Economic challenges stemming from inflation and high gas costs are an “advantage” that could allow Applebee’s to pay employees less, an executive writes in a leaked email.
Wayne Pankratz, the executive director of operations for Applebees franchise, made the comments in an email uploaded to Reddi’s r/antiwork subreddit group on March 23.
“Everyone has heard that gas prices continue to rise. The advantage this has for us is that it will increase application flow and has the potential to lower our average wage,” Pankratz writes.
Pankratz also acknowledged in his email that most of the workforce at Applebee’s lives paycheck to paycheck. As government stimulus money wanes, people relying on unemployment funds will be forced to find employment.
“Stimulus money is no more, supplemental unemployment is no more,” Pankratz wrote. “This benefits us as prices rise, people who were relying on unemployment money, simply will have less money to spend. It will force people back into the workforce.”
Pankratz also predicted an advantageous labor market shift in his email, saying that the wage war was about to end. Rather than maintaining increased wages, Pankratz suggested lowering salaries and then acknowledged that many of the employees at Applebee’s would need to work second jobs.
“Besides hiring employees in at a lower wage to decrease our labor (when able) make sure you have a pulse on the morale of your employees,” Pankratz wrote. “[….] Many will need to work more hours or get a second job. Do things to make sure you are the employer of choice. Get schedules completed early so they can plan their jobs around yours.”
Applebee’s did not immediately respond to Fortune’s request for comment.