Salt Bae Sells Leftover Wine to Customers, Former Employee Says
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Salt Bae Sells Leftover Wine to Customers at His Restaurants, Former Employee Says

A former employee of Nusret “Salt Bae” Gökçe alleged that the restaurant owner instructed bartenders to serve customers leftover wine. (Photo: Wallstreet Journal/YouTube)

Internet celebrity and restaurant chain owner Nusret “Salt Bae” Gökçe has been accused of selling leftover wine to customers following recent allegations of workplace harassment and several lawsuits filed against his company.

Gökçe, most known for a viral 2017 video of him dramatically salting a massive steak while donning a pair of black circular glasses, owns 22 luxury restaurants worldwide. Operating under the name Nusr-Et, the chain is infamous for its exorbitant prices and gimmicky antics, including a 24K gold leaf encrusted Golden Tomahawk steak and live salting performances from the Salt Bae himself.

According to Insider reporting, Gökçe, has recently faced allegations of tip theft and discrimination, among other offenses. Seven former employees have filed lawsuits against the company in two major cities, detailing their experiences of mistreatment at Gökçe’s establishments.

Recounting his time at the restaurant, a former employee who worked as a bartender at Nusr-Et London revealed that Gökçe allegedly took many shortcuts to save money at his establishments. It should be noted that Gökçe’s net worth is estimated at $75 Million, with the Nusr-Et London location alone reported to have earned $9.2 million in sales during its first three months of operation.

The former employee shared with Insider that, in order to cut costs, bartenders were told to resell wine by the glass that had been previously purchased by the bottle and left behind by other customers.

Furthermore, when retailers brought over wine samples, which were oftentimes free, bartenders were requested to instead sell them to customers, the former employee detailed, per Insider.

In November 2022, Gökçe faced backlash after posting a picture of a customer’s $167,000 bill at his Dubai restaurant, which showed the majority of expenses allotted to booze. According to the receipt, $88,481 was spent on five bottles of Pétrus wine, $54,449 on two bottles of Pétrus 2009 and $4,219 on a single bottle of Château Margaux.

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Candie Getgen is the managing editor for Gin Raiders. Before immersing herself in the world of spirits journalism, Candie has been many things: a bartender, a literary journal editor, an English teacher — and even a poet. Now, Candie shares her passion for gin with the world and hopes to help others fall in love with it, too (if they haven't already!). When not writing, Candie enjoys sipping a Negroni while drawing or relaxing by the pool with a campy mystery novel.