Chickie’s & Pete’s have admitted to nothing…

But they are going to pay almost 7 million smackaroos to past servers for shorting them on their tips. Yes. STEALING their tips. Apparently it's OK for an employer to take a "tip credit" (whatever that is) but then a base rate of $2.13/hr must be paid. Along with stealing 60% out of the shared "tip jar," the establishment were basically a-holes in every way possible. They even made the servers go to the ATM to get cash to put in the tip jar to cover those tips that were put on credit cards (Lesson for you: always tip in cash!). Get a load of this crap, too: "...servers and bartenders were paid only a flat rate of $15 per shift at all locations except for Chickie's and Pete's airport establishment, according to the [Dept. of Labor]. That amount was not sufficient in all cases to even cover the minimum cash wage of $2.13 per hour that must be paid to a tipped employee when an employer claims a tip credit under federal law. Additionally, the employer allegedly failed to pay the required overtime wages to these employees when they worked in excess of 40 hours in a week. Investigators also determined that employees were not paid for time spent in mandatory meetings and training, and were improperly required to pay for uniforms." How dickish can you be? Apparently, lots. Along with the millions, Chickie's & Pete's has to pay $50,000 in fines. The fries are good, but they ain't that good. Maybe they should change their sign from this: to this: Buh bye, Cheater's & Pete's. Lots of other places to eat. BizJournal Article  … [Read more...]

Kaya’s Closing. ¡Vivan las tapas (y margaritas)!

First time I went to Kaya's was as a participant of a belly dancing group run by a local adult school teacher slash Chatham mom at the time. Small BYOBs like Kayas are usually dark, black holes to me because I have a serious case of Celiac's disease. Health-nut hipster I am not. Wheat gluten literally wears away at my insides (I'm not using "literally" figuratively here). So I tend to stay away from tiny, owner/chef restaurants. A chef's job is hard enough on any given night. They don't need a needy diner to boot. But I shouldn't have waited. The dinner Mr. Hawthorne of Kaya's presented was amazing. My meal was made just for me, with many of the similar ingredients to what the other diners were having. It was just scrumptious. I cleared my plate. Then I got up and did some belly dancing, in a room of mostly middle-aged white women. Fun times. Sorry to say that Kaya's just announced that they are closing, and some other outfit is coming to take over their lease. Unfortunately, it is a restaurant where I probably won't bother eating, as many of the traditional items contain mucho gluten. La Tez will be a tapas restaurant. Not familiar with tapas? It's basically fancy snack food to munch on while you drink. The main point of a tapas place is to drink (and chat. But mostly to drink). But here's where it gets interesante: La Tez is a Bring-your-own-boozle (not fighting the bottle vs. booze war here) establishment. The restaurant will provide the margarita mix ingredients (no alcohol therein) and we the customer are to provide the tequila. Which, as it so happens, contains 0% gluten. Which makes it one of my most preferred liqueurs. Which I had too much of last month to celebrate my birthday... Anyhoo! Here's what wikipedia has to say about the origin of "tapas:" The word "tapas" is derived from the Spanish verb tapar, "to cover". According to The Joy of Cooking, the original tapas were the slices of bread or meat which sherry drinkers in Andalusian … [Read more...]