Nine customer-facing employees have left their jobs at high-end Spanish restaurant Del Mar in the DC Waterfront Wharf development in the past two weeks because they were frustrated with the treatment of one of the most powerful hospitality groups in town, reported several branches yesterday.
Restaurants Fabio TrabocchiThe company, which supplies the district’s political and social elite with luxurious tasting menus in Michelin-starred places like Fiola and Fiola Mare, had to close the Del Mar dining room to the public last weekend – the city’s first three nights in over 14 Months of Full Capacity Restoration in Restaurants – After a letter signed by anonymous „servers and bartenders” announced that some workers were refusing to do their jobs „to protest repeated examples of bad practice and bad will of corporate governance”.
The collective action is supposed to be carried out according to reporting by Washingtonian and Washington City PerThe focus was on allegations that the company’s restaurant director targeted a black waitress with unequal enforcement of uniform standards, loud complaints about her „bad attitudes” and retaliation against the waitress after raising concerns about the senior manager’s DCs disregards 25 percent c of interior space. The waitress reportedly quit in mid-May and eight of her colleagues resigned after they reportedly sent her letter to Fabio Trabocchi. The restaurateur is one of DC’s best-known chefs, with a James Beard Award for his name and Fiola’s locations that have expanded to Miami and Venice, Italy.
The letter also opposed management’s move from a traditional tipping system (which had made the venue one of the most lucrative restaurant appearances in town for serving jamon and caviar) to a tipping system that took into account the number of hours employees work. A former Del Mar server who participated in the strike also stated Washingtonian that if a guest at a private party in the restaurant sexually abused him with lewd gestures and comments, management did not help him file a police report and the hosts did not disclose to authorities.
Neither Trabocchi nor Jessica Botta, the group’s media contact and director of training and culinary development, responded to Eater’s request for comment on the resignations or allegations made by the servers against the restaurant group. Botta sent Washingtonian the following statement regarding allegations of racial insensitivity:
“A principle for our company is the fair and equal treatment of every single team member, we will not tolerate less. We have the utmost respect for every person who works with the company and are always ready to sit down to better understand the differences that arise in order to find successful solutions. „
The strike suggests a shift in economic forces across the restaurant industry in the late stages of the global COVID-19 crisis. Widespread Shortage of staff have fostered a public debate among beleaguered restaurant owners who may (doubtful) complain of extensive unemployment benefits that keep their labor pool down and hospitality workers who say they are unwilling to get health and health for low wages, unenviable hours, and an often toxic atmosphere around professional kitchens to risk.
The fact that workers were active in a Fabio Trabocchi restaurant also seems to be particularly on the nose; The stylish Italian chef has nurtured a touch of exclusivity and excess and regularly attracts customers from the city’s corridors of power. including allegedly stingy members of the Trump administration. During the tense Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Brett Kavanaugh, protesters chased right-wing Republican Senator Ted Cruz and his wife from Fiola.
Del Mar continued to host previously scheduled private parties over the weekend. There was a sign on the door stating that regular eating was interrupted due to „staff shortages.” When the news of the strikes broke on Wednesday May 26th, the Del Mar website had a link to one open call for front-of-house positions.