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Brooklyn Cafe Goes Viral for Rude Response to Job Applicant

They asked about salary, in compliance with New York City law; the manager could not contain rage

The exterior of Peck’s on Myrtle Avenue.
The exterior of Peck’s on Myrtle Avenue in May 2021.
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Melissa McCart is the editor for Eater New York.

A response to an applicant went viral when the general manager of Peck’s in Clinton Hill, Kyle Dollinger, wrote a sarcastic and disrespectful retort to an applicant who asked about salary in response to a now deleted job posting on Craigslist.

Peck’s, known for its breakfast sandwiches, owned by Theodore Peck, also has a nearby Fort Greene coffee shop, Peckish. The position would have trained staff to work at both restaurants.

First, some context: Passed late last year, the salary transparency act goes into effect September 17, 2023 and will require employers in New York State to list salary ranges for all advertised jobs and promotions; however, New York City’s transparency law went into effect in November.

An applicant was more aware of his rights than the restaurant was, apparently. “It would seem the city has some work to do in terms of educating employers about our salary transparency law,” the applicant Liam Quigley, wrote on Twitter on Thursday, June 29, “judging by this reply I got when inquiring about a job at a Brooklyn eatery.”

Dollinger noted what is and isn’t sarcasm in brackets, below:

Hello Liam —

Great intro. [That’s sarcasm.] It is stipulated right there in the advertisement; it says “DOE” which means “Dependent on Experience” [Not sarcasm.]

I cannot rightly tell you a salary when you do not provide me with your experience, which, at the very lease would come by way of a “resume” [Slight sarcasm]. Which you did not include — which was also requested on the same advertisement [Not sarcasm]. So how about this: the salary range is anywhere from $0/hour to $1 Billion Dollars/hour + tips [Slight sarcasm].

Now either send me your resume, or don’t [Not sarcasm].


Over 360,000 people have viewed Quigley’s Tweet with over 40 responses, including a Twitter user who speculated about the workplace environment. “Peck’s Foods. Wow, dude put some loving effort into such an elaborate way of saying ‘run screaming from this workplace, I am just the biggest prick of a boss in history and live to crap on my ill-compensated and lavishly-abused underlings.’”

Dollinger, who has worked with Peck for a decade, starting from porter and rising to general manager, wrote “a lengthy apology” to Quigley, Peck says. “I’m in shock that this happened. It is so out of character for Dollinger.”

As a longtime restaurateur behind Lansky Lounge and his family’s place, Ratner’s on the Lower East Side, Peck says, “nothing like this has ever happened” among his restaurants.

Of his employees’ knowledge of the laws, he says, “I have to take responsibility because we have never discussed salary transparency,” noting any mistake that involves a restaurant “ultimately is the owners’ responsibility.”

The cafe has reportedly left Twitter since the incident; followers have migrated over to the restaurant’s Instagram account to comment, including one who wrote, “Great post! [Sarcasm.]”

In response to those who asked why Peck’s didn’t comply with the city law, the cafe responded, “One of the best things we can do is learn from our mistakes!” Peck says he is “very sorry.”

Updated 2:30 p.m., June 30, 2023: to include owner Theodore Peck’s response.