Dirty Habit, the hipped-up remake of Fifth Floor, isn't set to arrive until next Thursday, but the new restaurant is already working overtime to curry favor with tech employees. As Re/code reports, the restaurant is distributing special tokens to employees of various tech firms, which will provide them with "exclusive discounts and offerings." To kick things off, the restaurant had a party last Friday exclusively for Twitter employees on its outdoor roof deck, complete with a blue bird-shaped cake emblazoned "#twittersdirtyhabit." Their Twitter feed details a similar party held on Wednesday for Uber employees, as well as a pop-up on April 10 at Google's San Francisco offices. Presumably, attendees at those parties also received tokens.
While returning Fifth Floor chef David Bazirgan (who's done a guest chef stint at Twitter in the past) told a Re/code reporter that "I want tech in here, [but] I also want the people who bitch about tech in here," it doesn't appear that the latter group will be receiving the special tokens. (The article doesn't offer details on exactly who's allowed into the program; we've reached out to Dirty Habit for more clarification, and will update this post accordingly.) The Twitter employees in attendance, to whom the perk was a surprise, were mostly pleased: "People inherently like exclusivity," said one salesperson.
Restaurants' bids to curry tech workers' favor have gotten increasingly brazen in the past year, with the advent of social club The Battery (founded by two tech millionaires, and host to many more) and The Cavalier's private club, Marianne's, which they've dubbed "the millionaire's hostel" for a membership roll featuring the CEOs of Yelp, Instagram, Square, and PayPal. But while those clubs are generally fairly costly, this is the first time we've heard of anyone offering discounts to Bay Area tech workers, who, we should note, receive a median salary of $123,497, compared to a median per capita income of $46,777 in SF as a whole.
Update, 12:24 pm: A rep for Dirty Habit says that the Re/code article was inaccurate. "We didn't actually give out the tokens at the event," she says, though the tech workers who attended the parties will receive them at a later date. "The tokens aren't exclusively for tech workers, and they aren't a discount." Instead, tokens will earn drinkers a chef's or bartender's choice of cocktail or appetizer, via a to-be-determined loyalty program. But while Dirty Habit insists that the tokens aren't exclusive to techies, they don't currently have a plan for how they'll distribute them to those who didn't get party invites. "They'll be used as an incentive for regulars and workers in the area," she says. So in other words, non-techies will eventually get them too, but not first, and no one's exactly sure how.
Re/code specifically quotes a press release (emphasis Dirty Habit's own) that says otherwise: "The Dirty Habit team is distributing tech industry bar passes to employees — a special token for recipients to keep that will provide them with exclusive discounts and offerings when visiting the restaurant and bar."