Sexual Harassment Allegations Cloud Over Danny Meyer's Restaurant Group

Sexual Harassment Allegations Cloud Over Danny Meyer's Restaurant Group

There are reports denouncing Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group for not properly addressing dozens of employee complaints involving sexual harassment.

The incidents involved a couple of chefs including, Eric Korsh, the former North End Grill executive chef and Junsoo Bae the former Gramercy Tavern sous chef.

Soon after Korsh took on the position in 2014, there were instances when he allegedly made inappropriate comments about female customers that he found attractive, gave unwelcomed massages to female employees, and, in various occasions, lost his temper at the restaurant staff. Additionally, as far as Bae is concerned, the sous chef allegedly groped a server at a company party, according to “Eater.”

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Chef Charlie Hallowell Steps Down After 17 Women Accuse Him Of Sexual Misconduct

Chef Charlie Hallowell Steps Down After 17 Women Accuse Him Of Sexual Misconduct
  • First John Besh, then Todd English, Mario Batali, then Ken Friedman. Now, Charlie Hallowell is the antagonist of the latest sexual harassment scandal in the restaurant industry.

  • Women, empowered to speak up, sought out justice when they denounced Chef Charlie Hallowell of sexual harassment.

Most recently, you may have seen celebrities share on their social media platforms posts referring to the Time’s Up movement. The open letter by 300 female professionals from the entertainment industry was in response to another open letter which was sent in solidarity with Hollywood actresses on behalf of 700,000 female farmworkers whom have also experienced sexual harassment in the workplace. It’s a move towards fighting the “systemic sexual harassment in Hollywood and in blue-collar workplaces nationwide,” reports “The New York Times.”

Sadly, sexual harassment cases continue to headline the news, especially in the restaurant industry.

After 17 former female employees came forward detailing years of sexual harassment and verbal abuse allegations in the workplace, Oakland Chef Charlie Hallowell decided to distance himself from his restaurant group, as reported by the “San Francisco Chronicle,” last week.

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JBF's 2016 Outstanding Restaurateur Ken Friedman is Accused of Sexual Harassment

JBF's 2016 Outstanding Restaurateur Ken Friedman is Accused of Sexual Harassment
  • NYC's The Spotted Pig's Restaurateur Ken Friedman is accused of sexual harassment by at least 10 staff members. 

  • In response, Friedman apologized and will be taking an indefinite leave of absence from managing his restaurants. 

Oh, how the mighty have fallen! With a heavy heart, we are reporting that multiple sexual harassment accusations have been made against another powerful restaurateur. 

As reported by the "New York Times," Ken Friedman, the operator behind the award winning NYC restaurant The Spotted Pig and winner of the 2016 James Beard Outstanding Restaurateur award, has been accused of sexually harassment from at least 10 members of his staff. 

Apparently, the sexual abuse at his West Village restaurant has been going on for years. 

Multiple victims have come forward, including The Spotted Pig's longtime servers Natalie Saibel and Trish Nelson and the bar manager, Amy Dee Richardson. 

Saibel claims that in 2015 Friedman "ran his hands over her buttocks and then her groin in a room crowded with customers, joking that he was searching her pockets for a forbidden cellphone."

Then in 2007, Nelson recalled when "he grabbed her head and pulled it toward his crotch in front of Amy Poehler in 2007 as Ms. Nelson knelt to collect glasses from a low shelf."

After that incident, later in 2012, Friedman forcibly kissed Nelson after inviting her to his car to smoke Marijuana. 

“I was scared,” said Nelson after his behavior in the car. “I couldn’t believe it. I had worked for him for six years.”

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Mario Batali Steps Down— Another Sexual Harassment Case Shakes Up Restaurant Industry

Mario Batali Steps Down— Another Sexual Harassment Case Shakes Up Restaurant Industry
  • Celebrity Chef Mario Batali does not deny sexual misconduct, according to "Eater."

  • Batali has been sexually harassing women for the past two decades according to investigation by "Eater."

Due to sexual harassment allegations, celebrity chef Mario Batali steps away from his restaurant empire.

Four women, who wish to remain anonymous because they fear retaliation, shared their story with “Eater” detailing how they were inappropriately touched by Batali.

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What’s The Key Role of Leadership?

What’s The Key Role of Leadership?

As 2017 is nearing its end, the answer is one that’s both consistent and evolving.  Just in case you missed Parts One and Two of this leadership series, here’s a short recap:  The question was asked, “What are the three top responsibilities of leadership, that is, an owner, or C-suite leader?”   

I answered my own question in Part One wearing two hats: experienced owner, and multi-decade “vet” who’s facilitated change and growth in over 1,600 restaurant and hospitality companies in different industry segments.  

Part Two of the series expanded the dialogue. Readers got the perspective of a Founder/CEO, SVP of a multinational brand, and COO of a regional chain.  The panel represented three different industry segments and sizes— all highly successful.

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