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Saturday, January 17

Bobby Flay's Company Sued

Oh Bobby, Bobby, Bobby. Surely you couldn't be cheating workers out of their hard-earned tips, could you?

Well, that's what a new lawsuit filed in Manhattan federal court claims.


Bobby's company Bold Food LLC -- which owns Bar Americain, Mesa Grill NYC in Manhattan, and Bobby's other spots across the country -- is named as the defendant.

The lawsuit claims Flay's company violated wage and hour laws by engaging in improper tip-pooling practices. It also says the company failed to pay proper overtime pay and failed to reimburse employees for some expenses.

Better get down there Bobby and straighten things out!

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40 Comments:

At 1/17/2009 9:14 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

OMG! Tip pooling is horrible!!! My old boss used to do it. I didn't know it was illegal, but I know it is so wrong.

 
At 1/17/2009 9:28 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is NOT a shock. The food industry has big problems with wages. Sad.

 
At 1/17/2009 12:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Needless to say, there's not nearly enough info yet to judge if he (well, his company) did or didn't do something wrong.

 
At 1/17/2009 2:09 PM , Anonymous Gen said...

The Flayster looks totally gangster in those sunglasses.

 
At 1/17/2009 3:07 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

what is tip pooling?

 
At 1/17/2009 4:30 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a method of sharing where all servers put their accumulated tips into a pot (or pool) and share equally. For example, if 5 servers working the floor accumulate a total of $100 between them, they each get $20 (assuming they don't tip out bartenders, busboys, etc.) There are a couple of things that should be pointed out. The reasoning stated for tip pooling (by the powers-that-be at said restaurant) is that each server helps the other servers out, regardless of whether or not it is his or her table. Everyone is supposed to exert the same amount of effort and receives the same monetary reward. Equality reigns supreme. The problem occurs when servers aren't pulling their weight, or are performing so horribly they are costing their fellow servers money. Equality is nearly impossible to achieve in any service industry, and I know because I have worked at five restaurants, so I know the business. The other comment is that the legality of tip pooling varies by state. In New York, and other "Blue" states that have a tendency to have higher taxes and more social welfare, tip pooling may not be declared illegal but laws are put into effect so strenuous that it would discourage management from having tip pooling altogether. I live in Alabama, a "red" state that is more hands-off in terms of legislating the economy, and tip pooling is more apparent, regardless of the morality of it.

 
At 1/17/2009 6:06 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well at my job-not only did the other servers share tips, the managers took tips too. That is what upset me. (I am poster 1).

 
At 1/17/2009 6:23 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info. Wow, this method doesn't seem fair. And you're right, the caliber of performance is never equal. I know because I also worked in a service business (though not in restaurants). So what other methods are there?

 
At 1/17/2009 6:55 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I worked my way through college waiting tables in a small "mom& Pop" upscale restaurant & we took home all of our tips. It taught me to work harder and it was a valuable lesson to learn in my early 20's.

 
At 1/17/2009 7:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bobby is too busy doing a CRAPPY Sirius XM radio show once a week to worry about the little people. I heard a replay of his show today and all I can say is that he should stick to cooking. He asked people to call in but that his show was not Hate Radio, No Negativity - call screener must have gotten an earful. He can't muster a full, coherent sentence to save his chipotay.

 
At 1/17/2009 7:14 PM , Blogger Jenna said...

Speaking of "chipotay" could we see an entire post devoted to know FN stars butcher the word "chipotle..pronounced.. chə-ˈpōt-lā...not "che-pol-tay"

OMG This has driven me insane for two years now since it became the new fad ingredient! It's jalapenos, for Cripe's sake!

 
At 1/18/2009 8:22 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope Bobby fixes any problems

This could turn into a big PR problem
and cost him much more than tips.

People like the guy and he comes across as a hard worker. He doesn't want to lose the people's good will

 
At 1/18/2009 8:41 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does this mean Bobby Flay is a dick?...gee what a shocker.

 
At 1/18/2009 8:45 AM , Blogger Lord of Light AZ said...

Come on people tip pooling is right! All workers need to unite and share the fruits of all their labors. The dishwasher, busboys, hosts and hostess all need to share your tips and of course all the wait staff too. Some people are tipping the good help more cause they are glad they are not sitting in a bad section.

Worker of the World UNITE.

The preceding was brought to you by Carl Marks LOL

Sorry, I really am a capitalist pig. If I knew that tip pooling was happening at a place I ate I would quit eating there.

 
At 1/18/2009 1:54 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always ask at every restaurant I eat at if the pool their tips. If they do I only tip 15%, regardless of how good the service is, I do not want my tips supporting the lazy ones on the cell phone or out back smoking.

If they do not pool and the service is average I tip 20%, if it is good 25% and if it is exceptional as high as 35%.

If the allegations in this law suit prove true, it shows that Flay has forgotten where he has come from and his control over his company is really shaky. Watch for the IRS to come in now because some of these allegations could lead to tax evasion investigations.

 
At 1/19/2009 1:52 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not reimbursing for expenses and paying overtime pay? If it is a true, then he is a bigger jackass than I originally thought.

 
At 1/19/2009 9:53 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The allegations have nothing to do with employees pooling their tips with each other. They have to do with the company supplementing managers' salaries with the waiters' tips. Each waiter pays up to $150 per week to the managers. Illegal.

 
At 1/19/2009 10:05 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love it when stupid people get screwed. Don't work there. Hello.

 
At 1/19/2009 10:10 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good Luck Bobby

 
At 1/19/2009 11:12 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice Anon 10:05. They probably didn't realize this was going to happen when they got the job and it is not exactly easy to just up and quit a job and find a new one. Especially when you are supporting a family. Your comment was rude.

 
At 1/19/2009 11:57 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to work for the Grill Master. He could care less and so could his partners. They treat their employees like trash. All the managers were in on this and imagine each one losing almost 30,000 a year in cash.

 
At 1/19/2009 1:45 PM , Anonymous Alec Smart said...

Too bad Bobby Flay is going to take the most heat for this. I don't think you can pin all the blame on him as he does have partners, the father & son duo from Montreal.

Flay could be a pawn in all this. If it weren't for him , they may not have a highly profitable and busy restaurant chain to skim from.

 
At 1/19/2009 2:38 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

They're probably the same idiots who got adjustable rate mortgages and now want help. Losers.

 
At 1/19/2009 2:48 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok Anon 2:38 you're just proving to be a troll now. Get a life.

 
At 1/19/2009 3:26 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is what happens when one expands his/her 'empire' and have to trust and rely on, presumably, upstanding and honest people. Hope Bobby nip this one fast.

 
At 1/19/2009 3:36 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I try and get around the tip pool by handing the waitress/waiter a cash tip; I have heard from and lived with too many people working in restaurants where people pay the tip on their credit card and, after the boss takes out the % the credit card company charges, he then takes a 'handling fee' before paying out the tips.
I have never had a server refuse the cash!

 
At 1/19/2009 10:29 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alec please check your info. Flay's partners are from NYC and not Montreal. Try the name Kretchmer. They are also involved in many other restaurants in the city. Namely Gotham Bar and Grill. I wonder if they pool and skim the tips there too. Either way, he deserve the blame for not caring what goes on around him or he truly does make too much money from the Food Network. If it was my millions, I would like to know what is going on. All these chef's have huge egos and now they are getting BUSTED. Can you say BOY GETS BURNED. Great new title for his next book.

 
At 1/20/2009 10:02 AM , Anonymous Alec Smart said...

I thought Kretchmer was originally from Montreal. At least that was what big lanky Larry told me once.You know the guy with an Adams apple like a bosc pear.That dude.

And you are probably right. Flay isn't innocent. Since he is off cavorting on throwdowns, his partners are maximizing margins by stiffing theirown servers.

I wonder how FN honchos will view this? Saint Flay of the FN can never be viewed the same way again.

Oh well, if he is guilty I hope he gets nailed good.

 
At 1/20/2009 12:58 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Get a life. That's my favorite. I must be jealous too. LOL.

 
At 1/20/2009 12:58 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love Bobby Flay. Leave him alone!

 
At 1/20/2009 1:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

He's opening 2 new restaurants at Mohegan Sun. I will check them out.

I thought only places like Friendly's would pool tips?

 
At 1/20/2009 2:12 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not a troll. People need to take responsibility for themselves that's all. If there was any wrong doing on Bobby's part than that's another story.

 
At 1/20/2009 5:17 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can hardly wait to see how he can get his Howdy Doody McGillicuddy ass outta this one.

 
At 1/20/2009 5:18 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's funny Alec. Lanky Larry or also known as Laurence. Food Network does not care about the lowly servers. The Grill Master makes too much money for them. Notice none of the other IRON CHEFS got busted. FN did not even have have anything about this on their network. Its like the NFL, only the stupid players get busted, everyone else pays to keep it down low.

I hope "Boy meets Grill", gets BURNED. He deserves it as does his partner who knew of this and flaunted it. There is no way in hell that Kretchmer did not know about this.

 
At 1/20/2009 5:20 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon loves Flay. Oh well that says it all. What are you one of his hostess' or something?

You loving him has nothing to do with him being a THIEF or a CHEAT.

 
At 1/20/2009 9:02 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I still maintain that Bobby Flay bears an uncanny resemblence to " Chuckie " in the movie " Childs Play " ...

 
At 1/21/2009 10:58 AM , Anonymous Alec Smart said...

FN will do everything to suppress this news that's for sure.

After all the discipline Herr Tuschman dishes out to the evil doers like Jag and Irvine, he simply could not have one of his prima donna superstars get nailed badly in civil court. Heck that could lead to a scandal.

I wonder what type of discipline Mr Flay will receive from FN if found guilty ?

 
At 1/21/2009 11:35 PM , Blogger Lord of Light AZ said...

FLOG FLAY FIRST!! No reason to have a trial. He looks guilty so he he must be guilty.

 
At 1/30/2009 12:40 AM , Blogger Plush said...

actually it is Carl Marx

 
At 3/14/2009 8:19 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

serves the stupid fuck right. he is a big asshole !

 

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