One of New York City’s most iconic institutions, the Four Seasons Restaurant– the Midtown dining spot for power brokers and celebrities (John F. Kennedy, Henry Kissinger, the Dalai Lama, Michael Bloomberg & Martha Stewart were just some of its clientele)– will be closing its doors after 57 years, on July 16, 2016. We highly recommend booking a table– or walking in for a seat at the bar before then. (Via @chertiu) #fourseasons #fourseasonsrestaurant #fourseasonspoolroom #midtown #manhattan #newyork
As The Four Seasons Restaurant, the iconic eatery and celeb hangout, gets ready to shutter its doors on July 16th — after a whopping 57 years in business — long-time employees are very unhappy about being served up surprisingly small severance packages.
In what seems more like a “Bye, Felicia” move instead of a sincere thanks, The New York Post reports that staff will receive severance pay of as little as $600. Even waiters who have been with the restaurant for 40 years will receive a pitiful pittance from the pricey eatery.
“We gave our blood and soul to this place,” said Antonio Veloso, a floor captain who started there in 1994. “They could show us a little more respect.”
Many of the 130-person team who feel slighted did not realize what their union contract detailed.
“I never read the contract,” explained a waiter at the establishment since 1979. Though a common formula in this situation includes two weeks of pay for each year worked, the Four Seasons formula was changed to just two weeks regardless of service time “many years ago.”
While the overall payout will cost Julian Niccolini and Alex von Bidder, the owners of the new Four Seasons Restaurant, about a half a million dollars, the upcoming auction on July 26th of all furnishings could net millions for the duo. And while staff can certainly apply to work at the new eatery located on 280 Park Avenue, there are no guarantees they will be hired.
The whole situation leaves loyal staff with a bad taste in its mouth. To add insult to injury, workers are fuming about having to work at an upcoming farewell party for famous guests. A last hurrah, Wednesday’s elaborate farewell soiree features a Tuscan wine dinner and dishes cooked by celebrity chefs such as Mario Batali and Cesare Casella.
One insider fumed, “Julian and Alex are squeezing the last dime out of us. We’re working double shifts to work private parties for rich guys who want to tell their friends about their last blowout at The Four Seasons.”
Let’s just hope no disgruntled staff gets out his frustration and garners the last laugh by spitting in the meals.