AMARILLO, TX (AP) — The Big Texan Steak Ranch has paid $800,000 to settle a Labor Department dispute alleging the restaurant took too much of a bite out of tips to workers.
The department on Monday announced the agreement with the Amarillo restaurant, famous for its 72-ounce steak dinner that’s free if eaten in an hour.
(See video of Molly Schuyler, competitive eating champion, at the Big Texan Steak Ranch)
A 2011 federal audit and investigation found minimum-wage and record-keeping violations involving pooling of tips and use of some tips for business costs.
Co-owner Bobby Lee says the restaurant settled the case last September and paid $650,000 in back wages and $150,000 in damages to current and former staff.
Lee and his brother Danny Lee, in a statement, say the Big Texan Steak Ranch has made compliance changes, did not underpay anyone and the mistake was administrative.
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