Veteran employees of Four Seasons are seething over low severance pay as the restaurant prepares to close — saying that it’s unfair considering their years of service, the Post reports. Staff members will be receiving severance pay based on salary instead of tenure, upsetting those who have worked for the restaurant for more than 30 years. The pay, which is as low as $600 for front of house, will cost Four Seasons owners about $500,000. The Post reports that the upcoming July 26 auction is said to bring in millions. "We gave our blood and soul to this place," Antonio Veloso, a floor captain who started in 1994, tells the Post. "They could show us a little more respect."
Besides the severance, longtime staff members say they were told they would not be guaranteed jobs at the new Four Seasons, though they could apply. And since the restaurant isn’t set to reopen until late 2017, staff members will be forced to seek new employment in the meantime. "I have to clear my head," said Alex Camilleri, a server and captain since 2004. "I’ll have to look for another job."
Meanwhile, Four Seasons owners Julian Niccolini and Alex von Bidder are planning a secret goodbye party for their famous regulars to take place two days before the restaurant closes on July 16. The party invitation reads: "Because we love you . . . because we think of you as part of our family. Because we want to celebrate the first 57 years of the Four Seasons’ life before we move, we hope you and a friend will join us when we will tear the roof off the sucker (gently, of course)." The legendary Four Seasons restaurant opened in 1959 inside Midtown’s Seagram building. When it reopens in 2017, it will be moving a few blocks south.