|Source Of Wealth
|9th August 1983
|5ft 6in (168cm)
It was that sprinkling of salt, and the flair with which it was sprinkled, that shot Gokce to internet fame.
The video, as well as stills from the video, went absolutely viral, and because Gokce was unknown to most internet users at the time, he was dubbed "Salt Bae" by his new adoring fans.
The secret behind Salt Bae's salting technique is decades of hard work. Fortunately for Gokce, that work has paid off well.
How much has Gokce made over the years? What is his net worth today? We're here to talk about Salt Bae's money and more in our complete guide to the man behind the meme's success.
What Does the Name "Salt Bae" Mean?
If you're not someone who is considered "highly online," which is to say someone that spends a lot of time on social media, the nickname "Salt Bae" might leave you feeling stumped. What on earth is a Salt Bae? Why is everyone referring to Gokce as Salt Bae even after learning his real name?
"Bae" is slang and operates as a term of endearment. It tends to indicate that a person is attractive and appealing. Between Salt Bae's undeniable flair for butchering and seasoning meat and his overall good looks, it's not surprising that people gave him such a flirtatious nickname.
Thanks to his typical get-up of dark suits and dark sunglasses, Salt Bae has also dubbed himself the Saltfather. When you peruse his social media, you're bound to run into a photo or two of the chef superimposed on top of stills from the popular Godfather series.
What Is Salt Bae's Net Worth?
Salt Bae's net worth is $80 million. It's unclear what his net worth was before he went viral in 2017.
Because he already had restaurants in Istanbul at that time, it's likely that he was making a decent amount of money. However, the viral Salt Bae videos and memes played a huge role in the fortune he has made today, allowing him to open restaurants around the globe.
What Is Salt Bae's Salary?
Salt Bae makes roughly $20 million per year. As long as this continues for years to come, his net worth is bound to skyrocket before he retires.
How does Salt Bae make $20 million per year? We'll talk more about his current endeavors later on, but here's a hint: Salt Bae now owns over 20 restaurants in over seven countries, including the United States.
Does Salt Bae earn any passive income with a portfolio of investments? This information is unknown, as Salt Bae does keep a lot of his personal life under wraps. That said, he does seem to own several cars and a private jet, so we know that at the very least, he has a variety of assets.
Salt Bae's Early Life and Family
Well before he was known as Salt Bae, Nusret Gokce was growing up in the 1980s and 1990s in Erzurum, Turkey, just outside of Istanbul. His father, Faik Gokce, worked in the mines, and the family was considered middle class. With five children, however, the Gokce parents struggled to support the entire family.
Nusret attended Faik Sahenk Ilkokulu until the sixth grade. At that point, around the age of eleven or twelve, Nusret had to drop out because his parents could no longer afford to send him to school. Nusret then got a job as a butcher's apprentice in Istanbul, where he made decent money and began to get the knowledge and experience he would need to launch his career.
How Did Salt Bae Get His Career Started?
Thanks to this early experience, Salt Bae was able to build the skills needed to become a successful butcher. These days, he is primarily known as a chef, restauranteur, and food entertainer. How did he get started in the world of cooking and restaurant management?
Salt Bae did something that is largely unthinkable for most people: he spent the years between 2007 and 2010 traveling to countries like Argentina, the United States, and beyond, working at different restaurants for free.
When he returned to Turkey in 2010, he opened his first restaurant in Istanbul, where he had initially entered the workforce. Four years later, he opened a second restaurant in Dubai.
Salt Bae ran his social media accounts on the side, using them to promote himself and his business. This social media presence proved to be crucial, as it was his viral video that opened up the opportunities that made him a resounding success.
What Does Salt Bae Do Now?
We mentioned already that in 2022, Salt Bae has over 20 restaurants around the world. How did he go from two restaurants close to home to over 20 across the globe?
Salt Bae's original restaurants were a success, and he likely would have expanded over time whether or not he achieved internet fame. However, the viral video certainly helped. Now, he has restaurants in the UK, Turkey, Greece, Miami, Las Vegas, New York, and elsewhere.
First and foremost, Salt Bae is known as a steak house owner, and his restaurants are called Nusr-et, a play on his name and on the fact that "et" in Turkish means meat. His restaurants are made for carnivores, and he serves up everything from traditional hamburgers to god-plated steaks. As you can imagine, these restaurants aren't cheap--you can expect to pay at least $100 for a hamburger and up to $1,000 or more for wine, lamb, and steak.
Thanks to Salt Bae's fame and success, he has been able to secure some coveted investors to support his career as a restaurant owner and professional chef.
How Have Salt Bae's Restaurants Been Received?
Because Salt Bae rose to fame as an internet meme, you might wonder if his restaurants are truly high in quality or if the gimmick carries their success. The answer depends on who you ask.
The biggest draw of the Nusr-et restaurants is that Salt Bae often makes an appearance, traveling from table to table to perform his famous move of seasoning meat with style. The food and prices, however, tend to get mixed reviews.
For example, when Nusr-et opened up in New York City, critics had conflicting opinions. While some felt that the prices were too high for the quality of the meat offered by the restaurant, others felt that it was more about the experience as a whole, which they claimed was a good one.
Who Is Salt Bae Dating?
As always, when we see a successful and wealthy entrepreneur, we want to get a more well-rounded picture of them. We know that Salt Bae has supportive parents and four siblings. What does his love life look like?
The hard truth is that no one knows. As his nickname suggests, many people were curious to know if the internet personality was available. Back in 2017, Gokce was evasive about the question of his relationship status--and he still is.
That's not to say that there aren't rumors floating around. One rumor suggests that he may have had a relationship with Mithat Erdem, the co-founder of Nusr-et. Another rumor, thanks to a cryptic Instagram photo, suggests that he has several children.
At the end of the day, we won't weigh in on what's true and what isn't about Salt Bae's romantic affairs. He doesn't seem to want to go public with this information, and all we can do is respect that choice.
Common FAQ's About Salt Bae
Before we wrap up our coverage on Salt Bae and his $80 million net worth, let's cover some FAQs people have about him. We'll cover everything from his age to his interests outside of work.
How Many Restaurants Does Salt Bae Have?
In 2022, Salt Bae has 21 restaurants around the world. The most recent addition to the Nusr-et empire was in Las Vegas earlier this year.
Does Salt Bae have more restaurants in the works? We have no doubt that he does.
Has Salt Bae Faced Controversy?
Things haven't always gone well for Salt Bae. When he rose to international fame as the star of an internet meme, little was known about the man. Now, he's come under fire more than once.
For example, in 2018, a Czech influencer traveled to the Istanbul Nusr-et location for a bite to eat and a look at the restaurant's new fire show. When the fire show got out of hand, the influencer, along with other diners, sustained serious burns.
In 2020, a brand new Nusr-et location in Boston was forced to close for violating temporary COVID-19 restrictions and regulations. The good news for Salt Bae is that the restaurant was able to reopen a few weeks later.
Perhaps the most serious controversy that Salt Bae has faced so far in his career came from the New York Nusr-et location. Several employees accused Salt Bae of creating unfair work conditions, including the grill men who sued him for failing to pay proper overtime wages.
Does Salt Bae Use Social Media?
Since social media contributed so heavily to Salt Bae's success, did he remain active online? The answer is yes.
You can find Salt Bae on Instagram and YouTube, where he has a collective 47 million followers. It seems that he no longer runs a Twitter account, although you can find plenty of spam and fan accounts using his name, nickname, or restaurant name in their handles.
What Are Salt Bae's Interests?
Does Salt Bae have any known interests outside of mastering the art of butchering, seasoning, and preparing meat? What is Salt Bae doing with his free time?
If you look at Salt Bae's social media presence, you'll quickly notice that he posts about two things: restaurant ownership and working out. That's right, Salt Bae spends a ton of time in the gym and has said that he eats a diet of meat, fruits, and vegetables in order to keep a lean figure with low body fat.
Whether or not Salt Bae is investing in crypto or knitting sweaters, we can't say. What we can say is that he spends a lot of time traveling from one country to the next to visit his restaurants and make appearances that thrill his customers. When you've got that many businesses to run, you might not have much time to devote to hobbies and relaxation.
Chances are, you've seen the Salt Bae internet meme at least once in your life. Now, you know all about the man behind the meme. Thanks to his restaurants and talents, Salt Bae has a current net worth of $80 million that we expect to keep growing over the years.