide a supportive environment within which you can thrive and flourish- we invite you to continue to engage with us to improve this, our beloved industry.
“To those who have supported our venues over the years and are disappointed or hurt by the article, we apologise for causing you distress and confusion.
“To those that work across our industry, we know how hard this year has been, and the last thing we wanted to do was to add to the pressure while we are all on the ropes.
“Further, we thank you for your support and humbly ask that you recall what you know of us, not the words of others on social media.
“We hope that you can recognise Mary’s as it is- a home for all. A place of community, respect, empathy, kindness and as champions of youth culture, music, art and life.
“For those that claim that Mary’s does not care for the mental health and well being of our staff, you have obviously never worked for Mary’s.”