An anonymous hospitality industry employee has created a website in response to Esquire’s “Best New Restaurants” issue that seeks to raise the more than half a million dollars owed to ex-employees of Roberto Donna, a Washington, D.C., area chef. Esquire writer John Mariani named Donna “Chef of the Year” in the magazine’s annual food-themed issue, which was released last week. Donna has paid only $4,000 of the $527,000, however, that he was ordered to pay in 2010 to twelve employees who claimed he had violated labor laws for decades.
In response to the announcement, the unnamed creator of Roberto Donna Bailout decided to set up the restitution-seeking website, which accepts donations via PayPal. Mariani does not mention Donna’s legal woes in Esquire, the Washington Post reports, something the site’s creator, who is also owed money, thinks is wrong. “If you love him enough to eat at his restaurant,” she tells All We Can Eat, “you should love him enough to pay his debts off.”