If you're a back-of-house (BOH) restaurant employee, meaning if you work in any back-of-the-house restaurant positions, from a dishwasher to a chef, Phillip Frankland Lee wants to buy you dinner.
Lee -- who is a contestant on the current season of "Top Chef" and chef-owner at Scratch Bar and Kitchen, his Encino restaurant known for its whimsical small plates, and Gadarene Swine, his vegan restaurant in Studio City -- has turned February into his own BOH appreciation month.
"In light of all the recent BOH compensation debates, I have decided to take a different approach to the way BOH staff is treated/compensated within the industry," said Lee in a statement. "I plan to feed any BOH employee completely free."
The compensation debates Lee is referring to have to do with Los Angeles' minimum-wage laws, which create a pay gap between those who work in back-of-house and those who work front-of-house, mainly the servers. Should we do away with tipping in favor of a service charge? Or all-inclusive pricing (something "Good Food" host Evan Kleiman is in favor of)? While the debate rages on, Lee has a temporary answer.
During the entire month of February, except Valentine's Day weekend, any BOH employee who brings in a pay stub that shows he or she is indeed a BOH employee, will be treated to a complimentary six-course tasting menu at either of Lee's restaurants.
Tasting menus at Scratch Bar and Kitchen can run $40 to $120 per person and the tasting menus at Gadarene Swine can range from $40 to $100 per person.
BOH employees are welcome to bring friends along, but additional food will be 50% off, rather than free. Alcohol will remain full price.
I'll buy the first round. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @Jenn_Harris_.