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    HomeNewsLa Boheme CEO Responds to Claims that Parent Company is Worth 30...

    La Boheme CEO Responds to Claims that Parent Company is Worth 30 Billion

    On Monday, August 21, 2023, the CEO of La Boheme restaurant, Lucian Tudor, took to the streets of West Hollywood with members of his staff in tow to protest the City’s $19.08 minimum wage, which is currently the highest in the nation. A group of about ten people walked to the council chambers to speak before the West Hollywood City Council at a regular council meeting that night, to address the city’s minimum wage, which Tudor said has forced him to lay off all his busboys and that he is putting La Boheme for sale.

    In a written statement, he referred to the policy as “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.”

    During council member comments, Mayor Pro Tempore John Erickson said he was confused by La Boheme’s messaging, referring to their appearance at a council meeting on June 26, where the La Boheme CEO said the business was hurting due to public safety issues, and now they are saying the business is hurting due to the minimum wage.

    “Both are very important conversations,” said Mayor Pro Tem Erickson. “Ultimately, La Boheme is owned by Global Dining Group, which is worth 4.4 billion yen based in Japan, which is $30 billion in United States currency, so it’s owned by a global dining corporation, and they let 20 buspeople go. I understand every business has a top sheet, and that they have to look out for how they make their business work. And I’m not saying just because it’s worth $30 billion–again, 30 billion, with a B, that that makes any policy correct, or wrong. But I have to argue that when you talk about inflation prices at our supermarket, those were blamed on hazard pay for workers during the pandemic. Kroger is worth billions and billions of dollars and they never took away executive level compensation that provided those executives with that money and never gave it back to the staff.”

    The Mayor Pro Tem said Tudor is attacking the council and accusing them of putting political preference over public policy. “I don’t agree with the assumption that that is the truth,” he said. “When you come up here and you talk, and you ask for help, like a member of our community did, we want to help, we want to listen to you, but the message is getting muddled and I don’t think that that’s appropriate at the moment. I’m happy to sit down with Lucien, but from what I’ve been told, they have La Boheme as a jewel in their property area because it’s in West Hollywood, and if they put it up for sale, they put it up for sale, and I’m happy to talk about that. But again, La Boheme is owned by a group that is worth $30 billion. I am trying to see the small business aspect here. And I’m happy to meet with you again Lucien… there is a one year waiver that you can apply for if you feel that the policy is hurting your business.”

    On Saturday, Tudor issued an open letter to the press in response to the comments the Mayor Pro Tem made this past Monday.

    ===

    Mayor Pro Tem John Erickson,

    We ask that you correct the Public record of the August 21st Council Meeting, where you represented and confirmed, that our parent company, Global Dining is a $30 B corporation. To give the Council and the Public a sense of how much money we are worth, you also compared us to a grocery store, which we didn’t find appropriate. Even grocery stores’ profits are only 2% net, regardless of gross receipts. No business will operate any venues at a loss. This is simply not justifiable from the business perspective. I deeply care about employees making a decent living wage, but for low profitability businesses, such as restaurants and food industry, in general, it is just not sustainable! It’s better to have a job at $16 plus tips than no job at all.

    Obviously, your motives were to find memorable and damning sound bites to attack La Boheme. The sound bites came from Japanese Stock Exchange. Unfortunately, they were not accurate. When converted from Yen, the real value was not 30B but 31M dollars. Again, we ask the Public record to be corrected.

    I want to clarify that saying ‘larger political ambitions drive policy decisions’ was not meant as an attack. It’s a reality based on facts, which have been published and voiced in numerous and credible sources. Being a West Hollywood Mayor, elected because of the involvement and support of “Local Here 11”, who also lead the effort for the highest minimum wage in the country, fits the profile of positions with more power such as supervisor or congress woman.

    I’m aware that my accent or inaccurate grammar can seem too direct. But I’m never dishonest or profane. I appreciate helpful criticism, but being attacked or demonized is not acceptable. It makes others unwilling to speak.

    Moving On

    I would like to move past our exchange at the Council Meeting and a find a common ground that is solution-focused, where differences remain, but held within a context of working for the better good of our community.

    Regarding the waiver being offered by the city, we believe that this is a temporary solution to a fundamental problem that requires an immediate and meaningful dialogue. A dialogue that has not been available to the stakeholders when this policy was being developed.

    I’m prepared to fully open La Boheme’s books for you and other council members to begin a constructive conversation. It could provide a more tangible way to understand the change that occurred on Jan 1st, 2023, with real-time information. However, I’m open to whatever suggestions you may have that are in our collective interest.

    Safety and inflation are the most significant issues that impact the quality of life of our community. After 32 years, La Boheme feels the responsibility to voice those concerns. Maybe waving the sales tax for food industry, will help our residents deal with inflation, as well as bringing revenue to the local businesses. I hope this letter is received with the spirit of good as intended.

    I look forward to speaking with you soon.

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

    4.5 10 votes
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    Paulo Murillo
    Paulo Murillohttps://wehotimes.com
    Paulo Murillo is Editor in Chief and Publisher of WEHO TIMES. He brings over 20 years of experience as a columnist, reporter, and photo journalist. Murillo began his professional writing career as the author of “Love Ya, Mean It,” an irreverent and sometimes controversial West Hollywood lifestyle column for FAB! newspaper. His work has appeared in numerous print and online publications, which include the “Hot Topic” column in Frontiers magazine, where he covered breaking news and local events in West Hollywood. He can be reached at [email protected]

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    Erickson needs to resign
    Erickson needs to resign
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    7 months ago

    This is much better articulate article than the new one!!!

    Antoine
    Antoine
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    7 months ago

    4.4 billion yen is only 30 million USD. Not 30 billion

    CryMeARiver
    CryMeARiver
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    7 months ago

    The point John Erickson was making is that La Boheme is not a small mom and pop shop. It’s not a small business. It is owned by a large corporation with lots of money, so them laying off the lowest employees when they have all these high paying managers is confusing.

    voting
    voting
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    Reply to  CryMeARiver
    7 months ago

    The point Erickson was stumbling to make is completely bogus. Comparing billions to millions is a really sad mistake on Erickson’s part. Any point he was attempting to make is completely lost.

    Tom
    Tom
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    7 months ago

    Honestly, if La Boheme was a better restaurant, they would be more profitable. There are probably a dozen or more similar, but better options in the neighborhood within a 15 min walk. They are struggling because of competition, not because of the minimum wage.

    Natasha
    Natasha
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    7 months ago

    It doesn’t matter how much the corporate parent is worth it’s how much this individual restaurant is making. Companies are in business to make a profit they are not just in business to employ people. Regardless, my concern is not about La Boheme it’s about small businesses in West Hollywood who are barely surviving. The last few years has been devastating on small businesses and this increase is going to cost people their jobs and force many businesses to close their doors. Even Malibu didn’t raise their minimum wage to $19.08. It’s unnecessary. Most businesses that are doing well are… Read more »

    kab1200
    kab1200
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    7 months ago

    He made great points, West Hollywood, while trying to help workers, has become business unfriendly. LA Boheme is a jewel, and they should do whatever they can to keep it thriving.

    Erickson needs to resign
    Erickson needs to resign
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    7 months ago

    I like this guy!!! Keep up in fighting corrupt officials… demonizing victims of robberies and now struggling businesses.

    Pavarotti
    Pavarotti
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    7 months ago

    Why do numerically illiterate people feel qualified to comment on financial issues like this? I mean, how farking hard is it to type “convert 4.4 billion yen to usd” in Google to see that it’s equal to $30 Million, not $30 Billion. And we wonder why these same people are incapable of running a city and keeping a balanced budget? After all, what’s a factor of 1,000 between friends?

    Miri
    Miri
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    Reply to  Pavarotti
    7 months ago

    That’s because the article accidentally made it 4.4 billion yen and not 4.4 trillion yen. That or the Mayor accidentally said billion instead of trillion. $30 million companies do not own restaurants internationally. It doesn’t make any sense.

    So now you are making a mockery of him because of either a newspaper mistake or because he had a minor slip of the tongue.

    UCSBGRAD2001
    UCSBGRAD2001
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    7 months ago

    Isn’t 1 us dollar worth about 146 yen? That would mean the 4.6 billion yen is worth about 31 million US dolllars?

    Miri
    Miri
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    Reply to  UCSBGRAD2001
    7 months ago

    It’s called a slip of the tongue. It happens. 4.4 trillion yen. Better?

    UCSBGRAD
    UCSBGRAD
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    Reply to  Miri
    7 months ago

    4.6 billion is the correct market cap. Now that the mayor pro temp has correct his error maybe you will stop embarrassing yourself by supporting his claims.

    Matthew Flanagan
    Matthew Flanagan
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    7 months ago

    Someone got their ass read

    Enough!
    Enough!
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    7 months ago

    At the very least, it puts West Hollywood at a disadvantage. With the surrounding cities having a lower minimum wage, we pay more for a groceries, dining out, etc. We see the results of our city’s policies right before our eyes. How many restaurants have closed just in the last month! Why would a restaurant want to open here when the cost of doing business is a lot less expensive just a few blocks over? Or any business for that matter? We’ll start seeing LA’s “entertainment district” move to other areas…and our city will continue to decline. Sad.

    Weho artist
    Weho artist
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    Reply to  Enough!
    7 months ago

    I keep seeing new restaurant signs though. I see WAY more restaurants opening than closing.

    Natasha
    Natasha
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    Reply to  Weho artist
    7 months ago

    You see new restaurant signs because the previous restaurants went out of business. Drive down Melrose and Third Street and count all the for rent signs. For every restaurant that is successful there are probably 20 that won’t make it. Restaurants work on small margins and if business is bad they still have to pay their expensive rent and they still have to pay their employees. I doubt you like to work for nothing so we can’t expect businesses to work for nothing or even worse to lose money. I assure you if businesses are doing well they are going… Read more »

    CryMeARiver
    CryMeARiver
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    Reply to  Natasha
    7 months ago

    Third Street is in Los Angeles, nowhere near West Hollywood. The Melrose area you’re speaking of is also in L.A. The restaurants on Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood seem to be doing well. It’s a long list. You have Drakes, The Gracias Madre, Catch LA, Butcher’s Daughter, Zinqué, Cecconis, Craig’s, Urth Caffé, and so on, all within walking distance from each and most of them at the same price point as La Boheme yet none of these businesses are bitching about minimum wage or politicizing their business at the expense of their employees. What Lucian is doing is truly despicable.

    Kiss it
    Kiss it
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    7 months ago

    Well, I’m surprised monitor in this town let’s straighten that out first and foremost. The fish plate is gone from $17-$23 to no $28 in a matter of two years. The happy hour drinks are now nine dollars and they used to be five dollars and lastly eight dollars. These prices have been skyrocketing before the toll minimum wage thing. These restaurants and bars have been living high on the hog for too long norms down the street Selling their white fish plate complete with rice vegetables a soup and a salad for $10.85 if they can do it so… Read more »

    kab1200
    kab1200
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    Reply to  Kiss it
    7 months ago

    You are disgusting.

    Kiss it
    Kiss it
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    Reply to  kab1200
    7 months ago

    And another thing you obviously aren’t five dollars an hour to get to work clean and sweep and make sure everything’s ready when I walk in the door

    Natasha
    Natasha
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    Reply to  Kiss it
    7 months ago

    Maybe you should stop drinking alcohol and you would save some money. Anyone that uses Grindr to have sex at Norms has some real issues.

    Kevin
    Kevin
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    7 months ago

    It truly is time for this egocentric narcissistic to just go away. And if the restaurant is really for sale, hopefully he moves away. I really feel for the employees who were asked to protest to lower their income. I am sure they felt if they did not, they would lose their jobs. Global Dining is a huge business worth billions and this front man for them wants to take a few dollars away from the neediest employees. Shame on him.

    CryMeARiver
    CryMeARiver
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    Reply to  Kevin
    7 months ago

    Agreed. Two things may be happening here. You are making so much money that you can afford all the negative press because I no desire to give this man my business, or you plan to close anyway, so you want to make it about something else. Either way his employees take the brunt of this.

    Uran
    Uran
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    7 months ago

    They have continued to keep the double size of the restaurant by operating the parking lot dining. Pull the restaurant back to its original size and the reduced overhead may allow you to properly staff the establishment.

    seems like they want it both ways.

    As for its corporate value, remember that they own the building and property, and like Abbey albeit 66% inflates the value of the operating business, which is much less.

    Jim Nasium
    Jim Nasium
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    7 months ago

    “30 BILLION” that’s really 30 MILLION……and these people run the city?!

    WOW!

    Miri
    Miri
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    Reply to  Jim Nasium
    7 months ago

    Ugh another person who has nothing to say so points out a trivial error of 4.4 billion rather than 4.4 trillion. Either the paper fucked up or the mayor misspoke said billion instead of trillion.

    Apparently that’s enough to get fired nowadays.

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