Danny Meyer–the beloved restaurateur behind Union Square Hospitality Group, which owns places like Union Square Café and Shake Shack–is under fire for mishandling employee complaints. According to a report from Eater, for years, dozens of employees told the company’s human resources department about misconduct from two chefs at two of Meyer’s restaurants. But HR allegedly did very little despite frequent complaints.
Meyer is considered a trailblazer in the food world, specifically for how he portrays his company culture. But according to Eater, HR essentially refused to deal with multiple allegations head on.
For instance, a former executive chef at the restaurant Korsh reportedly sent female coworkers questionable messages and gave one unwanted shoulder rubs. For years, women reported his behavior, but the restaurant never took decisive action beyond giving the chef sensitivity training. Employees received a similarly half-hearted response after telling HR about a sous chef from Gramercy Tavern who allegedly both harassed employees and even groped one.
Both chefs no longer work at USHG, and Meyer’s company has reportedly pledged to do better to deal with this sort of conduct.
You can read the full Eater report here.