Restaurant Work Still Sucks

Rocket Fresh2U: 2 Good 2 Be True

Remember when I raved about Asian food and grocery delivery service Rocket Fresh2U and then ranted when they charged me for two lobsters that I never received? Now it seems that Rocket Fresh2U no longer exists. Their website no longer works, their iPhone app does not open, their Instagram page has one post and six followers, and their Facebook page with 26 followers hasn’t been updated since February 7. Phone calls and texts to our contact there were not returned. I discovered Rocket Fresh2U when they advertised with the Val-Pak direct mail service. During its short lifespan, Rocket Fresh2U cheated me out of not only lobsters but also harvested my personal information and credit card number.

Been a victim of a food-related scam? File a report with Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson.

Food Fraud Facts

Speaking of scams, the more we look at olive oil, the more fraud we find.

Napa Valley Naturals markets olive oil that one would presume is grown in Napa Valley, in California. No - it’s “from the Mediterranean.” All the virtue signals are on this product, non GMO verified, certified organic and the best one: certified quality by the North American Olive Oil Society, which is not based in the Mediterranean.

“Our story began with a roadside produce stand run by our founder, the son of an organic farmer, in the heart of Califonias’s wine country. Packed in USA. Product of Tunisia.”

Napa Valley Naturals is probably not committing wholesale fraud, and deceptive marketing is not necessarily illegal. Stories of olive oil crime are as old as civilization, and never-ending. Here’s a recent one: Food Fraud Quick Bites - No Olive Branch for Olive Oil Fraudsters.

Oh wait here we go. Progress. “It’s already against the law in California to use the phrase “California olive oil” on products that aren’t made from 100% California olives. The new legislation, AB 535, would carry this further by banning any reference to California at all on the principal label, even as a brand name.”

Pizza Time Is Pizza Crime

What is it with restaurants, specifically pizza places, ripping off their employees? A recent right wing talking point claims that restaurants are having a hard time finding employees in the post-pandemic era, perhaps because of “generous” unemployment benefits. Savvy media consumers might realize that many people working for minimum wage with no benefits have moved on, or would rather be poor than to suffer the indignity of going back into a hot, smelly restaurant where they are subject not just to wage and tip theft, but exposure to COVID and often sexual abuse as well.

Several Seattle area pizza restaurants were recently forced by the courts to compensate employees. Restaurants are a low margin business. That being said - if you can’t afford to pay your people a living wage you don’t have a business. The world is changing, and the corporate restaurant chains listed below are going to have a real hard time surviving unless their business plans undergo a radical transformation. Applying to work at a restaurant? Do an Internet search so you can find out how crooked the owners are.

Renowned Seattle Restaurateur Tom Douglas (Serious Pie) Settles $2.4 Million Lawsuit With Employees

Pagliacci Pizza to pay $3.75 million to settle delivery drivers’ class-action lawsuit

Next target for law firm that took on Pagliacci over wage theft: Zeeks Pizza

Speaking of pizza fraud, a friend of mine grew up with the founders of MOD Pizza, who are from Bellevue, Washington.

They became incredibly rich after selling their UK-based chain of coffee shops to Starbucks. There is ALOT wrong with this business, too much to detail in this post. Let’s just say that if you’re motivated by money and not by the desire to make good pizza, your pizza is gonna suck.

MOD Pizza and other chains grab slices of aid meant for small businesses

Next week: We will be setting up a card table and our gas burner at an undisclosed location along with our new sandwich board / chalk board which will say “FREE CHILI.”

–Alex