Wagamama, TGI Friday's and an Ellesmere Port minibus firm are among almost 180 companies named and shamed by the government for failing to pay the legal minimum wage.
Wagamama, which has a restaurant at Cheshire Oaks, was said to have failed to pay £133,212 to 2,630 workers, the most of any of the companies named.
TGI Friday's, also with a venue at the outlet village, shortchanged 2,302 of its staff to the tune of £59,347.
While Parkers Mini Buses (Ellesmere Port) Limited underpaid five workers by a total of £1,092.56.
A spokesperson for Parkers Mini Buses in Princes Road, Ellesmere Port, said: “It was just an administrative error. It was put right as soon as we were made aware of it. Everybody has been paid back with interest.”
Wagamama said in a statement: “As an employer we have always paid minimum wage and make sure that our staff receive 100 per cent of their tips.
“This was an inadvertent misunderstanding of how the minimum wage regulations apply to uniforms and as soon as we were made aware of this in 2016 we acted immediately to correct the position.”
A TGI Friday's spokesperson said: “To confirm, TGI Fridays does pay the National Minimum Wage hourly rate.
“The total figure quoted in today’s HMRC list relates to reimbursing team members a shoe allowance.
“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 more than 9,000 minimum wage workers were underpaid by £1.1 million, according to figures released by the Business Department.
As well as recovering backpay for 9,200 workers, the government also fined the employers a total of £1.3 million in penalties for breaking national minimum wage laws. The most prolific offending sectors in this round were retailers, hospitality businesses and hairdressers.
It comes ahead of the next rate rise on April 1, when the National Living Wage will go up from £7.50 to £7.83 per hour. Apprentices under the age of 19 and those in the first year of their apprenticeship will benefit from a 5.7% rise.
Later this month the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) will launch a campaign to raise awareness of the new rates and encourage workers to speak to their employer if they think they are being underpaid.
Business Minister Andrew Griffiths said: “The world of work is changing and we have set out our plans to give millions of workers enhanced rights to ensure everyone is paid and treated fairly in the workplace.
“There are no excuses for short-changing workers. This is an absolute red line for this government and employers who cross it will get caught - not only are they forced to pay back every penny but they are also fined up to 200% of wages owed.
“Today’s naming round serves as a sharp reminder to employers to get their house in order ahead of minimum wage rate rises on 1 April.”
For more information about your pay, or if you think you might be being underpaid, get advice and guidance visit the website. Workers can also seek advice from workplace experts Acas.