Mary’s owners respond to backlash over ‘whining, entitled’ comments about young workers – Hack

The co-founder of Sydney hospitality company Mary’s Group has defended a widely-panned podcast discussion about the attitudes of young workers.

In an interview on Hack today, Mary’s Group founder Jake Smythe said, “Do I think that young people are lazy? Absolutely not. Young people are everything that we have.”

Comments made on Marys Group’s podcast The Fat went viral after they were reported in an article by the Sydney Morning Herald on the weekend.

In the episode, Mary’s Group founders Jake Smythe and Kenny Graham criticised the work ethic of some young hospitality workers, calling some of them “Whiny f***ing c***s”.

The discussion came after the pair talked about the working conditions of “old hospitality” where “tyrannical, abusive bosses” were common in the industry.

“There’s no way any of us were happy to be working under tyrannical, abusive bosses…It was all-out war in kitchens and it needed to change,” Jake Smythe said in the podcast earlier this month.

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However Smythe said there had been an “over-correction” of abusive culture in hospitality some years ago; the culture in place today, he said, made it hard for owners to run their businesses “without offending somebody.”

In the episode Smythe added that not all young hospo workers were “entitled”.

Jake Smythe told Hack that the podcast had been unfairly “distilled into sound bites” and critics weren’t seeing the full picture of his views.

“I’m actually a millennial, I’m a young person. I completely understand this which is why our company has worked tirelessly and will continue to do that, to be champions of this exact topic. What I do find difficult is when things are distilled down to sound bites that don’t represent my actions as a whole.”

“At Mary’s Group and every single venue we operate, we are absolute champions of young people and of work-life balance for them.”

The podcast has drawn criticism on social media. Australian Unions said, “In an industry rife with wage theft, insecure work and exploitation, it’s the workers who are entitled”; Hospo Voice labelled the comments as “tone deaf”.

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In a statement today which called the reaction to the SMH article a “public shaming” and contained an apology to Mary’s Group workers who felt hurt by the comments, Jake Smythe and Kenny Graham also acknowledged that the hospitality industry has a long way to go with a number of issues.

“Wage theft and crushing work conditions still exist in corners of the industry.

“Mental health pressures are exacerbated by the ready supply of alcohol and the normalisation of drug use. As humans who wrestle with these issues personally, there is a fine line to walk between normalising these behaviours and encouraging people to explore their own agency and support that path.”

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The complaints of the entitled workers of Silicon Valley

This is the web version of Data Sheet, Fortune’s daily newsletter on the top tech news. To get it delivered daily to your in-box, sign up here.

Thirteen years ago, Google topped Fortune’s annual preposition-ending “100 Best Companies to Work For” list. I wrote an epic cover story that detailed the many perks of being a Googler. Of course, there was the food, always the food, but also dry cleaning, oil changes, fitness centers, massages, language classes, and on and on and on. Google coddled its employees in ways that would leave most employers dumbfounded. Much of Silicon Valley, in a hyperbolically named “war for talent,” followed suit.

There were drawbacks. It’s questionable if an over-coddled workforce truly produces returns for shareholders. I recall arriving at Google for an evening event and seeing employees carrying dinners boxed in takeout containers getting on massive coaches that would drive them home. They clearly had stuck around just long enough to get a free meal—not exactly the point of the free food. It reminded me of my colleagues in Tokyo a decade earlier, who would go out drinking after work and then come back to the office for a free car-service ride home so they wouldn’t have to take public transportation—not because they were working late.

I dredge all this up having read a New York Times expose about bickering at tech companies, particularly Facebook, by childless workers who resent the special treatment being afforded stressed-out parents. It’s understandable that people would lack the empathy or the foresight to realize parents have a particular set of challenges. After all, their companies have so skewed the meaning of being an employee by instilling such a sense of entitlement that this kind of response is predictable.

The leadership of the tech companies have only themselves to blame.


California’s infamous law that aims to require Uber, Lyft, and others to classify their contractors as employees had a bevy of unintended consequences. It ensnared freelancers like writers, musicians, and others who gig for a living and get paid by multiple benefactors. The state quietly fixed its mistake last week with a new law that exempts those individuals. The fight over ride-hail and delivery drivers rages on.


In the mid-1970s, my dad took me to one of my first baseball games, a Cubs-Cardinals matchup at Wrigley Field in Chicago. When Lou Brock, who died Sunday at age 81, came up to bat, I booed him because, well, he was on the other team. My father quickly admonished me: “You don’t ever boo a superstar,” he said. I’d like to think I never did again.

Adam Lashinsky


This edition of Data Sheet was curated by Aaron Pressman.

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Pub owner’s brutal reply to ‘entitled little toddler’s’ negative review

A pub owner who received a negative review from an unhappy customer has replied in the most brutal way

The woman called “Jo” left the review after visiting The Cowshed at Hucknall for her sister-in-law’s 50th birthday.

She claimed that her party spent approximately £700 between them on drinks and pizza before they were asked to leave by “staff with awful attitude” for being too drunk reported Daily Star.

In the review Jo wrote, she said: “[They] didn’t mind taking the £700 though, I have never been spoken to in such a way.

“Maybe they should open reviews [on their website].”

Her group were asked to leave for being too drunk

She then added: “And, yes, our family member was sick, and yes, we cleaned it up so no members of staff were affected by this.

“Maybe a course for your staff in customer service wouldn’t go amiss – rude staff, huffing and puffing because they had a large round to bring out.”

But the restaurant, which has a five star rating on TripAdvisor, shared their version of events from the night on Facebook by saying: “Hi Jo, thanks for reaching out!

“We love feedback, whether it be positive or negative, we especially love feedback like this so others can see the type of people we have to deal with sometimes.”

It thanked her for her review, before shaming her

Firstly, it said that Jo hadn’t spent the amount of money she claimed she did.

To spend that amount of money they would have had to have ordered 39 of their most expensive pizzas and 57 of their most expensive drinks…

The Cowshed continued: “You ordered nowhere near this, Jo… not even close.

“What you and your party spent, Jo, was a far more realistic and believable £280 (£225 on 5 rounds of drinks and £55 on 8 pizzas).”

Then it got a little brutal. 

It added: “You all acted like belligerent, entitled little toddlers from the moment you walked through our gates.

“At 4:30pm you showed up with the tables you wanted already taken, but not to worry, we shuffled other customers about at your request in order to accommodate you.

The group almost made a member of staff cry

“Then you proceeded to pull our light fittings loose off our boundary fence in order to hang your birthday decor.

“We cleaned up all the smashed pint glasses you broke and birthday cake you dropped and smeared all over our tables and benches, and tolerated the many loud family rows you were having with each other.”

The group also supposedly treated The Cowshed’s staff  like “personal servants.”

It wrote: “Clicking your fingers, shouting, swearing and barking your orders at [staff], to the point one was almost in tears and refused to deal with you any more.”

But it didn’t stop there.

The group also refused to abide by social distancing rules following the coronavirus pandemic.

“Then, for your party’s grand finale, the gentleman in the blue shirt headed into our bar from outside and decided to vomit everywhere but the toilet.”

“Our staff stepped into to help, but you demanded to ‘deal with the situation’ and rather than clean up the mess, proceeded to smear it over an even wider area with our mop, whilst… once again, being loud, rude, sticking your hand in our staff’s faces and shouting over anybody who was trying to communicate with you or help.

“Don’t worry, the staff member that you nearly had in tears earlier on cleaned it up for you.

“So now consider this your official barring… don’t you or your group ever set foot through our doors again.”

The interaction went viral on Facebook for the restaurant’s no nonsense reply.

Since being shared it has received over 18,000 likes and 5,800 comments with one person simply saying: “Congratulations Cowshed!

“You have won the internet today!”

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COVID SLACKERS: ‘Selfish, entitled, arrogant’

AS RECENT reports reveal, too many people are ignoring COVID-19 restrictions regarding gatherings and non-essential travel.

In fact, one Northern Rivers mayor reckons the region saw more travellers from Victoria come here by road than by air during the July school holidays.

All the mayors despaired of what one refered to as “selfish, entitled and arrogant” people who did not think the rules applied to them.

The comments come in the wake of NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian stating she’s prepared to enforce tougher rules if necessary to reduce community transmission of COVID-19.

Meanwhile, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk confirmed she will raise the issue at the next meeting of national cabinet after a man who tested positive to COVID-19 avoided mandatory hotel quarantine when he flew into Sydney from Kabul, then to the Sunshine Coast and drove 230km to Toowoomba, after falsely claiming to have diplomatic immunity.

Byron Shire mayor Simon Richardson said “entitled and arrogant” people who held large parties were “very frustrating”.

“We have to keep following best medical advice, keep making sure politics and economical imperatives are secondary,” he said.

“You always get a percentage who see themselves above our wider community.

“Why are we allowing people to rent short-term accommodation or be able to fly around the state and country?”

Ballina Shire mayor David Wright said the council was following all state and federal guidelines.

“We had more people coming from Victoria in the school holidays who drove up rather than fly,” he said.

“You can’t stop that until there is a complete state lockdown.”

Cr Wright said he spoke with police on Sunday about the possibility of moving the state borders south.

“The police told me they did not have the mandate or the resources,” he said.

Tweed Shire’s deputy mayor Chris Cherry said she found it “hard to understand people’s selfishness”, while the vast majority of their residents “are doing the right thing.”

Cr Cherry said she felt there did need to be stricter rules in place regarding essential travel as too many people seemed to be flouting the rules.

“That people are able to lie about their travels suggests there is a problem in the system,” she said.

The Northern New South Wales Local Health District has been contacted for comment.

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