Ohio pizza shop draws attention for seeking to hire “non-stupid people”

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A pizzeria in Columbus, Ohio is raising eyebrows after advertising to hire a specific type of job applicant. 

The family-owned Santino’s Pizzeria has posted a sign reading, “Now Hiring Non-Stupid People.” The job ad has garnered social media buzz for the tiny shop on the city’s southwest side.

Santino’s didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday. 

Most customers who saw the sign have laughed, Santino’s co-owner Jayden Donigan told an ABC News affiliate in Columbus.

“It’s more humor than anything,” she said. “It’s not meant to target anyone or be rude.”

Donigan said she and her family posted the sign two months ago out of frustration with hiring in recent months. Previous employees have come to the pizzeria with little to no work ethic, Donigan said, adding that “finding good help has been difficult.” 

Heather Stockton, a manager at Santino’s, told CBS affiliate WBNS that she’s looking for an employee who is “just reliable, on time, just, don’t come to work in like sandals.” She also noted that they put up the sign after people were no-shows for job interviews or didn’t take the work seriously.

Hiring struggles

Santino’s is looking to hire at a time when restaurants nationwide have had trouble recruiting workers, given strong demand from other industries as well as competition within the hospitality sector. 

The food service sector also typically offers low salaries and little to no benefits, resulting in poor worker retention. The median food service hourly wage was $17.56 for non-manager roles as of December, according to Labor Department figures. 

Restaurants are struggling to hire in part because would-be food service workers have instead opted for higher paying jobs in other industries, the Washington Post reported

Ohio resident Natasha Fox, who visited Santino’s this week, said she didn’t take offense and knew the sign was meant to be funny. 

“I get where they’re coming from (but) I don’t think it’s a bad idea,” Fox told the ABC affiliate. “You want someone working here who’s going to comprehend what’s being ordered.”

Santino’s isn’t the first business to use the non-stupid sign. A pet boarding service in Texas used it and the move raised some eyebrows in a suburb of Houston last October, CBS affiliate KHOU reported. Walter Parsons, owner of Pets Gone Wild Resort, told the station that the sign helped him hire a great candidate. 

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