Waiters, bartenders, servers and restaurant workers in general should unite and stand for their rights! Consumers should join them. The average waiter or bartender earns about $3 an hour. The current minimum wage is $7 -$8 an hour. That is less than half of minimum wage! Yes, I’m sure at this point you’ve already reasoned away that 15% of tip that always looms at the bottom of the receipt. “It’s ok because they get 15%” you think. This is where consumers need to join them. Who says they get 15%? I used to be a waitress myself and the truth is the tip is OPTIONAL! It is an extra the customer gives the server for a “job well done.” Why then, are servers and restaurant owners exempt from minimum wage laws?
It should be illegal to automatically impose any kind of service charge in a restaurant! I mean, there is no way any restaurant, no matter how good the chef, can get away with selling a $30 plate without accompanying that with service. Part of the whole point of the dinning experience is to have the food and drink brought over to you. We all want to be properly tended to. So, in other words, the restaurant cannot run without servers. The servers are part of the operational cost of the restaurant. Why are the consumers paying the servers salary? It seems owners are allowed to pay less than minimum wage to their employees based on the assumption that there will be a 15% tip. Except there isn’t always a tip, much less a 15%. Sometimes the kitchen takes too long, or the client didn’t like the food, suddenly the table is not happy. What is the first thing to go? The tip. But that doesn’t mean you didn’t spend 8 hours or more cleaning, carrying heavy plates, tolerating irritated guests and managers who yell at you. These people should get paid at least minimum wage!!
On the other hand, as a consumer, it seems I’m expected to pay a 15% commission on everything I consume regardless of how crappy the service is. If that is the case, then I would rather the restaurant inflate the prices an extra 15% or whatever and I’ll skip the tip, thank you. That way, I don’t have to feel bad for not wanting to tip an incompetent server who takes my first order and forgets about me the rest of the night. Why should I give them 15%? Really, I shouldn’t even leave a dollar and I shouldn’t have to feel that I’m doing something wrong if I don’t. Once again, the restaurant should be paying the servers salary, not me! Also, if I know their pay is fair and guaranteed, when I do get excellent service I can let the server know by leaving a tip; one that is proportional to how happy I was with the service. That way, the server knows I tipped because of a job well done, and not because it’s the standard.
Frankly, I can’t believe this keeps going on and nobody does anything about it. I can’t believe the government actually allows for less than minimum wage based on an assumption! An assumption that has already been proven wrong and is not guaranteed by any law. Servers should be paid minimum wage or more. End of story.