Gideon’s Bakehouse in Disney Springs Under Fire From Past Employees in New Accusations

By: Greg Gately

Gideon's Bakehouse in Disney Springs Under Fire From Past and Currant Employees in New Accusations
Gideon’s Bakehouse in Disney Springs Under Fire From Past Employees in New Accusations

Gideon’s Bakehouse in Disney Springs Under Fire From Past in New Accusations. I want to be very upfront about what we are and who we are not. Especially with what we are about to write about. We are NOT ‘Action News’ nor in any way investigative journalists. What we are is fans of Disney, Disney World, Disney Springs, and Cookies, including Gideon’s Bakehouse and the owner Steve Lewis. I want to be very upfront and say we have been part of media events covering Gideon’s Bakehouse at Disney Springs and inside Gideon’s.

We try to be honest with our readers and give the good and bad. We are not paid, we have never been paid, and even when we covered Disney there was nothing of monetary value exchanged. I know that is touching the third rail for some folks, but contrary to what most people think, Disney does not “Pay” influencers or media sites.

We end up spending our own money when it comes to tickets and food. Heck, if we got paid, we would all be a lot richer, and some of us happier. Last point, before we begin, contrary to popular belief Disney does not tell us what to say about anything, they give us press releases, but any review is in our own words. Which means we can be as positive or negative as we want to be. Just truthful!

With all that said, there is some major backlash happening right now against Steve Lewis and the Gideon’s Bakehouse at Disney Springs. Current, and past employees are coming out vocally, and on social media expressing some very concerning goings on inside Gideon’s. Below, you can read the full statement. These accusations may end up hurting the brand in the long term without a quick and accurate response according to social media.

The backlash online has been brutal and quick, and unfortunately, without any major facts to back all this up, this could end up being wrong in the long term. The vice-versa is also true, these facts could turn out to be 100% true. But, we do not know what is fact and what is not, as of now. That is where the issue is. We need concrete evidence before we can join or rally against either side. On a personal note, some of the issues really do not speak well for Gideon’s as an organization.

The employees are stating facts, and have screenshots to back them up saying one of the most egregious problems is the pay scale. Disney Spring’s Gideon’s Employees are paid $8.95 an hour plus tips. We have asked and posted on their Instagram account for clarification as to how much net pay is per paycheck and have yet to hear back. The only reason we ask is because we do know some staff at different locations that live off tip wages, and they make more than what is state and federal minimum wage.

For the record, Florida’s minimum wage is $12.00 an hour, and the Federal is $7.25. But why are the staff at Disney Springs Gideon’s Bakehouse making $8.95 an hour and making tips? They are not bringing food to your table, or waiting on you in the conventional tip wage sense. They are cashiers, they are Walmart greeters, and they are not refilling my water, bringing my salad out, and making sure I have enough parmesan cheese on my pasta. They do not carry my bags, or take care of my needs in any way.

They grab a cookie, and a drink, and move on to the next person. Even the grabbing a drink thing, they aren’t bartenders! (Please, do NOT think I am disparaging any one of these roles! They are very crucial to the service industry and we would gladly tip them well over the standard 20% if we can). From our point of view, this is NOT a tip position.

Gideon's Bakehouse in Disney Springs Under Fire From Past and Currant Employees in New Accusations
Gideon’s Bakehouse in Disney Springs Under Fire From Past Employees in New Accusations

Related: Allegedly Disney’s New Disability Access Service (DAS) is Worse Than We Think

I can tell you, from my liberal bias, this is a matter of utmost concern. But, I also caution everyone to get all the facts first before sending out the Cancel Culture mafia. Believe me, I would be standing front line in solidarity if they were a union shop and this was happening. In fact, they may want to think about Unionizing. This wouldn’t be the first “shop” in Disney Springs to try it, heck it wouldn’t be the first shop this month! Just look at the Delaware North / Patina Restaurants.

Another major issue we have is with employees saying they are talked down to with some being chastised “Why is everyone acting so Autistic?”. I can’t even tackle this without seeing red, so, of all things I hope are not true, this is the one!

So these accusations are a hard cookie to bite into.

Dear supporter of Gideon’s Bakehouse: We are the Ghosts of Gideons, a collective voice representing the employees whom you have come to know and love. Today we write to you with a desperate plea for help. Ownership & Upper-managment of Gideon’s have built a toxic empire of lies. We feel unsafe, and underpaid, and are being severely taken advantage of, purely so they can reap a fortune. There are numerous health & safety violations at the Spring’s location. We are paid $8.95 per hour, the lowest of any employee, and are forced to rely on your tips to make our wage. Etc… You can read it all below.

Health & Safety violations, Racist and Derogatory remarks, Lack of Leadership, and Communication are all listed in the Airing of Grievances ( no this isn’t the start of Festivus!) The whole statement can be read HERE if you wish to follow along and become familiar with the situation before making a guilty verdict.

We have spoken and gotten to know a PR-savvy Steve Lewis (that is not a knock in any way), obviously dealing with him in the way we have that is the only way we would know him. We do not hang out drinking iced coffee and petting cats, so we cannot speak on personal terms. But, we have found him engaging, and He does seem to have the Central Florida, including the Orlando area best interest in heart for all small businesses.

Steve, who has said numerous times that he controls the social media accounts for Gideon’s Bakehouse has responded to these accusations in an Instagram Story earlier today:

“Hi. I’m getting a lot of calls to answer the anonymous poster’s claims of workplace mistreatment. We will respond, but I am not anonymous and have guidelines I must understand. However, much of what is being represented is either misleading or false. I ask you not to run to the pitchforks and hear our side. I hope we’ve earned at least that much in our own community. I can eagerly go through the list of demands, from why I shake my cold brew flavors to our handicap/ADA compliance.

Also, the flagship store offers a competitive take-home that is more than double what has been claimed, plus full benefits. In our nine years of business, we have never failed a health and safety report or had any major infractions, and our second location would not have been permitted to open without meeting all requirements and then some.

Most importantly, I love my team. I hire everyone personally, and we discuss bringing emotional maturity and leaving out ego in the workplace with the need to look out for each other. Sometimes, people fall short and are let go, but you’ll notice many of the same faces have been with me for years. Gideon’s is a team of over 180 people, and no one can ever say that everyone is completely happy in a group that large, but I feel confident that everyone is treated with care and respect.”

You can see that this is all just getting started, and we hope that all sides can come together to and work all this out. We also understand the current climate of going on the attack first, and the one that does will win in the court of public appeals in most cases. Without taking sides, I think we as fans of Gideon’s Bakehouse, and also fans of Cast Members, and who truly care about the employees and our fellow mankind over corporate greed need to make sure we know all the facts first.

I hope this is a massive misunderstanding, but in the end I don’t have any faith in our cooperation overlords. I have personally witnessed what a little success and money can do to people.

Gideon's Bakehouse in Disney Springs Under Fire From Past and Currant Employees in New Accusations
Gideon’s Bakehouse in Disney Springs Under Fire From Past Employees in New Accusations

Gideon’s Bakehouse in Disney Springs Under Fire From Past Employees in New Accusations

Leave a Comment