Celebrity Chef Hubert Keller is Out at Mandalay Bay

As we were the first to report via the Twitters, celebrity chef Hubert Keller is out at Mandalay Bay.

Hubert Keller

There are about 15 ways to pronounce “Hubert,” so just choose your favorite.

Our insider scoop was later confirmed by the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Yes, people still read newspapers. It’s adorable.

Keller’s departure affects two well-regarded restaurants, Burger Bar and Fleur by Hubert Keller.

Mandalay Bay, owned by MGM Resorts, is looking for a new partner to operate Burger Bar, and the company will own and operate Fleur in-house.

Both restaurants are currently closed due to capacity restrictions related to the pandemic.

Here’s the chef preparing his $5,000 burger, despite our snooty indignation about the use of foie gras.

We trust there’s some juicy behind-the-scenes drama related to Hubert Keller’s departure from Mandalay Bay. It’s Vegas. There’s always juicy behind the scenes drama, thankfully.

It’s likely this is a cost-cutting move. Famous chefs often put their names on restaurants in Las Vegas, and such deals can be lucrative.

For example, Gordon Ramsay’s deal with Caesars Entertainment reportedly snags him five percent of gross sales up to $10 million. Across multiple restaurants. That’s a lot of idiot sandwiches.

The value of a high-profile chef’s name being on a restaurant is up for debate, but if you lop off a licensing deal, your restaurant’s profits immediately jump five percent or more. That’s a lot in a business with carpaccio-thin margins.

MGM Resorts has also moved away from license-and-management deals with another top culinary talent, Wolfgang Puck. When Spago opened at Bellagio on June 7, 2018, management of the restaurant was taken in-house, saving the company big bucks.

In the midst of unprecedented challenges for restaurants, everyone’s eyeing the bottom line, and it’s likely Hubert Keller outlived his value to MGM Resorts.

We trust the acclaimed chef will fare well, and the eat goes on.

6 thoughts on “Celebrity Chef Hubert Keller is Out at Mandalay Bay

  1. Mike Alexakis

    I get the L.A. Times delivered everyday, for my entire 60 plus years… I would read the Las Vegas Review Journal everyday if they would free it up, for years when the kooky Sherman Frederick ran the newspaper it was free on the internet, and I used to read the editorials he put out, crazy ones… Sheldon Adelson can certainly afford to let folks like me read up on my favorite city, I don’t pay for any internet content, and I doubt I ever will… It’s not even peanut money to Sheldon, the readership would exponentially grow if he decides to unshackle…

    Reply
  2. BST

    Yes and certain people always worrying about getting things for free may look elsewhere to bad mouth . What some do or do not with their “peanut money” is their own business .

    Reply
  3. jjones

    How does the casino company end the licensing deal, but keep the intellectual property, in the case of Fluer and Spago?

    Reply
    1. Scott Roeben Post author

      They’re often a combo of licence and management, with management being a much bigger slice of the pie. They lose the management portion and keep the name.

      Reply

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