Sign Advertising Discounts for Images of Employees Using Phones Sparks Fury

A restaurant's alleged sign is turning heads by encouraging patrons to take a picture of employees on their phones in exchange for a gift certificate, igniting a fervid debate in the process.

The viral Reddit post revealing the sign in the subreddit "Antiwork" is titled, "Spotted at a local restaurant." The post was shared on April 28, garnering 40,600 upvotes in just a few hours.

According to Statista, there were 11.26 million employees in the restaurant industry in the United States in 2020. The website also reported there were 660,755 restaurants in the country as of 2018.

Redditor @fishshake shared the post, which allegedly showed a sign at a WifeSaver Restaurant.

"If you see anyone behind this counter with headphones on or talking on, looking at or holding a cell phone, take a picture and email it to [email], and we will send you a $25 gift certificate." The sign ends with: "Thank you, WifeSaver Management," along with two cartoon birds.

According to the official website for WifeSaver Restaurants, there are five locations in total with four in Georgia and one in South Carolina. The business was founded by George Cunningham in 1965 to assist with medical bills for his son who had polio as a child. The first location was in the front yard of the Cunninghams' home. Chris Cunningham, George's son, is now the owner, and the chain of restaurants is known for its southern food offerings.

Over 3,500 comments poured in over the sign offering gift certificates in exchange for images of employees on their phones, and people weren't having it.

Person on phone
A sign advertising discounts for images of employees using phones has sparked fury online. Here, a person on their phone. DEMAERRE/GETTY

Some people honed in on the name of the business specifically. "Pretty much exactly what I'd expect from a restaurant named 'WifeSaver,'" a Redditor wrote.

One Redditor was shocked at the sign's remarks. "Wow, inviting people to take pictures of your staff without their permission is a whole other level of a**hole," they said.

Another user didn't mince words. "Turning customers into snitches," they weighed in. "Great way to run a business."

A Redditor revealed how they'd react if a customer did that to them. "Bruh, I swear if I need to look at my phone for whatever reason, and I look up and see someone taking a picture of me, I'm walking out," they said.

One Redditor had their own plan on how they'd get a gift certificate. "Time to ask a friend to hop over the counter wearing headphones and holding a phone just to get that picture that'll net you $25 a pop," they said. "It's specifically saying 'anyone.'"

Some people said they would try to take advantage of the situation. "Sweet, free food for anyone with decent Photoshop skills," a Redditor said. "You could even make sure the faces are obscured so as to not f**k the employees over."

While one user admitted they don't like "bad service," they expressed that they "would never ever rat someone out behind their back for [money], and I would dissociate from anyone who would."

Newsweek reached out to WifeSaver Restaurants for comment.

Redditor @fishshake told Newsweek: "I think the big takeaway here is that even in a pretty radicalized sub, most of the people commenting understand businesses having rules—such as cell phone policies—in place for the purpose of smooth business flow."

Redditor @fishshake continued: "What we don't agree with is the effort to basically bribe the customer into ratting out the employee. No one likes a Karen, no one likes a snitch. Buy a security camera if it's that bad. The cell phone policy becomes secondary to the effort to turn customers against employees pretty rapidly if you have any management experience whatsoever. Have some finesse, develop some employee relations acumen."

This isn't the only viral post involving an alleged business. A worker quit their job when their bonus was cut in half. An employee was investigated for talking about wages with their co-workers. In addition, a manager took an employee's side for not responding to a work message off hours.