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I’ve worked in the restaurant industry for 4 years, and I’ve been serving tables for 2 years in a fairly expensive restaurant in Independence, Missouri. That being said, choosing just one crazy experience is hard, but the one I’m going to choose didn’t happen to me, but to a girl I was working with that night. A table of three or four people who looked like they had just finished a week or 2 of drug binging came into the restaurant and sat at a booth. Everything seemed to be going fine until the buckets of crab that they ordered came out. They called their server over to the table to inform her that they had found a tooth, A WHOLE, PULLED TOOTH, in their food. Of course, given how black, old, & decayed the tooth was it was obvious the tooth was one of theirs that had been pulled. The manager took the tooth, paid for most of the guests bill (which, of course, made the server no money, seeing how the check went from over $100 to somewhere around $20), and the guests left. After about 5 minutes the guests come back to tell the manager that she had not discounted the bill correctly, and to go get a calculator to do it properly. My manager showed them it was correct and they left a second time. Not a few minutes later they come back asking if they could have the tooth back. They, of course, stiffed their server.
For servers at my restaurant, the hourly wage is $3.60. However, I pay a 3% tip-share that is split evenly between the hosts and bartenders. There are times when I haven’t gotten tipped at all but I still have to pay the 3% tip-share; so it comes out of my pocket. There are times where guests have left me one dollar or 50 cents just because they got angry at something and want to spite me. I’ve seen military personal tell their server that they only go out to eat in uniform to get their bill taken care of by strangers, & then don’t tip their servers. I’ve seen guests call women servers the “c” word and ask “Are you effing retarded?” The tipped minimum wage needs to be raised because servers can’t rely on the scarce and fleeting generosity of others. Some people dont even see serving as a real “job.” Although restaurants say that if your tips don’t average out to minimum wage they will reimburse you on your check, so much gets taken out for taxes that its really not making minimum wage at all.
Living off tips is hard.
It is a true hustle.