As many as 1,100 waiters, bartenders, captains and other staff members of his New York restaurants including Babbo and Del Posto may be compensated, the Associated Press reports.
The class-action suit was filed in a Manhattan federal court in 2010, with claims that Batali and Bastianich had a standard policy of deducting as much as 4 to 5 percent of the tip pool each night.
“Mr. Batali, Mr. Bastianich, and their restaurants unlawfully confiscated a portion of their workers’ hard-earned tips in order to supplement their own profits,” the complaint reads.
The settlement is subject to approval by a federal judge.
The event follows other recent bad publicity, namely Batali’s comparison of bankers to Hitler during a Time magazine panel discussion in November. Batali later apologized for the statement, following a slew of canceled reservations at some of his New York restaurants by members of the financial industry.
“Mario is not just a celebrity chef. His success does not lie in the TV things he does. He's a chef, and an extremely gifted one,” Gold said.
Despite the settlement, Batali has sound advice to offer up-and-coming chefs and restaurateurs. Post multiplatform editor Jim Webster discovered as much while he escorted the celeb on a private restaurant crawl last month in Tampa, Fla. Batali dispensed tips on expansion and branding, raw ingredients and the local food movement. Read more on Webster’s adventure with Batali.
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