Below Min. Wage For Food Servers (sales, health insurance, crime)
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I've been working in restaurants for almost 30 years in southern Ca. and am just shocked to know that in Az. and many other states in this country, tipped waiters and waitresses get paid a wage of $2.13 per hour. That is a crime as far as I am concerned and I think a majority of people are ignorant to this law. I work at a restaurant that is part of OSI corp. which ownes OUTBACK, and ROY'S RESTAURANT,just to name a few. They were major financial backers to defeat the prop. to increase min. wage in Az. SHAME ON YOU!!! OSI and many other corp. restaurants charge the same price for their meals in Az as they do in Ca. where food servers get paid the standard min. wage which I believe is $6.75 soon to be $7.50 in Jan. I guess the huge difference in labor cost is going right back into the corp. pocket for bigger profits. Also, food servers are required to tip out hostesses, food runners busboys, bartenders and banquet managers.In other words instead of these restaurants paying decent wages, food servers are required to pay other restaurant employees out of their tips. If a server makes $150.00 in a nights work chances are they will pay out about 40% of that money to other restaurant employees that are not being paid a fair wage by the employer. Also to top it off, they will over staff and bring employees into work hours before opening time to stock restrooms, cleaning maintinence and varous other odd jobs that would normally be done by higher paid employees. What a bargain to pay someone $2.13 per hour. This law needs to change! Why should waiters and waitresses depend on restaurant guests to pay their wage and let restaurant owners get away with the obligation to pay a fair wage. Please pass on this information to everyone you know and lets get these employers paying more then "SWEAT SHOP WAGES"!!!!
I worked in foodservice (back-of-house mostly) for two-thirds of my working life. I'd like to add to your comments 30yrrestaurantworker - people tip 20% if you receive good waitstaff service. I witnessed and heard waitstaff gripes about waitstaff being shorted/stiffed on tips nearly everyday.
If you're too cheap to tip properly, or to callous as to not tip at all - just go to fast food places, or eat at home.
You are correct about many people being ignorant to the law. I just moved out of CA and I was shocked to learn waiters earn less than $2.50 an hour in other states! It is such an insult. I know from experience that many people stiff waiters or blame the wait staff for bad food when it was the cook's fault. I only tip 15% when I am not happy with the service and 20% as standard, 25% as excellent. I know some people don't agree with tipping when the service is poor, but I like to give people the benefit of the doubt and there are so many variables as to why the service is poor. Unless someone is blatantly rude to me, I would never leave without tipping and that was with CA's wages!!
I tend to overtip, and rarely do I deliberately undertip, unless the server has an attitude problem, or is just plain bad.
I personally make an effort to tip properly, usually going at least 18-20%. I'm not talking about Denny's or Village Inn, where the bill might be less than $20 for two of us. Those places I tip higher (percentage-wise) for several reasons...one being these waitresses seem to have to work much harder than some upscale places, and secondly, there are so many senior citizens at these kind of places who I KNOW will stiff the service every chance they get.
I dine at many upper scale establishments where our bill may be $100-$200 for our party of four or six. I realize there's more of support staff at better restaurants, and I still will be at the 15%-18% range, depending on quality of service. But giving the server $6 at Village Inn or $30 at Morton's when they've both made the same number of trips to my table isn't right.
Yes, in "right to work" states, like Arizona, the legislatures can and do artificially set wages lower for workers in jobs that may receive tips. I've had my turn working in food service. Once in food service, always a good tipper! That said, I find it incomprehensible that AZ legislators think this "allowance" is a living wage, even with good tips! AZ just voted to increase minimum wage to $6.75. It has been $5.15 for ten years, ugh! My question is this: Will we see the food service wage go up? When? Which legislator will step up to the "plate" (yes, pun intended) and make this right?!?!
This is a free country, if you do not like what your employers want to pay you, go get a different job. The unemployment rate is very, very low, so if you want to switch jobs and make more money now is the time to do it.
That's mostly true (when talking about adults), but what better jobs are people finding out in the labor market?
Just some thoughts -
Many employees do not have an education that increases their odds of finding better employment (and many people with a degree aren't finding much either).
Low unemployment doesn't equate with living wage jobs. Most service industry employees are just scraping by even when both spouses work, and one spouse often works two jobs - it's 'sweat-of-the-brow' self-sufficency, but at what price to society?
I like smaller government too (I'm assuming you do also), but if couples both work long hours, who is supervising their kids? Who is really suffering from this arrangement?
Are most people who receive food stamps/government assistance lazy, or are there other factors at play?
In Texas, it is similar to AZ, most servers are paid $2.13 and hour. What is ironic, is that bartenders make more money, even when tipping percentage is equal, but are normally paid $5.15 an hour. This is possible, because quite simply, it's easier for a bartender to ring up a much higher volume of sales than a server (for example, slinging drinks behind the bar, to ring $2000 in bar sales, takes much less effort than running back and forth between table after table to ring up $2000 in food/drink for a server). So, both bartender and server make their average 15%, but the bartender sold a much higher volume, so goes home with more money. Bartenders however, are usually paid the 'minimum wage' of $5.15. There seems to be this hierarchy (In Texas, anyway), where bartenders are supposed to make more, hence the higher hourly rate....but, don't let this keep you from tipping your bartender!
Then, when it comes to benefits....forget about it! In Texas, it is unheard of for a person in the service industry to get health insurance, and forget about a 401K. You either get insurance on your own, or none at all. I know in Minnesota for example, these benefits are expected, and are the norm for service industry people...why the difference...I don't know???
All that being said, yes there are many people who are scraping to get by, but there are many other people who have had very prosperus careers in the service industry...........
I worked in restaurants and retail in high school and throughout college. What I found out about these jobs is that there is a lot of turnover and if you apply yourself, show up on time and work hard you can advance. Within six months of starting at the bottom at age 19, I was the asst. manager of a pizza place. It was my first real job other than delivering newspapers or mowing lawns.
I was on the same path two years later working for a large retail store. I worked hard and within a year they had offered me the chance to go into their manager trainee program and double my income immediately. If you can't advance working in restaurants or retail there is something wrong with you. Both of the workplaces that I listed started me at minimum wage or close to it, but because I worked hard I wasn't at minimum wage very long.
Some of these posts imply that wait staff are paid $2.13 per hour rather than the regular $ 5.15. That is slightly misleading. The federal minimum wage law requires that wait staff earn not less than 5.15 per hour. There is a base wage of 2.13 to which tips are added.
Ever wonder why employers encourge generous tipping of their tipped workers. If the tip component is insufficient to reach 5.15 then the employer must cover it. In other words, the customers subsidize the wage and employers cover shortfalls. So indirectly, your tips are pure profit for businesses. BTW, AZ's new minimum wage law raises the wage for tipped workers to $3.75.
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