Servant, the help, the waiter, bringer of food and beverage; that is, your typical server working hard to make ends meet.
Workers in the restaurant industry work long hours, deal with complaints all day, work most holidays, and live in a nightmare world where weekends off don’t actually exist.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, servers in Michigan are allotted a maximum hourly wage to be $4.75 an hour in addition to tips. The minimum is $2.65 an hour, though if servers were not able to make at least minimum wage per hour with the addition of tips, then they are given minimum wage.
Essentially most servers rely solely on tips.
Some restaurants add gratuity to checks to ensure servers get tips. This additional amount can go toward any number of things. One, there could be a tip pool. This means that the gratuity from all checks during a shift would be split between all front-of-house staff, with varying percentages from servers, bartenders, and server assistants generally.
Another possibility is it could go toward paying servers an hourly fee. An advantage is that wait staff is guaranteed a decent hourly wage, even during a dead shift. The disadvantage is that guaranteed wage almost encourages laziness and the motivation to up-sell and increase the check average is not as prominent.
Food for thought.
Liz’s shout outs:
Parents: Family restaurant or not, please do not let your child run around the restaurant. They are likely to get burned or tripped over, usually while I am carrying a heavy tray. Also, I am not their mother; please do not let them call me momma, repeatedly.
If I am at another table and you need me: Please catch my eye, I will be over to see you as soon as I am done addressing an issue or taking an order. They are equally important.
Phones at the table: “Are you talking to me? No you didn’t want fries with that? Wait, yes you do? Sorry, what?” My time is valuable too.
People who walk out without paying: You do realize that most restaurants make the server cover that amount right? I hate you.
People who tip in Kohls cash: If I am working three jobs and serving at a restaurant trying to pay my way through school, what makes you think I have time to go to Kohls and get some miniscule item? I need money for textbooks, not shoes.