Typically when restaurant owners fail to pay their staffs, they are either greedy jerks or so deep in debt that their businesses are on the verge of collapsing. We’re not sure which is the case for Le Bec-Fin, but no matter how you slice it, it doesn’t look good. Yesterday, Foobooz reported that employees of the Philly fine dining flagship learned their boss, Georges Perrier, reneged on his promise to to pay them for time off while the restaurant was closed for renovations. While Perrier is quoted calling bullshit on the matter, employees were reportedly told that if the restaurant made good on its promise to pay them, it would have to close immediately.
If true, all of this suggests Le Bec-Fin is experiencing some serious money problems. You might recall that about this time last year Perrier, citing changes in restaurant diner’s tastes and sagging sales, was ready to call it quits on Walnut St. He put Le Bec’s bricks on the market for $3.9 million, and was asking an additional $600,000 for the business and liquor license. Months later, Perrier’s change of heart was viewed as a publicity stunt. But now, with the stability of the restaurant in question, perhaps it was simply just a bad decision.