Last week, restaurant chain Sukiya issued an apology for obscene messages posted on Twitter by a part-time female employee between March and April.
The employee, a high school student who worked at an outlet in the Kanto area, repeatedly posted photographs showing her exposed chest area while attired in a Sukiya uniform. She was also seen masturbating.
According to evening tabloid Nikkan Gendai (May 9), the incident is the latest in a series of “part-time terrorism” acts to strike the chain, which specializes in gyudon beef bowl dishes.
In May of last year, posts on Twitter showed an employee asleep on the job. In January, employees were seen spilling miso soup. Two months after that, tweets showed employees playing games on the floor of a kitchen.
In the latest case, the employee’s Twitter account being set to where access was restricted, but the images eventually spread across the Internet.
The illicit images were not taken in areas accessible by customers, said a representative of Zensho, the operator of Sukiya. The company remains baffled as to what lead to the actions of the employee.
“The tweets were an expression of dissatisfaction with her part-time job, but there was no problem in the work environment,” said the representative. “In fact, in speaking with the person, a complaint against the store was not the reason. In the end, a clear motive was not determined.”
On May 8, the company consulted with police about possible legal recourse.
For Sukiya, the past year has been challenging from a public relations perspective. In addition to the recent Twitter-related problems, the chain came under fire in July about excessive overtime logged by employees.
According to journalist Ikutaro Tanaka, times are tough overall in the food industry, and securing quality employees has become more difficult.
“With Sukiya being synonymous with a business that exploits its employees, it is particularly difficult,” says Tanaka. “They cannot exactly be selective when it comes to hiring.”
As a result, turnover is high.
“With these pranks being widespread, I think they are a sign that working conditions have not improved,” says Tanaka. (A.T.)
Source: “Mune ya hea wo…sukiie baito mesukosei waisetsu gazo toko no nazo,” Nikkan Gendai (May 9)