Marco Pierre White drops ‘threat’ to set staff salaries for restaurant walkouts
A manager at the famous New York Italian restaurant at East Midlands Airport said worker walkouts over the past few months had cost the restaurant £646.29.
Image: Newcastle Chronicle)
The Sunday Mirror has forced Hell’s Kitchen restaurateur Marco Pierre White to drop a threat to pay staff salaries to pay diners who walk out without paying.
A manager at the celebrity chef’s New York Italian restaurant at the East Midlands Airport Yew Lodge hotel in Kegworth said worker walkouts over the past few months had cost the restaurant £646.29.
And the message added: “Management has decided that from today staff will have to pay for any walkouts they are responsible for.
“It’s not fair for the company to take on these losses.”
Yet while Mr White, 60, is worth an estimated £33m, many of his waiters and waitresses are struggling to get by on minimum wage.
But the threat was lifted after the Sunday Mirror contacted Mr White’s aides.
We asked what measures were in place to help young employees deal with a non-paying customer.
A spokesperson told us: “This appears to be a misunderstanding following an email sent to staff by one of our managers.
“As owners, we never said we would deduct these losses from staff salaries or tips.
“The message was to highlight the issue of customers walking out without paying, which is a major issue in the industry.”
Dave Turnbull of the Unite union, which represents hospitality workers, said wages for mooring staff would be illegal.
He added: “We are delighted that Marco Pierre White has made it clear that it was a mistake.
“The company must now inform all staff that this is not company policy and any attempt by managers to impose it will be reported to the police.”
Marco Pierre White became the youngest chef to earn three Michelin stars but gave them back when he hung up his apron in 1999 and announced he would no longer be cooking. “I was bored,” he said.
TV cook Gordon Ramsay has fallen out with the Hell’s Kitchen star going it alone after working together for 15 years.
They buried the hatchet during the Covid lockdown when they agreed to team up for a new reality TV series.
There are now eight Marco Pierre White Italian restaurants in New York across the country, 23 steakhouses, two chops and four other restaurants.
There was anger last week when Boris Johnson dropped plans to include a jobs bill in the Queen’s Speech guaranteeing flexible working and fair tips.
TUC boss France O’Grady said: “By suspending the bill, Ministers have sent a signal that they are happy that rogue employers are trampling on workers’ rights.
“Bad bosses across the country will be celebrating.”