Would you work for $2.13 an hour?

I certainly wouldn’t. But that’s still the federal minimum wage for food servers. The restaurant industry’s argument for such a low wage is that waitstaff make their money from tips. The problem is, tipping is voluntary; whereas getting paid for your work shouldn’t be.

When the base pay of waitstaff is set at $2.13 an hour, tipping is mandatory, not a reward for exemplary service. If you don’t tip, you’re stealing the server’s time and labor. It’s also a sneaky way for restaurant owners to lowball the real price of a meal. Adding 15% tip and 10% sales tax, a menu price of $20 becomes $25 at the register, which you may want to keep in mind when deciding what to order.

Meanwhile, under this system, customers like this (and they exist) …

Laura xxxxx‬ I have never tipped out of obligation and never will. Regardless of their wages. If I were to receive crappy service (and it was the servers fault…) I leave a low, or 0% tip. I tip when I receive good service. When the server is gone above the call of duty. That is what tipping is supposed to be about. 

… deserve this:

Bruce xxxxx‬ They deserve tips. They have to deal with assholes like you. 

There are additional reasons for doing away with this system, and subjecting restaurant owners and other employers of service staff to the same minimum wage that all other employers have to pay. “Restaurant owners and managers are also benefiting by having servers to do regular $7.25 minimum wage ‘side work’ like cleaning bathrooms/toilets, floors, taking out trash … for $2.13 p/hour …. The system is off. It’s wrong. …  Restaurant owners are taking advantage of servers and the laws that fail to protect restaurant employees.”

The solution is to extend the full protection of minimum wage laws to tipped workers. Washington is among the states that have done so; but some states have not, and even if Congress refuses to raise the federal minimum wage, it should reform federal wage laws to bring tipped workers under the federal minimum wage whatever it is.Roger-Rabbit-icon1



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