DEAR WEHO: Your policies cost my employees their jobs

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Dear City Council members,

My name is Lucian Tudor of La Boheme restaurant at 8400 Santa Monica Blvd.

I got my start in the restaurant business as a busboy with La Boheme at 22 years old without experience or skills. I worked my way from the bottom and learned every aspect of the business, and today, 13 years later, I’m the CEO.

My responsibility as CEO is to make sure our business stays alive. And unfortunately, due to current politics and the recent action by this City Council to raise the minimum wage, I have been forced to revise our business model, and must now lay off EVERY BUSBOY at La Boheme. This is not a decision I have made lightly, but it is one I have made in order for our business to survive.

For me, this is heartbreaking.

At $19.08, West Hollywood has the highest minimum wage in the WORLD. This City Council needs to understand that there is great cost to this misguided decision to surpass both the Los Angeles minimum wage of $16.90 AND the California state minimum wage of $15.50.

The repercussions will be many. To name a few: business closures, job losses, and price hikes which will become a burden on every patron, resident and visitor.

The action to raise the minimum wage far and above the state and city is ultimately lop-sided. More importantly, it is the result of back-room policy making, a superficial approach to dialogue with stakeholders, broken campaign promises with nothing but lip service to the constituents who put you in office. It is (embarrassing and) shameful.

Today, West Hollywood has the highest prices in the country for basic expenses like groceries. What happened to the commitment to make residents’ quality of life better? This council must remember that it has a duty to represent, serve, and act for the interests of ALL its constituents in the community.

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This council must understand the gravity and impact of this policy, and must choose to pivot and course correct.

Here are two options that will have immediate positive impact:
– Reduce the wage to $16/hr and consider tips as wages. OR
– Use the inflated sales tax to support our residents, and low-margin businesses.

I hope this Council has the courage it needs to save businesses, support the residents and insure the vitality of this community.

Thank you for reading this email and see you all tomorrow at the City Council meeting.

Regards,
Lucian Tudor
CEO
Global-Dining, Inc. of California

 

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[…] in the nation. The results are around us and you heard the death cries from.. chopstop, starbucks, la boheme, critical state. The rules applied to our small 1.9 square mile city are a giant tax on the […]

chris
chris
9 months ago

La Boheme has had the advantage of doubling their space thanks to converting the parking lot into a dining room.
Pay your employees and stop whining. Youre not hurting financially.
This rant makes me NEVER want to eat there again.

Last edited 9 months ago by chris
Larry Block
Admin
9 months ago
Reply to  chris

Excuse me but La Boheme is here and fighting, if you were not listening to the others who left let me remind you, Gay Starbucks, Sprouts, the Wing, Subway, Chop Stop, the Conservatory, Kitchen 24, and on and on.. including the Saban Free Clinic who stated they would not take the $100,000 in city grants because they could not abide by the rules. And those are the ones who stuck it out through Covid.

JR Birdsong
JR Birdsong
9 months ago

More and more businesses will be leaving WeHo because of the outrageous $19.+ an hour for employees. I know people with degrees who do not make that! With businesses tacking on little extra fees to help cover their overhead, more people will be going outside WeHo for things like dining. WeHo will soon be a ghost town as more and more businesses leave. NOT a wise business decision to have the highest minimum wage in the State and the Nation. Why not stay in line with California? Seems City Hall did not think this one through very well.

tomnhollywood
tomnhollywood
9 months ago

Putting aside shoddy research, arithmetic, and insincere ambitions, the simplistic view he suggests is a business value on one particular day is how public policy should be validated. I’m surprised that a movie ticket in LA ($15 avg) based on today’s box office year-to-date (65% higher than 2022) should actually be $25.   Unfortunately, the deflection of the real issues at hand is too often used for political expediency. However, this is a Public official in a public forum on public record, through misrepresentation and disinformation, who wanted to score cheap political points, embarrass a business owner who has been in WH… Read more »

tomnhollywood
tomnhollywood
9 months ago

I want to speak to Councilman John Erickson’s response to Mr. Tudor’s appearance before the Council.   First, Councilman Erickson suggested that Mr. Tudor, Owner of La Boheme, was sending mixed messages, given he was just there regarding Safety and today the minimum wage. Two months ago, Mr. Tudor was before the Council after guests were robbed at gunpoint, one struck with an assault rifle, and then a third robbed outside. The assailants were caught in BH by the Private Security Co, brought on by BH, given the increase in crime in LA. Keeping irony at bay (Defund the Police), there was… Read more »

Don’t VOTE for local 11 endorsed candidates
Don’t VOTE for local 11 endorsed candidates
9 months ago

Congratulations, United Here local 11! Founding our councils electoral campaigns and make them sign NDAs by promising to vote always PRO United here! Then drafting policies so they can have more contracts and steal from hard working people wages. Also they apply for wavers which I find ethically unacceptable. . .paying people under union less than Minimum Wage! Welcome to’ legalized corruption! We, residents pay the highest price for them political aspirations! Good job Horvath we didn’t know you had such aspirations when we first voted for you! Now the Mayor is going for Congress! Revolution is coming, let’s look… Read more »

Last edited 9 months ago by Don’t VOTE for local 11 endorsed candidates
King of Kings Road
King of Kings Road
9 months ago

I live a block away from this restaurant. I can’t wait never to go there. Lucian, you’ve lost a customer for life.

Crookies
Crookies
9 months ago

An individual who never went and will never go: I Will Never Be Your Customer- a tragic tale of hubris and narcissism from a random internet anon

Imperious Mayor Pro Temp
Imperious Mayor Pro Temp
9 months ago

While John Erickson claims to have a PhD. in Religious History and Women’s Studies yet behaves as if he were a maladjusted and misguided human of unlimited peccadillos, his imperious remarks about Lucian Tudor were laughable if not tragic as it revealed more about Erickson than it served to degrade Mr.Tudor. Mr. Erickson has not yet learned his position on City Council is not all about him, as it is about how to be of service to the community.

Serrod
Serrod
9 months ago

Lucian, the day of pull yourself up by your bootstraps is done if it ever existed at all. You said when you started in the business you learned every aspect, my question to you is what made that possible? Who did you live with? What was there occupation? The people who taught you how did you all connect? While I will not be presumptuous and say people aren’t being trained in all aspects of the business anymore, it is fair to say that people are having to get less (proportionally) yet do more than you in part because of the… Read more »

KoWeho
KoWeho
9 months ago

Enough of this guy, its always “look at me,” and wow, he calls himself a CEO. He runs a single restaurant, so talk about a narcissistic egomaniac. The city allowed him to use his parking lot for extra seating for years during and after Covid, allowing him to increase revenue beyond his regular capacity. I hope they take that away. I sense the next people out the door will be top servers who won’t bus and can easily find a new job in Weho or BH. I know of at least a dozen restaurants in the area eagerly recruiting top-quality… Read more »

Larry Block
Admin
9 months ago
Reply to  KoWeho

you really know a bunch of people with open positions? I placed an ad for help and got more than 30 responses, more than half were laid off from local restaurants.

Joshua88
Joshua88
9 months ago
Reply to  KoWeho

He has a corporation, and filed for/received PPE loans of $350,000 – $1,000,000. He owns a restaurant in Santa Monica.

WehoQueen
WehoQueen
9 months ago

John Erickson displayed the worst behavior I have ever seen from anyone at a Council meeting last night. He attacked the La Boheme restaurant personnel who took the time to show up at the meeting to speak, by alleging they are secretly owned by some $30 billion foreign company, and therefore they should be able to afford to pay busboys the $19.08 forced minimum wage. I never realized it until last night, John Erickson thinks these businesses are actually charities providing some kind of free service for the community. I don’t care if La Boheme’s owners are really worth $30… Read more »

voter
voter
9 months ago
Reply to  WehoQueen

Erickson has no sense whatsoever as evidenced by his bogus Ph.D. degree. At least Sepi knows how to run a good con game with her psychic consultation services charlatan business.

WehoQueen
WehoQueen
9 months ago
Reply to  voter

Sepi has some ability to learn. Sadly, it’s not for good, it’s learning how to hide things better, mostly by staying silent. John “I’ll stay silent” Heilman is the master of this. Almost 40 years in office, seeing and knowing about every scandal, and keeping his mouth shut. This is what it’s come to. I believe Sepi has some kind of law degree, but she chooses to list her career as some kind of psychic healer instead. I have no problem with that, as long as she discloses to clients she can’t really heal them with her mind, and it’s… Read more »

A Sorry Pair
A Sorry Pair
9 months ago
Reply to  WehoQueen

Both Erickson and Shyne are debilitated as public servants resulting from severe bias. Erickson fancies himself as “an unfailing feminist leader, writer and witty scholar” according to his Linkedin page. While ensconced within Planned Parenthood it amounts to an impaired human skilled in dilitantte-ism and absent reasonable authentic women or community service skills. It was purely a political move for him to further behave like a gad about. Likewise he demonstrated no skills on the Planning Commission. Was this a direct result of his friendship with Abbe Land? Shyne on the other hand is biased against men, period or anyone… Read more »

Vaughn
Vaughn
9 months ago

The Boomer generation with their continued greed really has ruined the economy for younger generations. Thanks for nothing. Good riddance

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