Wagamama In Hot Ramen

Restaurant chains Wagamama and TGI Fridays have each been fined for failing to pay staff the national minimum wage. The Japanese restaurant has repaid an average of £50 to 2,630 employees, with the American style restaurant repaying £25 to 2,300 staff.

Wagamama blamed an ‘inadvertent misunderstanding’ of staff uniform rules for the underpayments. The company had asked waiting staff to wear black jeans or a black skirt with their branded top. This was considered as asking them to purchase their own uniform.

“We have gladly made payments to current and previous employees who missed out dating back from 2016 to 2013. We have also updated our uniform policy and we now pay a uniform supplement to cover the black jeans.”

Just before Christmas, the restaurant was under fire for a not seen in one of its restaurants in London, banning staff from taking sick days.

TGI Friday’s said the firm had reimbursed its staff for a shoe allowance, adding:

“This is a historic payment which was paid last year, and we have since reimbursed team members for the purchase of their black uniform shoes.”

In total, 179 employers were fined £1.3 million by the government for underpaying their staff. The minimum wage pay rates will increase again on 1st April and employers were warned as such.