Talk about restaurant bills. Mario Batali is stuck with one to the tune of more than $5 million.
The celebrity chef and his business partner have settled a class-action lawsuit filed by about 1,000 waiters and waitresses, busboys and bartenders who claimed Batali’s restaurants illegally took some of their tips to boost profits, the New York Times reports.
The lawsuit, filed in 2010 in Federal District Court in Manhattan against Batali and partner Joseph Bastianich, alleges that such New York restaurants as Babbo, Del Posto and Casa Mono deducted 4 percent to 5 percent of wine sales each night from the tip pool.
One restaurant executive “refused to justify the policy and said it was not going to change,” a judge wrote in a ruling last May.
A joint statement from lawyers for Batali and the workers said, “The matter has been resolved to the satisfaction of all parties,” according to the Times.