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Mar 20, 2014 11:05 AM

Noodles No Tipping Policy

I am not sure why the CEO should object to the worker bees that make next to nothing getting a tip for their hard work.

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  1. Last time I went to a Noodles and Co I ordered at the counter and then went to get the food when my number was called. Granted it's been years but it didn't seem like a tip was necessary.

    4 Replies
    1. re: chileheadmike

      They have table service if you aren't getting your order to-go. They deliver the food to your table and bus the table afterwards.

      1. re: ferret

        Like I said, it's been years but I'm pretty sure that I placed the order at the counter, got it when it was ready, got my own drinks, and bussed my own table. I'm not against tipping, but this is glorified fast food, no tipping required.

        1. re: chileheadmike

          The Noodles Company which I visit, generally once or twice a month for lunch you order at the counter, they give you a number and beverage cup, you find your own table, retrieve your own beverage, and they bring your order to your table identified by your number.

          You have the option to bus your own table when you are done or some people leave their plates behind. Normally I'm not in much of a rush and the servers/runners remove my plates from the table once I'm finished.

          I originally tried to tip and I was told by the server it's house policy that tip's are not accepted, when I asked what happens to tips, she said they are turned over to the manager, which I found to be "suspicious", don't know if that was just a new employee answer. I picked up my tip as I'm not going to compensate management for the employee's work.

          1. re: jrvedivici

            "when I asked what happens to tips, she said they are turned over to the manager"

            Call me a cynic, but I am guessing the Manager does not then donate the tips to charity. It probably goes right into their pocket and home with them.

            If you had exceptional service, you could probably find a quiet way to give the money to the server/busser/runner and tell them that it is not a tip but a gift from Uncle Jr.

    2. I'd like to see more data about how much they actually pay their employees. I'm of the belief that we need to pay people a reasonable (and living) wage and do away with tipping. If a company will take responsibility for making sure their employees are paid well, I'm happy to pay those costs in my check.

      1. Article states they are paid more than minimum wage, not the going minimum or less, as servers who rely on tips are paid.

        If they were only getting $2.10 and hour (waiter wages in California) and rely on tips, that is different than this case.

        6 Replies
        1. re: Cathy

          Hi Cathy, thanks for your reply and just to clarify, I was not saying the employees must be tipped regardless of wage but just wondering why the CEO would object if a customer wanted to tip one of the employees.

            1. re: Fowler

              He's interested in creating a particular atmosphere. He also wants people to feel they're getting a value. Their prices are already above McDonald's and the like....they're even a touch above Chipotle though pretty close to that level. If people feel they need to tip, then the total cost of the meal becomes even more. His interest is in keeping the price point at a place where they feel like they can succeed. He also wants people to spend those extra couple of dollars on food/drink if they're going to spend it.

            2. re: Cathy

              In California the minimum wage is $8, tipped positions are not exempted from this, like they are in some other states.


              1. re: aimeekm

                I'm a tax professional and have seen three California residents this season who had "allocated tips" as part of their W-2 forms. None of those were their primary jobs.

                Had learned that Allocation was to make up for a lower pay; will research in a couple of weeks. Thanks for the link.

                1. re: Cathy

                  Cathy, what is an "allocated tip" that is used to make up for lower pay? Does that result in a discounted tax rate on the tip versus the full tax rate on the $8 wage?

            3. There is a fine line between "no tipping allowed"and "no tipping required".

              If my waitstaff (or bag handler or driver or....?) does an exceptional job, I CAN and WILL tip them for their service. It's my money.

              1. i have only one speculation--this is what i was TOLD, but i have NOT confirmed the truth of it:

                the IRS, from what i understand, creates a "presumptive tip" percentage that they apply to restaurants and they then TAX the employees on that "presumptive" tip even without evidence that such a tip was actually received.
                this percentage, and the resulting tax may be so high that the employees are actually LOSING money because of it. (i.e. the tax that they are being forced to pay is higher than the actual tips)

                by prohibiting tips completely, the IRS would, presumably, butt out.

                8 Replies
                1. re: westsidegal

                  Your reply, although erudite, made me chuckle, westsidegal. I can't imagine any circumstance where our NannyState would "butt out".

                  1. re: westsidegal

                    That is an excellent point, westsidegal. I do not know how it works these days but when I waited tables in grad school the owner of the restaurant gave us a W2 with both hourly wages and an assumed tip which was then reported to the IRS.

                    1. re: Fowler

                      my niece worked as a server in a restaurant for about 4 months.
                      when her W2 came, the assumed tip was calculated as though she had worked there the entire year.
                      the presumptive tip on which she was expected to pay taxes exceeded the entire salary and all the tips received during the time she worked there.

                      1. re: westsidegal

                        That is outrageous and should be considered confiscatory.

                        1. re: westsidegal

                          with the help of a lawyer she was able to get it straightened out. it's a good thing that her dad got so enraged that he got personally involved in "righting" this issue. her dad didn't care how much it cost him. it was the principal of the thing.
                          still, i couldn't help think that the overwhelming odds are that others, who didn't have the family support she did, got caught in the same trap and didn't have the time nor expertise to dig out. . . .

                          1. re: westsidegal

                            Was that a law that restaurateurs were required to calculate the assumed tip based upon an assumption the employee was working there for 12 months? Think of the thousands of kids that wait tables only during the summer while in college. That's maybe 3 months of work.

                            Good for your Brother or Brother-in-Law to fight for principal and pay what I would imagine were significant legal fees.

                            1. re: Fowler

                              i don't know what the law was, so i can't say.