Being a server means your income is based on minimum wage, and the amount of tips you earn. Serving in America is a hard job. Surviving as server means you depend on many factors for your income. Some of theses factors include your employer, employees, the government and customers. The government has the “power” because they control the amount of minimum wage. Another important factor is your employer, the management of the establishment or restaurant that the server works for. For example, being scheduled the “right” shifts can add or decrease to income, these “right” shifts might have more business, meaning more customers, more tables. The server assigned to the “right” shifts would be able to make more money/tips. Employees, like the cooks who make the food that the server is trying to present also affect earning potential. If the food tastes great, then the tip should be great, a sign of customer appreciation, but let’s say that the cook is having an off day. The cook’s poor quality food could affect things as well.
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Now for the customers part, you could be the best server in the world but at the end of the day when the bill comes the customer has the power to leave a generous tip, a fair tip, or maybe no tip at all.
If you are going out and plan on getting waited on then you should also plan to tip. You might ask why that is. Consider this – servers are almost always only making minimum wage. So based on that state’s minimum wage laws that’s what they are making per hour. This could be as low 2 or 3 dollars. For example, Massachusetts is allowed to pay servers $2.63 an hour. If Tipping is not required then that server could end up earning just a little over $2.50 an hour.
Imagine If the server has bills that week or groceries to buy. That server might have a family to feed. Servers work really hard and even when days are long they still have to keep a smile on their face. They still need to make sure customers have the best experience. Being a server means you have to juggle all these variables and all your faith is with these different players or entities. As a server myself, any tip is appreciated, but not tipping seems mean spirited and ridiculous. Next time you dine out, keep in mind these factors when your bill comes.