Wayne Pankratz was only saying what other restaurateurs and business owners are probably thinking.

Pankratz was, until recently, a mid-level executive working for Apple Central, which owns the chain of “neighborhood” restaurants known as Applebee’s.

In a recent email that was, unfortunately for him, made public, Pankratz got caught celebrating the prospect that higher prices for basic necessities would send workers who left Applebee’s for other employers hurrying back to reclaim their old jobs at lower wages.

“Most of our employee base and potential employee base live paycheck to paycheck,” he wrote. “Any increase in gas price cuts into their disposable income. As inflation continues to climb and gas prices continue to go up, that means more hours employees will need to work to maintain their current level of living.”