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Why DON'T wait staff (waitresses & waiters) get paid minimum wage?

Last post Sep 26, 2004 2:16 PM by mav63 . 10 replies.


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  • Why DON'T wait staff (waitresses & waiters) get paid minimum wage?
    On a thread regarding tipping in restaurants several people pointed out that waitresses and waiters get paid LESS THAN minimum wage. I'm just wondering how restaurant owners get away w/ this practice?
    False
  • RE: Why DON'T wait staff (waitresses & waiters) get paid minimum wage?
    Because they make up the difference in tips, therefore, don't need to be paid full minimum wage.

    I worked in a resturant years ago, the accountant actually talked the owner into taking 10 cents away from their wages because the servers were making good tips !??!!

    In some resturants, the servers make better money in tips than in wages.
    False
  • RE: Why DON'T wait staff (waitresses & waiters) get paid minimum wage?
    Because they are allowed to count tips as part of wages. In some resort areas the wait staff are paid (buy the resort) so little that by the time you deduct uniforms and their maintenence the staff is actually paying for the oppertunity to work there. And because of the tip rich enviroment they are quite happy to do so.
    False
  • RE: Why DON'T wait staff (waitresses & waiters) get paid minimum wage?
    About 15 years ago, I waited tables in a great little restaurant. I made $1.90/hr. I sometimes went a month without picking up my "pay check." I would pick up several, then hold them until I had at least $100 to deposit. Was too much of a pain to deposit a check for $15 (this was a part-time 2nd job for me). Tips were good so that is what I counted on! On a Saturday night, I could bring home almost $200. That was after tipping out a bartender, bus boy and sometimes even the kitchen staff.

    And I have mixed feelings about tipping. There are times when I hate doing it. But I know as a waitress, people often requested to sit at one of my tables, and would wait longer for a table because I gave good service. As a customer, I also will request a waitperson I have had in the past that has given good service. I tip generously when it is warranted, and I will speak to management and not tip when that is warranted as well.

    I worry that if everyone just made min. wage, there would not be incentive on the part of the waitstaff to give good service. Their pay would not be connected to how well they treat me!

    False
  • RE: Why DON'T wait staff (waitresses & waiters) get paid minimum wage?
    Several times when we have gone out to eat at different resturants locally, our food has been served cold. Now that really upsets you. One time Dh ordered pancakes, which he couldn't even eat. They were just like eating cardboard. One resturant in particular has such slow service, it is pathetic. I do not want fast foods, I want a good meal when I go out and I don't mind waiting as long as the food is good.
    But this time our food was not very good. Roast beef was like rubber, and not very warm, plus the extra waiting for the meal.

    We now, send back to the kitchen food that is not cooked right or if it tastes bad. Mom got a slight case of food poisioning the other week from eating soup that was spoiled. I just won't tip the waitress if we are not satisfied with the service or food. It is the only way for them to get the message.

    Mary
    False
  • RE: Why DON'T wait staff (waitresses & waiters) get paid minimum wage?
    The owners aren't getting away with anything. It is because they count their tips as part of their salary. If you have ever worked in the food service industry you would understand.
    False
  • RE: Why DON'T wait staff (waitresses & waiters) get paid minimum wage?
    I have two daughters that work in the food industry.... and they have always been paid at least minimum wage... In fact, my youngest had been at her job for so long (3 years) and was so good at service that her wage was $2.50 over minimum when she quit this summer to move to another city.

    But I think in Alberta they have to pay minimum regardless of the job. I know that they also had to split their tips with the cooks, hostesses, bus people, dishwashers and all the other staff of the restaurant , except the manager and owner.

    I wasn't aware that in the US the wait staff don't get paid. That's wrong. The min. wage law should apply to EVERY employee regardless of the line of work. IMO anyway.
    False

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  • RE: Why DON'T wait staff (waitresses & waiters) get paid minimum wage?
    I understand the pros and cons of tipping. However, I don't think the restaurant should count on the public paying their employees. They must make a lot of money on food (and drinks) so why can't they pay their help?--I know they pay something but why not a full salary? They have to be making money on an $8.50 plate of sphagetti and $1.79 for a glass of iced tea.
    False
  • RE: Why DON'T wait staff (waitresses & waiters) get paid minimum wage?

    As far as I know here in California they ALL get min wage which is $6.75 hr, then their tips on top of this.
    I would NEVER work or let my kids work for a place that DIDN'T pay min wage. And if they broke the law turn them into the Fair Wage State Dept for Calif. No business should be allowed to do this.
    False

    Barbara Anne

  • RE: Why DON'T wait staff (waitresses & waiters) get paid minimum wage?
    I think in most states, if the restaurant is not an interstate company they do not have pay minimum wage. It does have to do with the tips as part of the wage.

    It has been this way for years. Thirty two years ago, I waited tables when I was in college. I was paid $ 1.00 an hour plus tips. Then the tips were just pocketed- no taxes. If you were a decent waitress, you could make pretty good money. Now most places make the waitress share their tips and they have to declare at least a portion of them for tax purposes.
    False
  • RE: Why DON'T wait staff (waitresses & waiters) get paid minimum wage?
    The federal government sets the minimum wage level, any state may set theirs higher than recomended. Here in MI the minumim wage for wait staff is between $2.51-$2.65 per hour the employer may pay more, but the employee must claim their tips for tax purposes and I have seen some people get hit from the IRS because the IRS felt that they didn't claim enough.

    The following is from the U.S. Dept. Of Labors web-site regarding wages for tipped employees.

    A tipped employee engages in an occupation in which he or she customarily and regularly receives more than $30 per month in tips. An employer of a tipped employee is only required to pay $2.13 per hour in direct wages if that amount combined with the tips received at least equals the federal minimum wage. If the employee’s tips combined with the employer’s direct wages of at least $2.13 per hour do not equal the federal minimum hourly wage, the employer must make up the difference. Many states, however, require higher direct wage amounts for tipped employees.

    False