Social media has the power to transform the careers of individuals around the world – and this was undoubtedly the case for Salt Bae (who goes by the real name of Nusret Gökçe), who rose to internet fame when a clip of him sprinkling salt across a steak rapidly rose to viral acclaim online. However, things might not be quite as rosy as they appear on the surface – and the reality of working for Salt Bae have recently come to light with exposés from some of his past staff members.
Who is Salt Bae?
Salt Bae is a prominent figure online these days, having become a viral star on social media platforms for an image of him sprinkling salt “seductively” across a steak. With this fame, he grew his previously small restaurant business into a multi-premises empire, with new dining establishments opening every year.
Using his fame and success from the viral meme, Salt Bae has worked tirelessly to grow his brand, and he now has over twenty establishments around the world. These include restaurants in Istanbul (six in total), Dubai, Miami, New York, and London, just to name a few.
One of the most striking features of his restaurants – perhaps in line with the luxurious nature of the original meme – is their luxury and high-end finish. His menus also tend to revolve heavily around meat dishes, with steaks being unsurprisingly prominent in his cooking – some costing over $1000.
However, he hasn’t stopped there; in fact, he’s also pushed his own range of luxury clothing and accessories as merchandise. In short – his fame has undeniably helped propel him to greater heights, but there’s still a long way to go. However, a major challenge has recently presented itself in terms of Salt Bae’s management of his restaurant empire – and there’s the potential for this new information to really change the way the general public sees his business.
The Harsh Conditions of Working for Salt Bae
While Salt Bae’s restaurant career has been propelled to new heights by his success on social media, the harsh conditions experienced by his staff have never been challenged prior. However, a recent expose by former steakhouse workers has really brought the discrimination and ill-practice in the restaurants to light.
Some of the main challenges highlighted by the exposé include reports of unfair dismissals, illegal tip sharing, and requirements for employees to dress in a seductive (and likely very uncomfortable or humiliating) manner – perhaps in line with the overall style Salt Bae grew for the brand in the first place. One past employee even reported intimidation and violence in the workplace, really painting a clear picture of the challenges and hardships faced by employees abused in the system.
Going into the future, it’s not always clear how the public is going to perceive Salt Bae’s restaurants and whether this new information will have any standing on how people rate the brand. With that being said, though, chances are pretty good that diners aware of these conditions may be much more reluctant to tip in the future.