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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Mario Batali Owes $5.25M for Being Sneaky

Well, well, well, look who owes $5.25 million for being a sneaky sneak and misappropriating 4 to 5 percent of each shift's wine and drink sales from the workers' tip pool and then taking an unlawful "tip credit" that pushed pay below minimum wage and failed to pay extra for shifts lasting more than 10 hours: Mario "I'm About to Explode and Send Olive Oil All Over the Fucking Place" Batali. Well, he owes it with his business partner Joseph Bastianich, so technically he'll only be responsible for half that amount leaving him plenty of money to buy some more orange Crocs and hopefully some Stridex medicated skin pads to scrub some of that grease and smirk off his face. About 1,100 employees, including servers, busboys, runners and bartenders who worked at restaurants like Babbo, Bar Jamon, Casa Mono, Del Posto, Esca, Lupa, Otto and Tarry Lodgein Port Chester will divvy up the money after one third of it goes to the lawyers.

Can we get a collective "Hallelujah" up in here? It's so nice to see that some restaurant workers who felt they were being taken advantage of actually got up the courage to take their bosses to court and they were proven to be right in a court of law. Stephanie Capsolas and Hernan Alvarado, a waitress and a kitchen runner at Babbo, were the ones who initially filed suit against the restaurant and I hope they are somewhere today sharing a bottle of over-priced wine and celebrating the victory.

It's really a victory for all restaurant staff because so often we are taken advantage of. I don't know about you, but that first hour I am at work mopping, filling ketchups and scraping out candles, I am only getting paid the tipped employee wage and not one of those ketchup bottles has ever tipped me. And when I worked at another certain restaurant, I really didn't appreciate having to tip out people who should have been paid an hourly wage. Really? I tip out that girl in the kitchen who makes coffee just so you can pay her a tipped employee wage instead of minimum wage and you can save on payroll? Not cool. (But I still love your frozen pomegranate margaritas.) And at the Restaurant That Shall Not Be Named, I questioned their tipping procedure but I was fired before I could put on my Sherlock Holmes outfit and determine if it was on the up and up. The point is, that maybe restaurants will take note of this lawsuit and think twice before being a low-down dirty sneakity snake ass place that tries to screw the little people.

But back to Mario Batali. I know he shares this debt with his business partner, but since Mario Batali is famous, let's talk about him. He gets on my nerves. He always looks like he needs to make a bowel movement but he didn't have time to do it before he left home and now he doesn't want to go anywhere else so he'll just hold it. He looks like he could bottle his own olive oil by just wiping his face with a towel and then wringing it into a water bottle. Crocs are even worse than Uggs. I have eaten at his Otto restaurant and I will give it up to him that it was delicious fucking pizza. Expensive as hell, but delicious. I'm sure I tipped well and now I know that some of that tip went into his own pocket, right next to his emergency stash of pork sausage. I also know that now it is going back to the server, food runner and busser who earned it in the first place.

Way to go, employees. Congratulations on the settlement. What would you like to say to Mario Batali if you had the chance? Because you know he reads The Bitchy Waiter. (No, he doesn't.)

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Vanessa said...

He may read it now... ;)

Lolly said...

I worked for a place where we filed complaints and got a similar settlement. We didn't get the 10 hour overtime, the laundry allowance, and/or the if-you-don't-make-minimum-wage-because-you-didn't-get-enough-tips-the-restaurant-has-to-make-up-the-difference thingy. My check was about $300, but I would've been delighted if it was $.03. The only thing that would've made me happier than wringing a few extra pennies out of the greedy bastards, would've been watching that shitpile burn down. Can you tell how dissatisfied I was working there?

Mary A. said...

I'd say "Hi Mario, I'm Mary. The Iron Chef is for douchbags and I can't fucking stand Cat Cora. Will you tell her for me? Also, the chairman is hot, but he's only half Japanese. His name is Mark. The only real Japanese guy on there is Morimoto. I like Morimoto. But not Cat Cora or Bobby Flay. Or you.

Oh and one more thing: this totally serves you right.

Have a great day!"

That's what I would say.

KB said...

I can't improve on Mary A.'s comment.

Claire said...

Congratulations to the people that fought and won! It's never easy to stand up to an employer - let alone take them to court!

fmcgmccllc said...

Who would take a job making coffee for a couple bucks and change?

Estrellita said...

The fat fucker doesn't make enough money on his own? Stealing from your staff is beyond not cool. And he's probably one of those owners who insists that employee's bags be checked before they leave. Absolutely disgusting.

Confessions from the Hairdresser said...

I don't know anything about him but he's a red-headed man so my judgement is based on that.

Pyro's Gal said...

Long time reader, first time commenter.

Joe Bastianich is the son of Lidia Bastianich (of PBS fame). He's a complete douche and this doesn't surprise me one bit. I've seen him as a judge on some Food Network shows. Lidia rocks, though.

Martin said...

Mario and Joe's lawyers said the dip into the tip pool was for "wine research and broken glassware."

My tweet to Mario?

"@Mariobatali You shmuck. Wine research and glass breakage? One's paid by the winesellers, the other you deduct as a business expense.

Anonymous said...

And Mama BastaBitch has all her QVC shit made in China!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

And your latest Eataly dynasty can eat vermon!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I never knew suing was an option. Can I go back in time and sue every restaurant I have ever worked at?

loans bad credit said...

It doesn't get worse from there, i love hearing about its settlement.

Anonymous said...

A few years ago, there was a lawsuit filed against Applebee's, if I recall correctly, where a waitress sued because when she was doing sidework, she was still being paid the tipped wage but not able to earn tips. I was working for a pizza chain at the time, and they changed the way they paid delivery drivers because of that lawsuit. When drivers were on the road, making deliveries, they were paid the tipped wage. When they were in the store doing the same work as anyone else in the store, they were paid the same wage as the inside employees. Good for these folks for standing up for themselves!!

Myr said...

What a greedy weiner hole. Disgusting behavior.

Fleur said...

Ditto Mary A!

I agree his behavior is completely disgusting.

California Girl said...

Interesting situation. Takes a lot of foulness to sue him. Glad to hear it. He's way too commercial anyway. I mean, anyone who has to partner w/ Gwyneth for addtl attention...nuff said.

J.R. Locke said...

Did Batali know this was going on, or was it the work of his management team and his true sin really ignorance?

jack said...

I remember when winning wasn't the only thing. Being older means more responsibilities. When the nation was founded we had patriots and weren't privy to enjoying futures in museums and entertainment. Bertrand Russell said it best when he issued a statement against bad press.

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