WE ALL QUIT: A photo of a Burger King sign went viral after workers protested long hours, low pay, and kitchen temperatures that reached 97 degrees

A sign reads 'we all quit' at a Burger King in Nebraska
  • A Burger King sign saying “we all quit” went viral after a group of disgruntled workers resigned.
  • The former manager of the Lincoln, Nebraska, restaurant said she quit over working conditions.
  • More and more people are “rage quitting” over conditions and low pay during the labor shortage.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

It started as a joke among overworked and stressed-out employees at a Burger King restaurant in Lincoln, Nebraska.

“They wanted to put up a sign to say, you know, sorry there’s really not going to be anyone here,” Rachael Flores, the former general manager, told the local ABC affiliate. “Just kind of a laugh to upper management.”

“I didn’t think anybody was going to notice it,” she added.

On Saturday morning, one of the staff changed the front sign to read, “We all quit – sorry for the inconvenience,” and the photo quickly went viral.

“I got a call from my upper management and they told me I needed to take it down,” she said.

Flores told Insider she had already submitted her two weeks’ notice after a grueling six-month stint as GM, but her boss told her to hand over her keys. Eight others soon joined her.

“The work experience described at this location is not in line with our brand values,” a Burger King corporate spokesperson said in a statement to Insider. “Our franchisee is looking into this situation to ensure this doesn’t happen in the future.”

When the kitchen air-conditioning broke for weeks, Flores said she saw the thermostat reach 97 degrees. Other photos on social media – confirmed to Insider to be from the same restaurant – show temperatures of 102 degrees.

Flores also said the restaurant was understaffed with a team of 13, and that she regularly had to cover unexpected absences, including many back-to-back open-to-close shifts from 5:30 a.m. to 1 a.m., with just an hour off during the day to care for her child.

She added that her team would frequently work six- and seven-day weeks for weeks on end, and that she was once hospitalized for dehydration.

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The location is one of several franchises owned by Meridian Restaurants in Lincoln, and Flores said that the local area managers resisted her requests to raise wages above $12.50 per hour, even for an employee who had worked for 18 years at the restaurant.

“It was just a slap in the face,” she said.

A Meridian spokesperson did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

These fast-food workers are among a growing group of retail workers who are “rage quitting” their jobs over working conditions and pay during the US labor shortage.

Experts say a tight labor market in the US is giving workers the chance to hunt for better-paying jobs.

“Consumer demand is expanding faster than people are able and willing to go back into the labor force,” Chris Tilly, a professor at UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs, told Insider’s Áine Cain.

“I don’t think we’re at a point where workers have permanently gained the upper hand, but I would be cautious about saying exactly when the power is going to shift back more to employers,” he said.