UnderCover Waitress: Orlando Sentinel Writer Seeks Information

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Orlando Sentinel Writer Seeks Information

Received a note from Sandra Pedicini from the Orlando Sentinel. With her permission, I am quoting it here verbatim. She said it was fine to post her contact information.
"Hi there. 
I've seen your recent blog posts about Darden.
I cover Darden for the Orlando Sentinel, and I'd like to ask for your help. I'm trying to find people who have worked for new Olive Gardens, Red Lobsters and LongHorn Steakhouses - ones that have opened in the past six months. I'm also looking for anyone who works at these chains that has been labeled something called an M28. I'd like to ask them a couple questions about benefits and hours. 
Would you mind posting something about that?
I do not have to use their names. 
They can reach me at spedicini@orlandosentinel.com or 407-420-5240
- Sandra Pedicini"
Articles written by Sandra Pedicini for the Orlando Sentinel include, but are not limited to:

New wait-staff rules cut costs for Red Lobster — but will service suffer?;

Darden Restaurants enforces tip-sharing policy;

Lawsuits over worker pay soar as economy struggles;

Darden's profit rises, even as Red Lobster slumps;

Group won't pursue Darden claims in court; and

Darden quadruples PAC donations to $684K.

Blogger at Red Lobster Blog has spoken in the past with Sandra Pedicini, and claims she always gives the working stiff a fair shake.

Still, if you are squeamish about contacting a reporter, you may consider signing up for a temporary email address at a free site such Hide My A$$. You can choose how long your anonymous email will exist; for example, one day, one week, one month, one year... While I expect that a professional reporter such as Pedicini will do as she says and respect your anonymity, if an anonymous email helps anybody then I am glad I included the information.

So, I looked up "M28." It is a type of light cargo and passenger aircraft. It is an airplane. I am wrapping my head around how a restaurant could use the title "M28." Perhaps anyone who has suffered through being cramped in an economy middle seat for a long flight, waiting for the stewardess (who is NOT a glorified waitress) to bring a bottle of water might not be surprised at the "M28" title in a crowded restaurant...? Seriously, I read that if a server is classified as "M28," then s/he is not allowed to work more than 30 hours per week, which is supposed to be a cost-cutting measure. Still, I love the coincidence. 


  1. I have spoken to Sandra Pedicini and I want to thank her for the wonderful stories she has done on Darden. I worked for Darden for 24 years and they chose to cut my pay from $12hr to $5hr. I left the company which I believe was their intention. Darden wants to get rid of all long term employees so they can pocket more cash. The CEO Clarence Otis made over 8 million dollars last year by dipping into the pockets of hard working people trying to make a living. I hope that people who worked for Darden will come forward and join the class action lawsuit against them. Remember people buy from people not companies. When I left the company many of my faithful regulars chose not to go back, too bad Darden knows nothing about that kind of loyalty. I was a bartender who enjoyed my job. Once they cut my pay I wouldn't even be able to afford my medical insurance. I'm no longer with Darden but I hope those of you who are will help Ms.Pedicini from the Orlando Sentinel, I have been in touch with her and she can feel free to use my name.

  2. Thanks for posting that story, Anonymous.

    Clarence Otis... what a monumental bastard.


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