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Report: Mario Batali accused by ex-employees of tip-stealing scheme at Pizzeria Mozza

Batali2TMZ reports that a former server and a former bartender at Pizzeria Mozza have accused Mario Batali of stealing their tips, according to a lawsuit filed yesterday in L.A. County Superior Court. 

In the lawsuit, the former employees say that a percentage of their tips from credit card sales were diverted into a "wine program" and that the funds allegedly were pocketed by Batali and his partner, Joe Bastianich. The former employees are seeking unspecified damages. A rep for Batali provided TMZ with no comment.

Bastianich has told Eater NY that he would fight similar allegations against the Batali-Bastianich restaurant Babbo in New York. 

 Photo: Evan Agostini / Associated Press 

Comments () | Archives (3)

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I don't understand why the other co-owner and really the person in charge is never mentioned whenever I see an article regarding this issue. Everyone knows that Batali's involvement in the Mozzas are minimal, and the restaurants are really being run, etc. by Nancy Silverton.

Could this be because of her reputation and standing in LA? It's certainly easier to knock the celebrity chef who doesn't even reside in California.

I have been a professional server for over 15 years in high level restaurants. It's never enough for restaurant owners to make money on the food and drinks they sell. Whenever they can get there hands on tip money they take it also. Owners will use words like "service charge" instead of "gratuities". This allows them to divide the tips between the staff and usually keep half for the "house". I have made decent money by serving in the past , but lately I've noticed restaurateurs getting creative with there accounting practices.

This is pretty pathetic! Being a professional server in San Francisco I know how hard Servers and Bartenders work and their main income comes from those tips.
If in fact this story is true, he should be ashamed of himself and made to return the money and a hefty fine.


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