At the Lion, Even the Dishwashers Sign Gag Orders

The Lion, before its opening this week.
The Lion, before its opening this week. Photo: Daniel Maurer

Personal assistants, housekeepers, and chauffeurs to the rich and powerful have been asked to sign confidentiality agreements, but now there’s a new group joining the ranks of the legally tight-lipped — restaurant staff. John DeLucie, the Waverly Inn chef who opened the Lion to the public this week, has asked his workers — from waiters to dishwashers — to sign gag orders. While other restaurants have management sign non-disclosure documents about the companies’ business plans or policies, asking floor staff to keep mum about their nightly adventures is not common. “It doesn’t enter into our philosophy,” says a representative for Daniel Boulud, whose restaurants regularly feed boldfaces. “We trust the intelligence, professionalism, and discretion of our staff.” But DeLucie says this ensures the protection and privacy of his patrons.

“When a restaurant has a certain level of clientele, you have to protect them,” he maintains. “We don’t want people gossiping about what they see, or what people may or may not do when they are here. We want people to relax and be themselves. We wouldn’t want a titan of industry who might have an extra glass of wine to be embarrassed.” Ah well, maybe the maître d’ will start an official blog, à la Waverly.