Melinda Halvorsen Mowed Taco John Lawn, Then Prepared Food While Barefoot (She Was Fired)

December 2, 2013 Updated: July 18, 2015

Melinda Halvorsen has become well-known after a picture was taken of her preparing food in Taco John in Iowa while sweaty and barefoot.

The picture led to the firing of Halvorsen, who was a manager at the Charles City taco joint.

The picture shows Halvorsen as she prepared food in full view of customers.

The customer who took the picture said: “This is in Charles City Iowa Taco John’s!! This woman was preparing food with bare feet, no uniform, her bra and chest hanging out all over the place, she was pouring sweat, wiping it off with her hands and not washing them. I asked for the manager — she WAS the manager!! She was extremely rude because I was upset with her appearance and behavior.”

The picture was posted to Taco John’s Facebook page and other sites, leading franchise owner Linda Johnson to review security camera footage, the Des Moines Register reported.

Johnson fired Halvorsen for her conduct, including failure to pay for the food she prepared for her and her friends.

Halvorsen, who had worked for Taco John for five and a half years filed a request for unemployment benefits, but Johnson contested the claims, telling a state hearing in October that her restaurant’s business decreased 25 to 33 percent after the photo surfaced.

Administrative Law Judge Teresa Hillary denied Halvorsen’s request.


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