Chick-fil-A Employee Shivers While Taking Orders Outside After Refusing To Buy $60 Employee Jacket

Is it reasonable to ask employees to pay for their own uniform jacket?

Chick-Fil-A with long line of cars in the drive-thru Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock

If you live near a Chick-fil-A, you’ve probably seen the company’s unique way of handling their long drive-thru lines. To keep things moving quickly, employees walk down the line of cars, taking orders from each window.

This may be an efficient way to handle wait times, but it could come at a cost to employees, especially employees who live in cold climates.

One Chick-fil-A worker is claiming employees must pay $60 for jackets to wear when working outside.

DJ, a TikTok user who goes by the name @coolkid._3 on the app, shared a video showing himself standing outside to take orders.


The video, which has amassed 3.4 million views, showed DJ in a short-sleeved shirt “freezing” because he “refused to spend $60 for a uniform work jacket.” In the caption of the video, DJ stated that he was left outside for three hours in the cold.



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Commenters were a mix of angry and confused. “You have to PAY for a jacket?” one asked. Another chimed in saying, “They don’t give you guys jackets to borrow?” One TikTok user incredulously asked if DJ could wear another jacket, which he said was not an option.

On their website, Chick-Fil-A lists “casual jackets” and blazers as optional parts of an employee’s uniform, making it sound as if workers are allowed to wear their own jackets if they choose to.



A post on Reddit seems to have debunked this claim from the company, however. One Reddit user created the post after noticing $36 was deducted from her first paycheck at Chick-fil-A to cover the cost of her uniform. The comments also appear to support DJ’s claim. One user wrote, “When I worked at CFA we had to pay for shoes and some outerwear.”


Someone who may have previously worked in a management position at the restaurant chain said, “Winter-wear, like jackets, were pick the style and pay for them.”

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Chick-fil-A’s average salary isn’t enough to buy a $60 jacket.

PayScale reports that the average base hourly salary for a Chick-fil-A employee is $13.06. This means an employee would have to work over four-and-a-half hours to even be able to buy a jacket. At this rate, an employee working full-time would make a little over $2,000 a month, or about $25,000 a year.

Forbes took a look at the cost of living in the United States in each state. Hawaii is said to have the highest cost of living, coming in at $55,491 a year. Meanwhile, Mississippi has the lowest cost of living at $32,336 a year.


chick-fil-a employee refuses to buy uniform jacketPhoto: QualityHD / Shutterstock

Based on these numbers, a Chick-fil-A employee would not meet the standards in even the state with the lowest cost of living. When faced with the need to pay for essentials like food, housing, and transportation, it’s not surprising that one would struggle to purchase a $60 jacket that would likely only be used at work.

Chick-fil-A’s insistence that employees pay for their own jackets which are meant to be part of their uniform is concerning and opens up a slew of questions.


How many other companies have similar policies? How can employees be expected to cover such costs with a salary that doesn’t even meet the cost of living? And, perhaps most importantly, do employees really have no other choice but to put themselves in uncomfortable and even dangerous situations if they cannot afford to follow company policy?

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Mary-Faith Martinez is a writer for YourTango who covers entertainment, news, and human interest topics.