Jersey Mike’s employee says can’t wear masks b/c “it looks tacky.”

So during the pandemic I make the majority of my meals at home of course but once about every two weeks I will do an online meal pick up order at a business in between doing errands/getting a two week order of groceries (do online pick up for groceries too). I always wear a tight N95 face mask, hat, hoodie and gloves in public and only use businesses where the employees are wearing face masks and gloves. I work as hard as I can to social distance and am fortunate enough to work from home which also helps limit my exposure. A few weeks ago I decided to try Jersey Mike’s subs pick up for the first time during the pandemic and used their app after calling the store first and confirming with an employee he was wearing a mask and gloves.

After I get to the store a lone employee wearing a face mask and gloves behind the counter greeted me right away, asked for my name and said “Ok, your order is over there, sir” and pointed me to a pick up table nearby where my sandwich was waiting. Boom, I’m done, was out of store in less than 30 seconds. To me this was great as several other restaurants including a few local restaurants I try to support have the same basic process.

Fast forward to earlier this evening and I’m doing my errands in the same area and order a sandwich from the same Jersey Mike’s. This time I go in the store after giving plenty of time for the order to be completed and when I get there, my order was not waiting on the designated pick up table and two different employees are behind the counter not wearing masks while making sandwiches. After waiting for about three minutes one of the employees asks for my name and hands me the bag. I didn’t want to complain while inside the store because I felt bad for the employees and figured it probably wasn’t their fault so I called the store back after getting home (and throwing away the sandwich since I definitely wasn’t feeling safe eating it) and spoke with a supervisor. After tell her about this, she says she understands and they’ll refund the order back to my card but then she adds “…just so you know sir, we don’t wear masks while making the sandwiches.” I then tell her about my pick up order a few weeks ago with the employee who was wearing a mask, so why wouldn’t they wear them? She then says ‘Well he wears a mask and gloves because he’s older but the owner doesn’t let the rest of us wear masks.’ I then ask what reasoning their owner has for that and she says “The owner doesn’t let us wear masks because he thinks it looks tacky and unwelcoming for the customers.” I then asked for the owner’s name, thanked her for her time and ended the call.

So, yeah, that was really something else. Is there a point to trying to report this sort of thing somehow to Jersey Mike’s corporate or can this guy just basically do whatever he wants as a franchisee/store owner?

Report it to corporate, especially if you live in an area where masks are mandatory.

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Their corporate got in touch with me a few days ago, I gave them a detailed report. Hopefully that store and the owner get taken care of.

You did the right thing. I’m sure corporate wasn’t happy. That store represents their brand.

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Exactly. And what bites is I really like Jersey Mike’s and before the pandemic I used to go in that store a lot and always got friendly service, but they can’t just blatantly brush off safety like that, everything has changed. Anyways still waiting to hear back from their corporate.