Nusret “Salt Bae” Gökçe is under fire this week for more alleged shady behavior.
The owner of the Nusr-Et restaurant chain has been accused of tip theft, discrimination, and more, according to Insider. Several former employees filed recent lawsuits in relation to their treatment at Gökçe’s restaurants, totaling seven individual lawsuits in two major cities.
The butcher rose to internet fame in 2017 after a video of him sprinkling salt went viral — a clip that attracted celebrities and diners across the world. Now, a new investigation details an extensive history of corruption within his restaurants.
An unnamed London-based bartender alleges that Nusr-Et servers were instructed to save leftover wine from bottles purchased by guests in order to sell it to customers by the glass. He also says that the restaurant sold samples of wine provided by producers and sellers for staff tasting.
The report says that this was instituted as a cost-cutting measure, despite the London restaurant’s $9.2 million in sales during its first three months and very pricey menu.
Beyond fostering unethical beverage practices, it appears that Gökçe also allegedly created a toxic and discriminatory environment. Former employees allege that harassment of female employees, unfair tip practices, and intense pressure to upsell customers on items were all common issues in Gökçe’s restaurants.
The Insider report notes that former employees also allege that managers made inappropriate comments and insisted on revealing uniforms for women. Other complaints against the chef include alleged sudden firing, employee retaliation for filing reports, and “nationality-based employment discrimination.”