These days, Drake’s luck has gone from stellar to cellar. The Drake endorsed restaurant, Fring’s, on King West, will be closing soon, and staff member have been told to find new jobs. Chef Grant Soto made the first public announcement on Instagram.
“I’m hearing a rumour that a King Street restaurant that I’ve long had a tumultuous relationship with is closing,” he wrote. “I’m not gonna say who it is yet. But on an unrelated note, here’s a pic of some FRINGS.”
Fring’s, which opened in the fall of 2015, has gotten some bad publicity recently. The restaurant is owned by celebrity chef Susur Lee and his sons Kai and Levi Bent-Lee. Fring’s and other Susur Lee’s restaurants came under fire for an IOU Policy for employees. This meant that the restaurant took tips from staff members to pay for kitchen mistakes, spilled drinks, sending the wrong drink to a table, punching in an incorrect order with the kitchen, and even customers who ate and ran. This practice is forbidden under Ontario’s Employment Standards Act. Some IOUs were worth more then $100. While this policy is no longer in effect, it cost workers much needed cash. A former bartender spoke about how the IOUs created a culture of intimidation and fear.
According to the Ministry of Labour’s website, since June 2016, “employers can’t withhold, make deductions from, or make their employees return their tips and other gratuities.” It further explains that “employers can’t take tips and other gratuities to cover things like: spilled food or beverages, broken supplies (e.g. dishes and glassware)
losses or damages (e.g. from theft or customers who don’t pay their bill).”
In addition, Fring’s had its liquor license suspended last spring for various violations, such as exceeding capacity and promoting “immoderate consumption.” No official closing date has been announced.