SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Controversial restaurateurs Amy and Samy Bouzaglo, owners of Amy’s Baking Company in Scottsdale, Ariz., have announced they will be hosting a reopening Tuesday after an online firestorm.
The reopening comes after a tidal wave of negative publicity after they appeared on Fox’s “Kitchen Nightmares.”
During the show, Samy Bouzaglo was filmed cursing at customers, even shoving one young patron and admitted that he kept tips from staff. While in the kitchen, Amy Bouzaglo showed little to no restraint when she became agitated. She too cursed at customers and yelled at staff. And “Nightmares” host Chef Gordon Ramsay said their food was bad to boot.
After their appearance, several posts on the restaurant’s Facebook page lashed out at critics, often utilizing expletives. The Bouzaglos claimed they were hacked, but are still taking heat on social media.
According to a release from their public relations firm, the Bouzaglos want to prove Ramsey wrong.
“Customers will be able to decide who is correct: a famous celebrity chef or the marketplace that has supported the small, locally-owned business for six years,” the release said.
Meanwhile, A.J. Bray, a human rights activists from Niagra Falls, has started a petition on Change.org asking the Department of Labor and Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne to investigate violations related to the tipping situation at the restaurant.
According to the petition:
“Tipped employees are a valuable, intrinsic part of the Hospitality Industry. They are hardworking men and women who have fought long and nobly to be afforded fair, legal wages and tip income in exchange for service on a daily basis. Amy’s Baking Company (ABC) in Scottsdale, AZ, has come out publicly that their policy is to confiscate every single penny earned through tipping patrons, without informing customers, and instead, only pay their servers an hourly wage. This policy is 100% in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act, and given their extraordinary turn-over rate of employees, it is reasonable to assume 100 – 200+ individuals have been negatively affected by this illegal policy. In the interests of so many hardworking Americans, this company needs to be investigated immediately, and their unsavory actions need to be halted at once.”
The Department of Labor said it is still looking into the situation, but said that employees concerned about their pay should contact either a toll-free line at (866) 487-2365 or the Phoenix office at (602) 514-7100.
Horne’s office did not immediately return requests for comment.