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John Delucie Forced to Cough Up $575,000 to Servers Who Were Shorted on Tips

Delucie and partner Sean Largotta recently settled a class action suit filed by servers who claim they never received tips for working private events.

Sean Largotta and John Delucie
Sean Largotta and John Delucie
Daniel Krieger

John Delucie and Sean Largotta, the partners behind Crown, The Lion, and Bill's Food & Drink, may be feuding now, but they were on the same side of the fight when their staff filed a class action suit recently, alleging wage theft. The suit has now been settled, but not before the battling partners had to shell out $575,000 to some of their servers.

These servers had been paid $25 per hour when they served at private parties, but complained that the owners collected a 20 percent gratuity from customers that should rightfully have been theirs. "It was a great gig and we made good money, but there was still no doubt that this money belonged to us,'' one of the waiters, Kenyon Oster, tells Eater. "One night I was working a party with one other waiter and a guest came over to thank me and handed me the check with the gratuity on it. It was about $1500, which was a lot more than the $25 per hour, so I took a photo of it with my phone.''  The employees are scheduled to receive payment in two installments, the first of which will be in mid March. "It was a great place to work but there was a lot of arrogance and ego on their part, '' says Oster.  "We knew we were going to sue them; it was just a matter of time.''

Bill's Food & Drink

57 E 54th St, New York, NY 10022 (212) 518-2727 Visit Website

The Lion

62 West Ninth Street, New York, NY 10011 (212) 353-8400 Visit Website