Big Texan Steak Ranch Pays $800K in Back Wages, Damages

The Big Texan Steak Ranch, an Amarillo restaurant famous for its 72-ounce steak dinner that's free if eaten in an hour, has paid $800,000 to settle a Labor Department dispute alleging the restaurant took too much of a bite out of tips to workers.

Mnet 136234 Big Texan Lead

AMARILLO, Texas (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.

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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