They described behavior that included breast groping and being grabbed from behind. In one instance, a woman said she was compelled to straddle Mr. Batali to get past him as he sat blocking an exit.
Mr. Batali had also recently been reprimanded because of a complaint made in October by an employee at one of the more than 20 restaurants in the Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group, a company spokesman said on Monday.
The spokesman said that Mr. Batali had been required to undergo sexual harassment training above what is already required of employees. He then volunteered to keep away from the restaurant where the employee worked, and he has done so, said the spokesman, who declined to be identified by name.
The spokesman would not name the restaurant where the woman worked, and it was not immediately clear whether the employee was among the women interviewed in the Eater report.
After the Eater report was released on Monday, Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group said in a statement that it had taken further measures that extended to all his restaurants.
“Mr. Batali and we have agreed that he will step away from the company’s operations, including the restaurants, and he has already done so,” it said. It also said that the company had provided employees with access to an outside investigations firm if they want to make claims against corporate officers or owners.
The recent allegations against Mr. Batali led ABC to ask Mr. Batali, who has been on “The Chew” since 2011, to step away “while we review the allegations that have just recently come to our attention,” the network said in a statement on Monday.
“ABC takes matters like this very seriously as we are committed to a safe work environment,” the statement said. “While we are unaware of any type of inappropriate behavior involving him and anyone affiliated with the show, we will swiftly address any alleged violations of our standards of conduct.”