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'It was all supposed to be a joke': Sign at local pizzeria draws social media attention

Santino’s Pizzeria in southwest Columbus is garnering attention after the shop put up two signs that read, “Now Hiring Non-Stupid People,” a few months ago.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — As staffing shortages continue to be an issue nationwide, many businesses are looking for creative ways to attract reliable employees. 

The tactic that one local restaurant is using has caused quite a stir on social media.

Two signs were placed out in front of Santino’s Pizzeria in southwest Columbus a few months ago that read “Now Hiring Non-Stupid People.” But, it wasn’t until this past week when someone posted a photo of the signs on social media, that the restaurant started gaining attention.

Paul Robbins told 10TV that he drove from Hilliard to check out the shop after seeing the sign. 

"I thought it was funny, I didn't think it was offensive at all, and so, that made me really curious about this pizza place, so that made me decide to come in and check it out," Robbins said.

Store manager Heather Stockton said phones have been ringing off the hook with many new customers expressing their support for the sign. However, she has received a number of prank calls as well.

"It was all supposed to be a joke," said Stockton. "Nothing serious, it was just more of the fact, we kept having an applicant, we'd train them and they'd just walk out."

Stockton said they decided to put up the sign after experiencing issues with no-shows and people not taking the job seriously.

“I had a high school student who thought it was okay to bring a nerf gun in with another employee here,” said Stockton.

Stockton said she is looking for workers that are "just reliable, on time, just, don't come to work in like sandals."

Fellow business owner Cathy Barrett said she understands the challenges of finding workers and will continue to support the shop.

“I thought [the sign] was awesome, because they're not saying people are stupid, they're saying, hey let's pay attention, let's communicate, let's get things going back to the way they're supposed to be, helping each other,” said Barrett.

Stockton said that she hopes that people who may have found the sign offensive will still give the restaurant a try. She said, "Instead of judging our signs, why don't you come judge our pizzas? Our pizzas are really good."

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