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Salt Bae forced to pay $230,000 to ex-waiters 'for conning them out of tips' & FIRING them when they complained

SALT Bae has been forced to pay ex-staff members $230,000 after being accused of conning them out of tips and firing them when they complained.

The chef turned internet star Nusret Gökçe reportedly kept his servers in the dark about how much they collected in gratuity payments and "retained" them for himself.

The Turkish born-butcher was served with a lawsuit by four ex-servers who worked for him at his Manhattan restaurant, Nurs-Et, in 2019.

The men alleged that Gökçe pooled tips among unentitled staff and shaved 3 per cent off the total amount of tips.

"Customers reasonably believed 100 percent of the gratuity was being remitted to the waiters and other serving staff," one of the sacked staff members said at the time.

The waiters said they instead received weekly cheques of up to $2,500, with their gratuity payments already included.

That's while Nusr-Et could reportedly rake in around $130,000 on a busy night.

The tips legally belong to front-of-house workers – but Gökçe allegedly fired the men after they began digging into the missing funds.

Onur Usluca, 29, Yunus Delimehmet, 38, Suleyman Kucur, 53, and Batuhan M. Yunkus, 32, accused the extravagant chef of wrongful termination. 

The foursome said their former boss had an "authoritarian, dictatorial attitude" and "doesn’t care about local laws," Daily News reported.

They even suggested Gökçe likened himself to Tony Montana and "humiliated" them on occasions in the lawsuit.

Salt Bae – who charges £630 for a golden tomahawk steak at his new venue in London – reached a settlement with the men, seeing him fork out $230,000.

He has also been ordered to post a notice about workers' rights in the restaurant as part of the settlement, according to reports.

Responding to the claims in 2019, Salt Bae's lawyer Christy Reuter said: 'The restaurants are equally committed to his vision, while ensuring that all team members are provided with the necessary tools to be successful, and that they are treated fairly and paid well.

"A number of tipped employee members of the team earn in excess of $100,000 annually, and management applauds their achievements.

"Any allegations of unfair labor practices by Nusret or management are categorically denied."


The $230,000 settlement is said to cover expenses from the point when the four employees were terminated up until the agreement was finalised.

It is not the first time Gökçe has had trouble with his employees either, as he has also been accused of threatening a former staff member and not paying overtime.

And it seems the troubled track record with his staff could be ruining his reputation – as after putting an open call out to waiters for his London restaurant, ZERO people turned up to hand in their resume.

His new Knightsbridge steakhouse has been met with mixed reviews by Brits.

While some wealthy diners flocked to try Salt Bae's creations on UK soil but others slammed the celeb chefs extortionate prices.

Foodies in the UK might be better advised to book a flight to the eatery in Istanbul, Turkey instead – as the trip would be cheaper.

An onion flower costs £18, while a Coke is £9 and a Red Bull is £11.

The only item on the menu without cost is Turkish tea, which is apparently served for free.

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