Maggie Galehouse at the Houston Chronicle has posted her take on Battle Ownership, the Tycer vs. Gould controversy at Gravitas.
Chefs' rift grows into a chasm
The story elaborates on the promises made, the SBA loan, and the attempted buyout.
Galehouse confirms the issue that we feel is at the heart of the controversy:
But Tycer felt low-balled. He said Gould's investors were "looking for someone frantic who wanted to be pulled out from underneath a boulder."
He counteroffered, and Gould's investors pulled out.
But as recently as July, he said, Tycer told him he still saw him as a partner.
That changed on Aug. 7 when Gould got a call from Tycer's wife. Annika Tycer, a management consultant who helps her husband with the business side of food, had been involved in the buyout negotiations. She told Gould that he was no longer considered a partner.
Something smells funny. If Tycer didn't want to be bought out, why did he enter into negotiations?
Here's the timeline as we see it:
Tycer negotiates with Gould.
Gould can't raise enough money in this economic climate.
Tycer feels lowballed, but still considers Gould a partner.
Then Tycer's wife comes in and tell him that he's not considered a partner.
Gould feels betrayed, and quits.
Maybe that's just business as usual in a Tycer establishment. But we think it stinks. Ethical firms don't promise a key employee equity and then yank it away because they get mad.
We stand by our position to avoid Tycer and his establishments; we can't support a restaurant with these sorts of business practices.