Muffin Break has been hit with a furious backlash after its general manager complained that entitled millennials were not prepared to work for free to gain experience.
Natalie Brennan said for about the past decade the number of young people looking to do unpaid work had declined, and blamed social media for giving those currently seeking work an inflated sense of self importance.
“Before that people would be knocking on your door all the time. You couldn’t keep up with how many people wanted to be working. In fact, I’d run programs because there were so many coming in,” she told News Corp.
“In essence they’re working for free, but I can tell you every single person who has knocked on my door for an internship or work experience has ended up with a job. Every single person, because they back themselves.”
Dear #MuffinBreak. I’m not sure your food and coffee will provide the sustenance I need. I am, however, willing to give you the opportunity to provide me with free food for 6 months. If satisfied, I will happily give you a written recommendation you can use to persuade others. 👍🏻
— Simon Hunter (@SimonHu49509082) February 23, 2019
I liked how the #MuffinBreak boss criticised young people for wanting to be “applauded” just for doing their job.
It’s kinda like corporate execs expecting short and long term bonuses just for doing their job.
I blame social media.
— Gareth Hutchens (@grhutchens) February 24, 2019
The “entitled millennials” #MuffinBreak are exploiting for free labour in the name of “career advancement” (LOL) are the same young people struggling to manage full time study, work, rent, groceries and 10 years worth of debt (on average) #Auspol
— Senator Jordon Steele-John (@Jordonsteele) February 24, 2019
I worked at a rival coffee chain across the mall from a Muffin Break when I was at school. If we accidentally burnt a piece of toast we were docked a whole shift’s pay. I’m glad millennials have wised up to the exploitation these crappy chains have benefitted from for years. https://t.co/MfWKY0gy37
— Siobhan Heanue (@siobhanheanue) February 23, 2019
She also said people expected pay rises far too early in their careers and felt like they had to be rewarded for completing routine tasks as part of their jobs.
“I think everybody thinks social media is going to get them ahead somewhere,” she said.
“There’s definitely that inflated view of their self-importance because they have X amount of Instagram followers or this many likes. That’s dangerous.”
It did not take long for people to hit back at the statements on social media, which she had blamed for the attitudes she said she had encountered.
Ms Brennan said people who had not lived up to her standards would not be hired and felt that she would “tell everybody” about them.
“Even giving people constructive criticism about how they can learn or improve, it’s like someone is ‘unfriending’ them. It’s like a personal attack,” she said.
“This ability to learn and grow through working in an environment, people don’t want to do it any more.”
Comment has been sought from Foodco, which sells Muffin Break franchises.