I wonder if the chef is going to be using that excuse every Christmas for the next 18 years. "But I have a daughter!" Drives me crazy. We have people here who demand the big 3 off because THEY have family. As if the rest of us do not.
Yes, I have to admit, I think that the fault lies more with the chef here. Unless the restaurant closes on Christmas Day, I would expect that *someone* will have to work it, and as SoCalVal says, it's the nature of the industry. If he wants holidays off, he should look at doing office work or something.
The only reason I got Christmas and New Year's off in fast food in college was because the dorms were closed. Store underwent management shift before the holidays one year, and the district manager asked me why I wasn't working Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, it was a mandatory work day. I looked at him and said that if he was willing to open his home to me, I'd be there. Otherwise, as I explained to all the levels of management at the store, the college dorms were closed and I was going to be staying at my parents' home, three hours away. I couldn't afford to pay the $XXX for the days I could stay on, and that still didn't include Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, and there was no way I'd be willing to pay for a hotel room to cover a work shift. It never got brought up again.
The thing is, I don't mind working on days when the store is open, even if it's holidays. Yeah, it sucks. Customers aren't the nicest, it's either dead slow or super busy, but most companies that I've worked for incentivize it. They bring food for Black Friday or Christmas Eve. You get holiday pay as long as you work all your scheduled shifts, which is like an extra full day's work at time and a half pay. Most companies I've been a part of bring in food so people don't have to brave everything else for lunch. But if you're working in an industry where the store will be open, it is completely up to management who's working what shifts. You can have your requests, but that's all it is. End story.
We had a girl get fired from my last job, on the store side, because of her ridiculous requests. She'd say she needed every Wednesday evening and every Sunday off, for church. But then she'd come into the store and shop, talk to customers, spend an hour sitting in the break room talking to coworkers. This happened on a regular basis. The management started scheduling her, because she was already there, just not working. She threw a fit, and the had to institute the policy that if you weren't on the clock, you were shopping. No break room, no going into the back room to say hi to the animals there, just shopping. You were the same as any other customer.
The last straw was when she complained at being scheduled on Black Friday. Didn't they know she had family in town for Thanksgiving? And they didn't drive, so she had to drive them to all the shopping that day, otherwise what was the whole point of the holiday in the first place? Management had the sense to keep her on through Black Friday so we weren't shorthanded, but the next time she was in the break room as a customer, she was gone. If I remember, it was two days later on Sunday.