Popeyes responds, Americans debate after young boy is caught on camera working in kitchen

USA Today
(Video screenshot)

The drama seems to never stop at Popeyes.

Last week, a brutish Poepyes store manager ran up to a 55-year-old female customer and slammed her to the ground, fracturing her elbows, her ribs and her left leg.

This week, a boy who appeared to be around eight years of age was recorded on film working behind the counter at a Popeyes in The Colony, a suburb of Dallas.

FYI, when folks on social media joked earlier this year that Popeyes would have to bring in child labor to meet the never-ending demand for its chicken sandwiches, they were JOKING!

Watch the footage below:

(Source: Inside Edition)

There’s good news and and bad news to report. The good news is that the boy wasn’t some sort of trafficked slave. In fact, he was the son of one of the restaurant’s former employees.

“The kid’s father works at the restaurant in Colony, Texas. The person who took the video [said] the restaurant was packed at the time,” Inside Edition reported.

The bad news, according to some, is that the boy’s father is now unemployed …

“We took swift action to explore this claim with the franchisee,” the fast food chain said in a statement to Fox News. “The restaurant owner has terminated the employee who brought their child, a minor, into the kitchen, and will fully cooperate with any additional investigations in compliance with state and federal laws.”

Texas law prohibits children under the age of 14 from working, while federal law prohibits children between the ages of 14 and 15 from working more than 18 hours per week during the school year.

“The safety of our guests and team is always a priority for us and we take any actions that are outside of our brand and operational standards very seriously,” the chain’s statement concluded.

This hasn’t necessarily engendered a positive response from the public, however, some have argued that the father’s mistake was one that deserved to be forgiven. Why? Some social media users cited their own past and how they used to work full days when they were young.

Other social media users argued that the kid had probably jumped in voluntarily because he’d wanted to help his dead. Others meanwhile suggested that the store owner, not the employee, should be made to pay for this apparently grievous error of judgment.


Over at Fox News, the top-voted comment as of Saturday afternoon read as follows: “And this is how far we’ve degraded. My grandma used to drive tractor at 10 years for her dad on the farm just like her two brothers and three sisters. Teach a good work ethic when you’re young. Kid wants to help out and learn to work awesome.”

Was that a fair point? Apparently, the customer who recorded the video of the boy working and made it go viral feels it’s not. To be clear, the woman seen in the Inside Edition video above is not the customer who filmed the recording.

While the identity of the recorder remains unknown, the Daily Mail has identified his gender and spoken with him.

“While I was there, there was only one person working the front counter and four employees in the kitchen,” the unnamed customer said to the outlet. “The line was out of the door and even the drive-thru was packed. I waited for over an hour for my order. The boy kept moving back-and-forth from the kitchen to another area out of view. It was so crazy, it needed to be caught on camera.”

While what happened was unusual, it’s not clear that it was that “crazy,” particularly when contrasted against everything else that’s occurred at the restaurant as of late.

Earlier this month a man was stabbed to death at a Popeyes in Maryland. That same day in Los Angeles, a woman accidentally damaged her Mercedes Benz while trying to cut in to a drive-through line at her local Popeyes.


Meanwhile, here’s just a sliver of the genuinely “crazy” stuff that’s happened at other Popeyes restaurants across America this week alone (*Language warning):

Popeyes … it’s apparently the place you go to fight!?


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