16 More Punishments for Pete Ciarrocchi of Chickie’s and Pete’s

What he did was an embarrassment to business owners everywhere.

From the “You’re A Total Douche” section of this week’s metro news we present to you Peter Ciarrocchi Jr., the owner of the famous local sports bar and eatery Chickie’s & Pete’s. Ciarrocchi has agreed to pay $8.52 million in back wages and damages to employees for illegally docking a portion of their tips and failing to properly pay minimum wage, overtime and other required income.

According to the story, servers alleged that they were routinely docked 2 percent to 4 percent of total table sales, a practice employees routinely called “Pete’s Tax.” How nice!

The investigation found that the practice was an established part of the business’ operations and that servers were expected to pay at the end of their shifts even when tips were not in cash but on credit card charges. As a result, servers sometimes had to borrow money from coworkers or take cash from ATMs to make their payments. “These just weren’t violations,” Brian Johnson, a regional director of enforcement for the Labor Department said. “This was part of [Ciarrocchi's] business model.”

Ciarrocchi Jr. called the settlement “the right thing to do.”

What Pete did was disgraceful and embarrassing to any business owner (like me) who employs people. It gives fuel to those who hate the “1 percent” and makes business people look evil in a political environment where businesses are not currently considered to be heroes.


I say that Pete is not being punished enough. He needs to really pay. And I’ve got a few suggestions to add to his sentence. Your honor, do we still have time to make a few adjustments?  If so, I’d also require Pete to....

  1. Stand in line at Citizens Bank Park for 45 minutes to get an order of his shitty, over-hyped crab fries. And then be forced to go back to his seat and suffer through another Phillies game.
  2. Replace his current staff with members of the local Ironworkers’ Union. I’m sure these guys have learned a valuable lesson and want to be better people. Let’s give them a chance, shall we?
  3. Endure the typical overpriced meal with bad service at the overcrowded and under-staffed Chickie's & Pete's in Terminal A-West of the airport, along with an order of those shitty crab fries, and then endure a six-hour flight to London without being allowed to use the bathroom.
  4. Require him to pay the President’s proposed minimum wage to all employees — like all other businesses.
  5. Hire Don Tollefson as his accounting manager.
  6. Open a Chickie & Pete’s at New York’s Citi Field — might as well make Mets fans stand in line for those shitty crab fries, too.
  7. Pay for my kids’ college tuition (OK, OK… just thought I’d just try to slip that one through).
  8. Employ Buzz Bizzinger and Johnny Weir to buy new uniforms for his staff and let them spend whatever they desire.
  9. Be forced to provide healthcare to anyone working an average of 30 hours a week or more, regardless of the cost. I know that sounds outrageous, but we have to get tough on these guys.
  10. In a show of good faith, allow him to start up a Chickie & Pete’s somewhere in England, the only country in the world where his shitty crab fries would be considered better than average food.
  11. Become a major sponsor of the Sixers and attend every home game without falling asleep.
  12. Donate $1 to the Philadelphia School System every time one of his regular customers sports a tattoo, a Jaworski Eagles jersey or says "youse" instead of "you" or "axes" instead of "asks." That’ll fix your budget problems, Mr. Hite.
  13. Offer free Pepto to all customers. They will need it. Particularly the ones who eat his shitty crab fries.
  14. Become a sponsor of the USA Curling Organization and be forced to show one curling match alongside a football game every Sunday. Hey, he runs a sports bar, right?
  15. Force him to commute to work for a month using a Philadelphia-based taxi service.
  16. Replace those shitty crab fries with something better… like Hot Pockets.

Harsh? I think not. This guy deserves a tougher punishment. Not just for how he treated his employees. But for how he’s duped us into paying for his shitty crab fries all these years.

Follow @GeneMarks on Twitter.

  • Dan Roth

    Are these the folks who make crab fries?
    If so, what do you think of them?

  • Joe Kazmierski

    Couldn’t get a job at The Onion either?

    • Jeff L.

      I think people who write for the Onion have to be funny generally? Repeating the phrase “shitty crab fries” ten times probably doesn’t qualify. How did this even get printed?

  • Joe Burkle

    Yeah, those crab frirs are shit, especially that disgusting cheap cheese sauce. But its all very low end chain crap. No one ever said they had even halfway decent food, its was always just a good gathering spot to drink. Like 15 years ago.

    • Ellen

      My husband who works in the restaurant industry says he uses the cheapest frozen fries on the market. And that cheese sauce…….its really gross and nothing special about it. He looks to pick fights with people especially since he claims he owns the trademark “Crabby Fries”. Like the article says….shitty fries!!!! He is just a money hungry SOB and isn’t worth supporting his enterprise.

  • Dave

    Say “shitty crab fries” one more time! I get the sarcastic intent, but really? What an absolute “shitty” attempt to be funny. And “suffer through another Phillies game”? You ingrate! Sorry the only reason i wasted 30 seconds writing this response was because i can’t get the 30 seconds back from reading this ‘shitty” article

  • FallenHeros

    Ripping off his employees allowed him to expand real fast. What a scumbag. I grew up around the corner from the original will never eat there again. Aside from that do you think the Eagles, Phillies, Sixers and Flyers will remove him from their establishments? Probably not it is not gay rights or anything just employees right….

  • Bob O’Donnell

    If the city’s sports team had any understanding as to how bad this is to the hard workers that were screwed they would end his contract at the stadiums and kick his scumbag ass to the curb! And on a personal choice of mine, I refuse to listen to 94 WIP as long as they continue to support and promote that piece of shit. It is a smack in the face!

  • Rhawnhurster

    Pete already is a major supporter of his alma mater, Northeast High. For him, #12 is no punishment. Numbers 2 and 5, on the other hand, are perfect.

  • Scott Patrick Pomroy

    I think he should be put in a room with me for five minutes alone so I can give him my comments on how he treated my fellow employees at Veteran’s Stadium, who didn’t even work for him. People working for Ogden were made to run his stands for Ogden but we had to put up with his bs. He wanted table service there so we trained Ogden personnel to do the work but he came in with his faithful crowd of cokehead employees from the original store to do the job even though(pre-taxed days) they made out quite well at the real place. Then I would like to get him alone for another 10 minutes with me and the males from the family of one of my stand employees for pinning her against the wall and trying to convince her to meet up with him or something like that(she was only 16) while the cocaine fell out of his nose after coming out of the bathroom at the old winners stand just before the gates opened. FU Pete I’m coming for you soon.

    • some guy

      You’re an idiot

    • Max Lightfoot

      Now there’s an endorsement!

    • Mary

      He’s been doing this for YEARS! I’m 42 & when my friends & I were 15 & 16, we were going to the original c&p’s in Philly on Frankford & Robbins, & Pete was hitting on us then. Not surprising at all that he’s still doing it, but scary, and repulsive. The 16 year old should report that incident to police!

  • Jerry Daley

    Can you say “f’ing cheap-ass scum-bag” with a mouth full of crab fries without spitting cheese sauce all over the table?? Won’t be going there again.

  • garygnj

    The omnificent “job creator” who uses his/her power to fleece employees and then make them say thank you for the job. I waited tables for years and it was the hardest, most thankless job I ever had. However I’m guessing if ole Pete sat down for a meal served by one of those employees at one of his restaurants, then he probably got a little extra something in his meal that he wasn’t expecting (special sauce?).

  • Robert Wright

    I remember his staff members telling me quite a few times that they weren’t allowed to keep their all of their tips and oddly enough it was just a normal day at the office for most of them. Chickie’s does a huge volume so I can see the logic but rulez is rulez.

  • Paul

    Most restaurants force employees to “tip-out”! This was just done in a way that wasn’t COMPLETELY legal. When this was brought to the owners attention, he did everything possible to do right by his employees, way before assholes like this got ahold of it and put it all over social media. Please keep in mind that this article is the “opinion” part of the “news + opinion”, and I’d wipe my ass with this idiots opinion!! Douche!!

    • Max Lightfoot

      You’re a douche, Paul? You shouldn’t put yourself down like that!

      Seriously, no mercy for this skimming, scumsucker owner. I’m halfway tempted to fly out there from New Mexico just to ralph some crab fries down his shirt.

  • Dave

    Looks like a few of Pete’s relatives decided to chime in on this article.

  • Shitty Crab Fries

    I love lamp.