The teenager, who goes by the name J Salsa on social media, claims he was a chef at J D Weatherspoon, a popular chain of U.K.-based pubs. That is, until he started recording videos from his restaurant’s kitchen.
J Salsa shared a series of clips on TikTok, during which he makes some of Weatherspoon’s most popular items. In one video, he whips up the chain’s Southern-fried chicken wrap. In another, he prepares an order of halloumi fries.
Many of the videos impressed fans of the restaurant — which is known for low prices — with plenty of TikTokers sharing their “surprise” that certain menu items were freshly made. Others, like a clip of J Salsa heating a sealed container of chicken korma curry in the microwave, claimed that some dishes weren’t exactly homemade.
J Salsa’s videos have drawn millions of views over the past few weeks — more than enough, apparently, to tip off his bosses.
On September 13, the teenager shared a video in which he claimed he’d been suspended from his job. According to him, his managers made the decision after learning about his TikTok page.
“My managers had a meeting with me today … about the whole situation,” J Salsa explains.
J Salsa said his managers were fairly calm and understanding. Meanwhile, he said he apologized and called the videos a “mistake.” Regardless, he was allegedly told he’d be suspended until the company could hold a disciplinary hearing.
On September 21, J Salsa shared another update claiming he’d been fired for good. The teen seemed to take the news in stride though, saying he understood the chain’s decision.
“I’m not surprised at all, because at the end of the day I did break company policy,” he explained. “I did have my phone in the kitchen and I did post like, in-work stuff on social media.”
He went on to say that his bosses brought up his continued TikTok posts about his suspension, citing those viral videos as yet another reason for his firing.
“I feel like I would’ve been fired anyway though,” J Salsa said. “Because that s*** went viral. It hit headline news like crazy.”
The teen concluded by saying that it’s been “weird” to see his story get so much attention, although he appreciates the “love and support” he’s received online.
J Salsa’s situation isn’t all that uncommon. Plenty of restaurants have rules against sharing in-store videos online, a policy that’s led to plenty of alleged firings.
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