Is serving tables a minimum wage job?

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#1 Edited by slipknot0129 (5492 posts) -

I hear of some servers making 50k a year or so.

Do you think its a minimum wage job though?

If people dont tip they are guaranteed to get at least minimum wage by law. I think its a minimum wage job. Its a job that requires no skill at all.

I'm sure if I was a server, i'd want to get as much tips as I can. Worst that can happen is they dont tips you, and you still get a minimum wage paycheck.

#2 Posted by Makhaidos (1614 posts) -

Yes. The only way it isn't minimum wage is if you consistently get very good tips, which depends on a bazillion factors completely out of the server's control.

#3 Edited by Fightingfan (38011 posts) -

I wouldn't say waiting tables requires no skills at all because if you lack people skills, or overall niceness you won't get tipped.

The minimum wage for servers is pretty effy - I believe it hasn't changed in over 25 years ($2.13).

#4 Posted by slipknot0129 (5492 posts) -

@Fightingfan: It isnt $2.13

Its $2.13 plus tips.

Also the law says if they dont meet the minimum wage of nontipping jobs, then your work has to meet the difference.

#5 Edited by Fightingfan (38011 posts) -

@slipknot0129 said:

@Fightingfan: It isnt $2.13

Its $2.13 plus tips.

Also the law says if they dont meet the minimum wage of nontipping jobs, then your work has to meet the difference.

Yeah, but no one is a 100% honest to the IRS about how much they make when working tip jobs.

I doubt most waiters ever report their tips 100%, and make the establishment pay the difference as it would result in paying more taxes.

Also, not raising the minimum wage for waiters is bullshit 2013 is nothing like the 80s in terms of buying power.

#6 Posted by Innovazero2000 (3144 posts) -

People that say its a no skill job has never worked restaurants. The good servers absolutely deserve the high end tips. There is a tremendous amount of multi-tasking skill needed, you typically have to memorize the menu or portions of it, and a certain criteria regarding social skills are needed and I promise you that I'd harder to find then it needs to be. All in a ridiculously fast paced environment.

#7 Posted by i_waaan (46 posts) -

If you work at a restaurant that's fairly busy, you'll never, ever make minimum wage. A few friends of mine desperately want to do something else, but they can't give up the good amount of money they're currently making waiting tables. One of them is a pretty outgoing guy and makes over 50k a year, most of it straight cash. My GF waited tables on the side at a very high class restaurant for one year, and just form that job, made a huge chunk of change...

It's pretty easy to get burned out, though, and it isn't very fulfilling. You work a lot, typically (if you want to make a lot of money doing it), and there's no career trajectory outside of management, but a lot of these people make as much as a manager anyway..so....

Hell, if you can land a good bartending job somewhere? You can make a really, really good living. I think the main question is, though: Why would someone want to do a job like that for an extended period of time? Some people forget who they set out to be when they're children. Too many people lose sight of their dreams. This just in: It's almost never, ever someone's dream to be a waiter/waitress when they're a child. Ever.

#8 Posted by Fightingfan (38011 posts) -

@Innovazero2000 said:

People that say its a no skill job has never worked restaurants. The good servers absolutely deserve the high end tips. There is a tremendous amount of multi-tasking skill needed, you typically have to memorize the menu or portions of it, and a certain criteria regarding social skills are needed and I promise you that I'd harder to find then it needs to be. All in a ridiculously fast paced environment.

Yeah, I couldn't do fastfood or waiting - mainly cuz of these people.

#9 Edited by GOGOGOGURT (4470 posts) -

Depends on how much I tip you, old sport.

#10 Posted by Cynical_Buzzard (224 posts) -

It depends on what kind of restaurant you work at.

#11 Posted by foxhound_fox (88660 posts) -

Like any job, the wage or salary should reflect the skills required to complete it, and the effort put in to doing so. Waiting tables certainly requires more skills than flipping a burger on a grill, or stuffing a box on an assembly line. It requires exceptional balance, upper-body strength, and endurance (being able to walk/stand and carry things for 8+ hours will always be a skill worth talking about) and people skills are a must. Handling money, punctuality and memory skills are also important.

I personally don't like the idea of a minimum wage for the sake of one (a "liveable wage" is different), and feel people should be rewarded/punished according to their ability to do the job and more importantly, the effort they put into it. I currently make $11.50 an hour, and work my ass off to an incredible degree (from May to August, I banked over 130 overtime hours). Minimum wage where I live just went up to $10.45 an hour. So people entering into a base-level job, no matter how hard they work or how few skills they have, make $0.95 an hour less than me.

I'm hoping my managers see my effort and make my pay reflect that, but if not, then I already have plans to move into Class 1/Class AZ/CDL trucking through a subsidized licensing system that comes with a contracted job upon completion. All it requires is past driving experience and a clean abstract. Hard workers should be rewarded, and the mediocre should always be forced to live within their mediocrity. It's why I dislike unions and how they protect the poor worker at the expense of the strong, and reward seniority rather than effort invested. So the only requirement for advancement is time spent at the job, rather than the ability to prove value to the company and show the ability to push the envelope.

#12 Edited by Fightingfan (38011 posts) -

@foxhound_fox said:

Like any job, the wage or salary should reflect the skills required to complete it, and the effort put in to doing so. Waiting tables certainly requires more skills than flipping a burger on a grill, or stuffing a box on an assembly line. It requires exceptional balance, upper-body strength, and endurance (being able to walk/stand and carry things for 8+ hours will always be a skill worth talking about) and people skills are a must. Handling money, punctuality and memory skills are also important.

I personally don't like the idea of a minimum wage for the sake of one (a "liveable wage" is different), and feel people should be rewarded/punished according to their ability to do the job and more importantly, the effort they put into it. I currently make $11.50 an hour, and work my ass off to an incredible degree (from May to August, I banked over 130 overtime hours). Minimum wage where I live just went up to $10.45 an hour. So people entering into a base-level job, no matter how hard they work or how few skills they have, make $0.95 an hour less than me.

I'm hoping my managers see my effort and make my pay reflect that, but if not, then I already have plans to move into Class 1/Class AZ/CDL trucking through a subsidized licensing system that comes with a contracted job upon completion. All it requires is past driving experience and a clean abstract. Hard workers should be rewarded, and the mediocre should always be forced to live within their mediocrity. It's why I dislike unions and how they protect the poor worker at the expense of the strong, and reward seniority rather than effort invested. So the only requirement for advancement is time spent at the job, rather than the ability to prove value to the company and show the ability to push the envelope.

CDL driver's make major bank. I haven't spoke to my father in over 12 years, but in the 90s my father was easily breaking in 1,500+ weekly. Though my father was a little crooked when it comes to DOT as he had two black books, and traveled more than he was legally allowed daily.

Own your truck and you're good to go, but sadly the jobs means you have little to no social life, though it's great if you're a family man.

#13 Posted by LJS9502_basic (151386 posts) -

@Fightingfan said:

@slipknot0129 said:

@Fightingfan: It isnt $2.13

Its $2.13 plus tips.

Also the law says if they dont meet the minimum wage of nontipping jobs, then your work has to meet the difference.

Yeah, but no one is a 100% honest to the IRS about how much they make when working tip jobs.

I doubt most waiters ever report their tips 100%, and make the establishment pay the difference as it would result in paying more taxes.

Also, not raising the minimum wage for waiters is bullshit 2013 is nothing like the 80s in terms of buying power.

They might not report all their tips but they aren't getting subsidized by the restaurant.

#14 Posted by k2theswiss (16599 posts) -

Mosty yes, BUT to pull in a good Salary hosting tables is getting job at nice places, and no i don't mean some red lobster...

#15 Posted by foxhound_fox (88660 posts) -

@Fightingfan said:

CDL driver's make major bank. I haven't spoke to my father in over 12 years, but in the 90s my father was easily breaking in 1,500+ weekly. Though my father was a little crooked when it comes to DOT as he had two black books, and traveled more than he was legally allowed daily.

Own your truck and you're good to go, but sadly the jobs means you have little to no social life, though it's great if you're a family man.

I'm planning on driving LTL in-province. One of the subsidizing contractors specializes in short-range, multi-piece deliveries (something I already have tons of experience in) and pays top-dollar for reliable, hard-working employees (as well as profit-sharing, increasing incentive to work hard and as a team).

I haven't ruled OTR out completely (as the pay is ridiculous) but wouldn't go outrageous distances (2-3 day trips rather than 7) and probably only do it over the winter (and take the summer off). Driving requirements for truckers in Canada is different than in the US (no 14-hour window, or 34-hour reset after 120 hours worked) and the best jobs come with working for regional freight companies rather than trans-national, at least for those of us who enjoy socializing and family time.

I feel at home behind the wheel of a Class 6+ truck (granted, I have never driven 7 or 8, but the jump from 4 to 6 was incredible, and I feel more comfortable driving a 5-ton than I do my own sub-compact) and could easily find work at any time of the year driving dump or flatbed. Winter especially, as there is always a call for empty dump trailers all over.

#16 Posted by drekula2 (1945 posts) -

If you get low tips, yes. Though I know servers who make enough money to raise a family.

#17 Posted by Arthas045 (5247 posts) -

I guess it all depends where you work... Our Outback here.... Those servers have to be just dumping it into the bank.... Place is slammed up every night.

#18 Edited by ferrari2001 (16966 posts) -

Women get paid far higher in waiting jobs then men do. If you are a woman and you have a fairly high dollar food joint you can apply at you can do quite well for yourself. As a guy though, getting the same amount of profit out of the job is much more difficult. It can be done, it's just a lot harder.

#19 Posted by k2theswiss (16599 posts) -

@slipknot0129 said:

@Fightingfan: It isnt $2.13

Its $2.13 plus tips.

Also the law says if they dont meet the minimum wage of nontipping jobs, then your work has to meet the difference.

I think it's a B.S how it works. Reason Why i would refuse to work for how the system works.

in my opinion Your tips should be cashed in hourly. What if you work 8hrs and you work for 6 hour in that time your cleaning, wrapping and doing stuff in the back and only made $12 basically, Then mad rush comes in those last 2 hours where you work your ass off for the next 2 hours bringing in $50ish in tips, your employer wouldn't have to give you a dime more then minimal wage.

#20 Posted by k2theswiss (16599 posts) -

haha ya, sadly, Even out the odds by fixing that bill. I always end up paying servers the difference if they fix my bill

@ferrari2001 said:

Women get paid far higher in waiting jobs then men do. If you are a woman and you have a fairly high dollar food joint you can apply at you can do quite well for yourself. As a guy though, getting the same amount of profit out of the job is much more difficult. It can be done, it's just a lot harder.

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#21 Posted by magicalclick (22783 posts) -

Minimum wage is better than under minimum wage. And don't be rude, waiter requires lots of skills and experiences.

#22 Edited by lamprey263 (24132 posts) -

depends where you live, some restaurants have better than minimum wage hourly wages, on top of that they earn tips, so even an IHOP employee can be paid rather decently depending on their shift and how much they bring in and the average tip percentage

some places though aren't that busy, and some states have laws where the base pay for a waiter/waitress is like $2 + tips so tips taking away the earning power of working food service

working at a fancy restaurant though, tips can make you quite a bit of money

#23 Posted by ferrari2001 (16966 posts) -

@lamprey263 said:

depends where you live, some restaurants have better than minimum wage hourly wages, on top of that they earn tips, so even an IHOP employee can be paid rather decently depending on their shift and how much they bring in and the average tip percentage

some places though aren't that busy, and some states have laws where the base pay for a waiter/waitress is like $2 + tips so tips taking away the earning power of working food service

working at a fancy restaurant though, tips can make you quite a bit of money

I hear working in well to do areas and neighborhoods (like Hollywood for example) gives waiters lots of cash. If you find the right restaurant and they happen to be hiring you can definitely make decent money.

#24 Edited by Fightingfan (38011 posts) -
@ferrari2001 said:

Women get paid far higher in waiting jobs then men do. If you are a woman and you have a fairly high dollar food joint you can apply at you can do quite well for yourself. As a guy though, getting the same amount of profit out of the job is much more difficult. It can be done, it's just a lot harder.

I would assume waiting a female dominate job so I would say "no duh", but to be honest I doubt the average person tips based on sex (if you don't count titty bars).

#25 Edited by k2theswiss (16599 posts) -

@Fightingfan said:
@ferrari2001 said:

Women get paid far higher in waiting jobs then men do. If you are a woman and you have a fairly high dollar food joint you can apply at you can do quite well for yourself. As a guy though, getting the same amount of profit out of the job is much more difficult. It can be done, it's just a lot harder.

I would assume waiting a female dominate job so I would say "no duh", but to be honest I doubt the average person tips based on sex (if you don't count titty bars).

sadly i have seen it.

#26 Posted by ferrari2001 (16966 posts) -

@Fightingfan said:
@ferrari2001 said:

Women get paid far higher in waiting jobs then men do. If you are a woman and you have a fairly high dollar food joint you can apply at you can do quite well for yourself. As a guy though, getting the same amount of profit out of the job is much more difficult. It can be done, it's just a lot harder.

I would assume waiting a female dominate job so I would say "no duh", but to be honest I doubt the average person tips based on sex (if you don't count titty bars).

Have you never seen a woman waiter lay on the charms at a restaurant. Flirting with patrons will most definitely gain you a larger tip.

#27 Edited by MrGeezer (56517 posts) -

@i_waaan said:

If you work at a restaurant that's fairly busy, you'll never, ever make minimum wage. A few friends of mine desperately want to do something else, but they can't give up the good amount of money they're currently making waiting tables. One of them is a pretty outgoing guy and makes over 50k a year, most of it straight cash. My GF waited tables on the side at a very high class restaurant for one year, and just form that job, made a huge chunk of change...

It's pretty easy to get burned out, though, and it isn't very fulfilling. You work a lot, typically (if you want to make a lot of money doing it), and there's no career trajectory outside of management, but a lot of these people make as much as a manager anyway..so....

Hell, if you can land a good bartending job somewhere? You can make a really, really good living. I think the main question is, though: Why would someone want to do a job like that for an extended period of time? Some people forget who they set out to be when they're children. Too many people lose sight of their dreams. This just in: It's almost never, ever someone's dream to be a waiter/waitress when they're a child. Ever.

Well, if it pays well, you can use the money to fulfill your dreams on the side.

Fulfilling one's dreams via a job is overrated anyway. It's still work, which means most of the time you're gonna be doing $hit that you don't want to do. You might dream of busting criminals and making the world a safer place, but most of your time is still gonna be spent waiting around and filling out paperwork.You might dream of taking pictures for a living, but most of your time is gonna be doing BS commercial work instead of travelling the globe shooting exotic locations. Even if the job sucks, getting paid well can allow for a very fulfilling life outside of work.

#28 Posted by Fightingfan (38011 posts) -

@ferrari2001 said:

@Fightingfan said:
@ferrari2001 said:

Women get paid far higher in waiting jobs then men do. If you are a woman and you have a fairly high dollar food joint you can apply at you can do quite well for yourself. As a guy though, getting the same amount of profit out of the job is much more difficult. It can be done, it's just a lot harder.

I would assume waiting a female dominate job so I would say "no duh", but to be honest I doubt the average person tips based on sex (if you don't count titty bars).

Have you never seen a woman waiter lay on the charms at a restaurant. Flirting with patrons will most definitely gain you a larger tip.

Yeah, but you can be sexy as hell if you don't give me refills you ain't getting a nice tip.

I could be wrong though, don't know how must men think.

#29 Posted by thegerg (15419 posts) -

It depends on how much you make. If you only make minimum wage, yes. If you make more, no.

This is a very stupid question.

#30 Posted by PurpleMan5000 (7321 posts) -

No restaurant is going to pay the difference for a waiter to get up to minimum wage and then not either fire that waiter or go out of business. So no, waiting tables is not a minimum wage job.

#31 Posted by coolbeans90 (21305 posts) -

@thegerg said:

It depends on how much you make. If you only make minimum wage, yes. If you make more, no.

This is a very stupid question.

You must feel witty.

#32 Posted by thegerg (15419 posts) -

@coolbeans90 said:

@thegerg said:

It depends on how much you make. If you only make minimum wage, yes. If you make more, no.

This is a very stupid question.

You must feel witty.

It's got nothing to do with wit, it's just a dumb question. WTF are you on about?

#33 Posted by Flubbbs (3138 posts) -

yes but i have friends who make 200-300 a night just from tips

#34 Posted by coolbeans90 (21305 posts) -

@thegerg said:

@coolbeans90 said:

@thegerg said:

It depends on how much you make. If you only make minimum wage, yes. If you make more, no.

This is a very stupid question.

You must feel witty.

It's got nothing to do with wit, it's just a dumb question. WTF are you on about?

I wonder if you are as dull as you seem. Also, comma splices are bad.

#35 Posted by thegerg (15419 posts) -

@coolbeans90 said:

@thegerg said:

@coolbeans90 said:

@thegerg said:

It depends on how much you make. If you only make minimum wage, yes. If you make more, no.

This is a very stupid question.

You must feel witty.

It's got nothing to do with wit, it's just a dumb question. WTF are you on about?

I wonder if you are as dull as you seem. Also, comma splices are bad.

I wonder the same about you.

#36 Posted by coolbeans90 (21305 posts) -

I want to think that you aren't that stupid and are simply trolling, but Jesus, you make it difficult sometimes, kid.

#37 Posted by thegerg (15419 posts) -

@coolbeans90: I not trolling, nor am I stupid. I was simply answering a very simple question. Is that a problem?

#39 Posted by thegerg (15419 posts) -

@coolbeans90: There is no reason to insult other users. Please try to act like an adult. I don't know why you have a problem with GS users answering each other's questions, but I suggest that you just get over it.

#41 Posted by sonicare (53485 posts) -

Depends where you work. At some high end restaraunts, you can make some serious dough.

#42 Posted by RimacBugatti (1287 posts) -

Working for tips is awesome if your in the right place around the right people. If you truly care about people and want to give them a great service because you respect them and you treat them exactly the way you want to be treated and don't focus on the money so much but have faith in knowing that good people take care of good people than you can make fast money in tips. I have one of the easiest jobs in the world and to be honest I don't really work as much as I just socialize with my customers and like for instance I have made in upwards of a $100 tip on an individual. There are a lot of different ways to make good money as long as you are willing to look. To be honest waiting tables is really hard work considering the money but there are other ways to make tips and not have to work as hard.

#43 Edited by thegerg (15419 posts) -

@coolbeans90 said:

@thegerg:

You parade your pea-sized brain in virtually every thread correcting first grade English, and you still have the audacity to tell me to act like an adult? You are a special kind of stupid. I suggest that you commit suicide at the soonest possible opportunity.

Haha, such rage. Why are you so upset that I answered his question? Grow up kiddo. There's no need to act like a dick.

#44 Edited by cain006 (8625 posts) -

@foxhound_fox said:

Like any job, the wage or salary should reflect the skills required to complete it, and the effort put in to doing so. Waiting tables certainly requires more skills than flipping a burger on a grill, or stuffing a box on an assembly line. It requires exceptional balance, upper-body strength, and endurance (being able to walk/stand and carry things for 8+ hours will always be a skill worth talking about) and people skills are a must. Handling money, punctuality and memory skills are also important.

Almost all of those skills are required of a person who works at mcdonalds FYI. And you basically have to memorize the entire menu if you want to work the lunch shift. May not be as much as at a regular restaurant but there's still like 20+ things you have to remember and exactly what order to put the stuff on.

#45 Edited by coolbeans90 (21305 posts) -

@thegerg said:

@coolbeans90 said:

@thegerg:

You parade your pea-sized brain in virtually every thread correcting first grade English, and you still have the audacity to tell me to act like an adult? You are a special kind of stupid. I suggest that you commit suicide at the soonest possible opportunity.

Haha, such rage. Why are you so upset that I answered his question? Grow up kiddo. There's no need to act like a dick.

Apparently you conflate insults with expressions of anger. Communication really isn't your strong suit. pal. I'll stop acting like a dick when you cease mindlessly shitposting.

#47 Posted by thegerg (15419 posts) -

@coolbeans90: I've not been "shitposting" at all. You seem to be very confused. Again, there's no reason to insult anyone. Please try to act like an adult.

#48 Posted by airshocker (29864 posts) -

Love it when people get a taste of their own medicine.

#49 Edited by coolbeans90 (21305 posts) -

My assessment was quite accurate, you dolt. It is really ironic seeing you, easily one the most juvenile shits on this board, telling people to act like adults. Anyway, there are plenty of reasons to insult you, and I will do so until you have improved. On a positive note, you would be hard-pressed to be a worse poster, and you now have goals to work towards. The bar has been set very low in order to match your personal capacities.

#50 Posted by airshocker (29864 posts) -

@coolbeans90 said:

My assessment was quite accurate, you dolt. It is really ironic seeing you, easily one the most juvenile shits on this board, telling people to act like adults. Anyway, there are plenty of reasons to insult you, and I will do so until you have improved. On a positive note, you would be hard pressed to be a worse poster, and you now have goals to work towards. The bar has been set very low in order to match your personal capacities.

This is how I feel after reading this. Thank you, beans, for being the uptick to my day.