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Noodles & Co CEO Explains Why They Don't Accept Tips

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Hillary Dixler Canavan is Eater's restaurant editor and the author of the publication's debut book, Eater: 100 Essential Restaurant Recipes From the Authority on Where to Eat and Why It Matters (Abrams, September 2023). Her work focuses on dining trends and the people changing the industry — and scouting the next hot restaurant you need to try on Eater's annual Best New Restaurant list.

While tipping — particularly of the TipsForJesus mega variety — has been something of a hot topic lately, one restaurant chain CEO has opened up about why his company does not permit tipping of any kind. Noodles & Company CEO Kevin Reddy tells CNBC that his Colorado-based national pasta chain does not accept tips because "being nice doesn't cost you anything, and we don't really feel that folks should have to pay something additional for us to appreciate that they're choosing us over another restaurant."

On the restaurant's franchising information page, this is called "high-touch" service: "We are high-touch to our guests. They aren't allowed to tip or clear their plates." While many tipped servers work for an hourly rate below the minimum wage, Reddy explains that Noodle & Company "mostly pays workers above minimum wage." Fast food workers across the country have been protesting for a higher wage since the Summer, and Reddy has "voiced his support" for a federal wage increase.

· Noodles CEO Dishes On No-Tip Policy, Minimum Wage [CNBC]
· All Tips Coverage on Eater [-E-]