Serving vs Minimum Wage

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Serving vs Minimum Wage

Post by CarismaLovato on Tue Nov 03, 2015 12:02 am

Many people would like to think that they would not want to get a job as a server. People tend to believe that $2.13 plus tips is no way a job they would even consider. A wide range of people like knowing exactly exactly how much they will be making hour by hour, however, with the minimum wage of $8.75 that is very hard for someone to make a living off of. As it is most college students attain minimum wage jobs and it is no wonder why we see mentions of being a broke college student. The living wage calculator for Albuquerque shows that the standard living wage in a little over $10, which is almost two dollars above the minimum wage! Now I don't know about you but making $2 under the living wage sounds like that will be rough.

Let me explain why being a server can be more beneficial job then an hourly minimum wage. While talking with servers from multiple restaurants I actually became more and more surprised how much money they make! They easily make a lot more than the minimum wage, and even more than the standard living wage for Albuquerque. Yes, of course you must take into consideration the amount of business, price of food, and of course the skills you bring forward as a server. However, after talking with servers from 3 different restaurants I found that they easily make above $15 dollars. To many people this sounds crazy, although, when you think of it logically it can easily make a lot of sense. Think of it this way, say you have only three tables in your section for an entire hour, more than likely you are going to make atlas a five dollar tip. What does that leave you with? It leaves you with $15 for that one hour whereas if you were working a minimum wage job you would have only made half of that.

I myself currently work at a a job that pays, $9.70 which is above the minimum wage but under that of the living standard. I can testify to the fact that this is a really hard job to live off of while attending school. I would easily consider working as a server and seeing for myself what it really is like, however, based off my research so far I would without a doubt side with the fact that anyone that tries hard can make good money.

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Re: Serving vs Minimum Wage

Post by KelseyRAyers16 on Tue Nov 03, 2015 7:36 pm

CarismaLovato wrote:Many people would like to think that they would not want to get a job as a server. People tend to believe that $2.13 plus tips is no way a job they would even consider. A wide range of people like knowing exactly exactly how much they will be making hour by hour, however, with the minimum wage of $8.75 that is very hard for someone to make a living off of. As it is most college students attain minimum wage jobs and it is no wonder why we see mentions of being a broke college student. The living wage calculator for Albuquerque shows that the standard living wage in a little over $10, which is almost two dollars above the minimum wage! Now I don't know about you but making $2 under the living wage sounds like that will be rough.

Let me explain why being a server can be more beneficial job then an hourly minimum wage. While talking with servers from multiple restaurants I actually became more and more surprised how much money they make! They easily make a lot more than the minimum wage, and even more than the standard living wage for Albuquerque. Yes, of course you must take into consideration the amount of business, price of food, and of course the skills you bring forward as a server. However, after talking with servers from 3 different restaurants I found that they easily make above $15 dollars. To many people this sounds crazy, although, when you think of it logically it can easily make a lot of sense. Think of it this way, say you have only three tables in your section for an entire hour, more than likely you are going to make atlas a five dollar tip. What does that leave you with? It leaves you with $15 for that one hour whereas if you were working a minimum wage job you would have only made half of that.

I myself currently work at a a job that pays, $9.70 which is above the minimum wage but under that of the living standard. I can testify to the fact that this is a really hard job to live off of while attending school. I would easily consider working as a server and seeing for myself what it really is like, however, based off my research so far I would without a doubt side with the fact that anyone that tries hard can make good money.

Hello Surprised ,
Your post makes a very fair argument; however, I have a few questions regarding working as a server. Is it fair that tips are based off of a percentage of the customers bill? How does the price of food impact the level of service? It seems like you are referencing servers in basic chain restaurants; however, could you please specify the types of servers? With tips based on a percentage of the customer's bill, high end restaurant servers should make significantly more money than servers at inexpensive restaurants. Is it fair to say that servers at high-end establishments work harder than those working at a coffee shop?  

Also, There is always the factor of service quality. I don't believe you can depend your income based off of tips. If one day the quality of service, or factors out of your control as a server (such as food), is poor, most likely the customer will not tip. In this case minimum wage may offer better compensation to their workers. No matter what minimum wage will offer consistency of pay. As a server the pay can either be good or bad, the amount of earning can vary.

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Re: Serving vs Minimum Wage

Post by natalialistwan on Tue Nov 03, 2015 8:06 pm

Hi there,
I must say that I agree with your argument. I have worked at a restaurant so I am completely aware of where you are coming from. Earnings per hour as well as tips for waiters and waitresses all depend on many different factors, such as what restaurant they work at, how busy it is during their shift, prices of food and drinks, and whether or not the customers were pleased with the service.
In the United States, people will generally leave an average of around a 15-20% tip. Of course, this does not pertain to ALL customers. After all, it is their choice to decide how much money they want to tip the server and if they even want to tip them at all. A lot of people who tip generously know how hard most servers work. I worked as a hostess and I have seen many servers give it their all in what they do. They could be running around, carrying numbers of plates in their hands for hours. Personally, I believe that a server who comes home with $150 in 5 hours (which I know of many situations), they deserve every bit of it. And like you said, an average of $2.13 (give or take) an hour plus tips can be so much more beneficial than making an hourly minimum wage.

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Re: Serving vs Minimum Wage

Post by JazmineT on Fri Nov 06, 2015 4:42 pm

I currently work in a restaurant myself and know for a fact that working as a server means you make more than minimum wage, usually. The truth is that sometimes servers have very bad days and that means making a lot less than minimum wage. You are right that you have to consider the service, the prices of food, and the amount of business, but you have to also take in mind that there are huge fluctuations in the food business. For example, in the winter many people start getting less hours because of how slow business gets since the holidays come around. So even though on the majority of the cases servers do make more than minimum wage, there are a lot of bad things that come with the job. It can be very unstable sometimes and it does not always give the security that people need.

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