Lisa Garza Chooses Her Employees Based On Looks. Guess What? So Does Everyone Else.

Categories: Food News

Sissys_Script+Rooster.jpg
Yesterday morning, Pegasus ran a story criticizing the hiring practices of Lisa Garza as she ramped up for the opening of Sissy's, her new Henderson Avenue fried-chicken joint. The story focused on a request in Garza's job posting that instructed prospective front-of-the-house staff to submit a picture in tandem with a résumé.

Garza can hire any way she pleases. But a restaurant that screens servers based on how they look would seem to convey superficiality, rather than a great place to eat.

My initial reaction was, "Who cares?" Every restaurant screens their employees by how they look. Most owners are trying to create a specific environment when they open a restaurant, and they want their employees to fit their vision. Garza is simply pushing the practice out onto the internet and filtering employees before they even get through her front door. As long as she's not using it to discriminate, it's well within her right.

That said, the move does seem a bit shortsighted. Certainly a single picture does little to convey a person's personality, and Garza probably missed out on a few candidates that would have made excellent servers in addition to fitting into the "hip with a retro edge" vibe she was looking for.

Maybe Garza should have requested YouTube videos, to get an understanding of her applicants' personalities. If I were going to open a rockabilly soul food joint, I'd screen employees by the following:

  • Number of likes they have on Facebook
  • Number of tweets retweeted by certified hipster Twitter users
  • Percentage of Buddy Holly 45s in their vinyl collection
  • Number of pearl snap shirts in wardrobe
  • Sideburns size

But I'm not opening a rockabilly soul food joint, so I called Garza several hundred times yesterday to get her response, and received this email earlier today.

Hi Scott,

My experience lies in the catering industry in which it is standard practice to ask for a photo along with an application. While hiring for the staff of my new restaurant, I wanted to get a feel for their personality through their application and photo. We stopped hiring as of Thursday, and on Monday we began training a very well-rounded staff.

Thanks,
Lisa

Indeed, Trinity Event Staffing, a Dallas-based company that hires and places catering staff, requests a picture submission with an online application. Garza was was just hiring her staff using the process she was used to.

So let's get back to judging Garza on what we're supposed to: her service, and her chicken.



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24 comments
Chris Danger
Chris Danger

I wont eat at Lisa Garza's place anyways, too much uptown d-bag hype in that area. Im not allowed within  500' of uptown or knox/henderson because I don't own a pair of high-end driving slippers and lack a sense of over-inflated self-worth ;)

Peter
Peter

i may be able to explain Mr. Hightower ..she is just trying to hire people who fit her brand image, if you visit the place you will see people of all types and sizes . just look at other brands that do this on a much more superficial level i.e. Calvin Klein, Abercrombie and Fitch, and yes Hooters , Twin Peaks and ever Pharmaceutical company reps practice this . it  would take several armies of lawyers to fight all of that. 

Charo
Charo

Pretty sure no one reads pegasus and no onbe gives a shit about how restaurants hire. What a hatchet job. Slow news day at pegasus?

Steve
Steve

More bullet points, please.

dallas_paul
dallas_paul

I need an explanation of the statement, "As long as she's not using it to discriminate, it's well within her right."

How in any stretch of logic is this NOT a means of discrimination? All it would take is a 270-lb server with a stellar resume and a good lawyer to own her business.

Peter
Peter

i walked into Sissy's and got hired on the spot

Rodneyz Stanky Feetz
Rodneyz Stanky Feetz

Now watch, Hooters is going to start hiring its waitresses based on their physical appearance, too

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

I'll jump on out and say: Initial success then it fades away to dust.

She was/is only a "pretty face" herself on the tele, can't see her lack of personality (as if it matters in Big D) as a selling point.

In conclusion, head south of I-30 for great fried yard bird.

cynical old bastard
cynical old bastard

I hope they have good employment law attorneys:

n the US under federal law and in MOST states (not all) it is legal to ask.....

it is NOT legal to use the photo to make an employment decision in any state or under federal law.

is it a smart thing to do?

definitely NOT (actually it is a stupid thing for an employer to do)

it is very hard for the employer asking for a photo to prove their "intent" or to disprove a discrimination claim.

primi_timpano
primi_timpano

Read the Paul Quinn article.  Apparently you can do a lot of weeding out with photos based on criteria other than looks.

Madmaxx
Madmaxx

Kergo, what does Viki Hall Staffing look like? Need to know before I consider sending in an application.

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

Most good catering staffing companies require a picture with an application. And so what if she hires on looks!  No one wants to hire a root-jes sayin'. I've never heard of Trinity Event Staffing.  I recommend the VERY professional, and highly talented Viki Hall Staffing-they rock!

Kerg On!

Mark
Mark

Yeah, put it to rest. Crazy thing to get all hyped up about it. This is an issue better suited to a discussion on overall social practices. Has nothing to do with this or that business.

anonymous
anonymous

Scott does - to get ideas for blog posts

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

I'd also like to see said 270 lb server to own Hooters.Hasn't happened yet and I wouldn't want it to.

GusMitchem
GusMitchem

 Ugly isnt a protected class, or at least thats what Doug Stanhope told me

foodbevlaw
foodbevlaw

it has historically been a way to screen minority applicants

therrick
therrick

Then how does modeling work?

GusMitchem
GusMitchem

 Not necessary in Dallas, thats why we have a big ass ditch cut right through the middle of our town

GusMitchem
GusMitchem

 Or television or any production, didnt you learn anything from listening to Russ Martin

Mervis
Mervis

Or hiring at Hooters, Twin Peaks etc.

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