Susur Lee Restaurants Ending IOU System After Backlash

"It's the right thing to do"

Management for some of Toronto’s trendiest restaurants including Fring’s, Lee, and the now-closed Bent have stated that they are removing an IOU system, put in place to penalize employees through their pay for making mistakes.

Susur Lee, chef and owner faced backlash last week when a report came out that staff worked on an antiquated IOU system. As reported by CBC, employees’ were financially on the line for mistakes such as spilling a drink, or punching in the wrong order.

In a memo posted at Fring’s, Susur Lee and his sons Kai and Levi apologized for keeping the antiquated system in place for as long as it did, stating that it has been “eliminated” from all their restaurants.

A post shared by Annabelle Moore (@cityinstills) on

In the note, the Lee’s noted “how deeply regretful” they are that the IOU system stayed in place following the Ontario Labour Laws that were implemented, banning this kind of penalty system.

“We understand that there is no justification we can offer for this oversight on our part,” reads the note. “However we want to assure you that we are ready and willing to take full responsibility to rectify this mistake. We are taking it upon ourselves to ensure every staff member is fully reimbursed for the amount owed to them.”

The note also goes into great detail, saying this move isn’t motivated as a way to sway negative press.

“The decision is not being made in order to secure defensive position or as an attempt to mitigate negative press. It cannot be overstated that we are taking these steps simply because it’s the right thing to do.”

Take a look at the note below, captured by a Redditor:


Image courtesy of Lee Restaurant and Lounge