The Investigation Concerns Distribution Of A Fee Charged To Customers
By Dolores Quintana
Five restaurants in Los Angeles are currently under investigation by the Los Angeles City Attorney for reportedly retaining a 5% service fee, called the Wellness Fee, charged to customers instead of distributing it to their staff. The Los Angeles Times reported that high-profile restaurants such as Mother Wolf, Ka’teen, Mes Amis, Bar Lis, and the Terrace at the Maybourne Beverly Hills Hotel are part of the Ten Five Hospitality Group which has been asked for documents and a statement that explains what happened with the fees by the City Attorney.
The city attorney aims to determine whether Ten Five Hospitality, the group operating these restaurants, violated an ordinance by allegedly keeping the entire fee for themselves. In addition, city officials are also looking into allegations that two employees were terminated after speaking out about the issue.
Ten Five Hospitality responded to requests for comment with a statement that said, as quoted by The Los Angeles Times, “The Wellness Fee, which is explained clearly on all customer bills, enables the company to provide an above-market employee package including a robust medical, dental & vision insurance program, 401(k) benefit offering and better working conditions for all employees.”
Our request for comment from the Los Angeles City Attorney Hydee Feldstein Soto’s office was declined by their media spokesperson, which is not surprising since this is an open investigation.