Why I Won’t Patronize Einstein Bros
Einstein Bros Bagels is a popular breakfast and lunch quick serve restaurant owned by Einstein and Noah Corp. Their speciality is bagels and coffee.
It began in 1995 by chain restaurant corporation Boston Chicken now called Boston Market to break into the breakfast food market.
I’ve never been a big fan of bagels. Most are nothing but refined white flour (high glycemic index) and salt. A large bagel has between 300 and 360 calories before you add cream cheese or other topping. Some people can easily eat two large bagels for breakfast.
Bagels, like other breads sold in the United States tend to be high in sodium. Up to 700 mg in a large bagel.
Einstein Bros bagels, according to their website, weight between 101 and 158 grams (3.6 to 5.6 oz. ) and have between 460 and 770 mg of sodium. That is before you smear on any of their shmears that add 105 to 260 mg of sodium per 42 grams (1.5 oz).
A shmeared bagel can supply over 500 calories. Give my waffles or French toast instead.
So why am I writing this post?
I received an ad in the mail for Einstein Bros NEW gourmet lunch sandwiches; Napa Valley Chicken and Bavarian Chicken made with whole chicken breast. The sandwiched in the ad photo looked like what you’d expect from a casual eat-in restaurant. And with a buy one get one free coupon, I knew I had two candidates for my new series of videos about what you get versus what’s pictured in ads.
So on Sunday October 19, 2014, I stopped by the nearest Einstein Bros and ordered one of each sandwich.
A plus, was the sandwiches were made fresh. They weren’t basking underneath a heat lamp.
I chose a Sunday, because I want the sandwiches as fresh as possible before they went before the camera.
It was about 11:00 am and the place was busy. Behind the counter were three young girls who appeared to be in their teens. No male worker was in sight.
I have not seen three people work as hard as they did to place and fill orders. They were scrambling.
My heart went out to them. Knowing how corporations work these days, I’m sure their performance determined whether or not they would have a job. Here they were scurrying around to earn $7.90 per hour (Arizona’s minimum wage as of January 1, 2014). A non living wage for “inexperienced workers”. Inexperienced? They were preparing and serving food to dozens of customers while the franchise owner was enjoying her/his Sunday.
Not only do these workers not make enough to live on if working full-time, many are hired part-time to avoid providing benefits like health insurance, paid time off, or sick pay.
When I was their age, most businesses were closed on Sunday. Now, almost every nationally franchised food service business is open 7 days per week, some are open 24 hours per day, and many no longer believe a national holiday is a reason to close.
Corporate philosophy is, “If we aren’t open to serve people, our competitor will be.” So while franchise owners enjoying weekends and holidays with friends and family, millions of people on the bottom rung of the socio-economic ladder are required to work odd hours, holidays, and weekends if “they want to keep their job.”
As I waited for my order, which took about 15 minutes, I felt a loathing and contempt for his restaurants owner. I realize their are peak times and staffing for those peaks can be difficult, or perhaps they were understaffed that morning. The work environment I saw doesn’t build confidence and stamina, it produces anxiety and stress. And that is what I saw. Young people working in a stressful environment.
Restaurant kitchens are busy places. There is no doubt about that. Usually it is out of sight and patrons never see or experience what it is like. But when it is out in the open and you experience what the employees go through to earn their pay it can be an eye opener.
My experience was negitive enough to convince me I will never set foot in another Einstein Bros restaurant for a every long time.