On a day-to-day basis, servers probably don’t make as much money as you think. Yes, they can take home money every night and make hundreds of dollars on some days, but a waiter’s salary is never guaranteed. Most of their salary depends on tips from their tables.
According to US Department of Labor, employers are allowed to pay servers in Nebraska as little as $2.13 an hour, under the “minimum wage for tipped employees,” which lowers the hourly wage for some jobs. As a waiter at Lincoln myself, I can tell you that most weeks I don’t get a paycheck for my hourly wage because it all goes towards taxes. Most of a waiter’s wages are only made up of the tips they give, which is why it is necessary to give them.
The remuneration of a server is never concrete, which can interfere with his daily life. How much a server will earn in tips depends on many factors, such as day of the week, time of day, if there are events near the restaurant, type of people going to the event . and more.
In the space of a week, a server can earn $30 on Monday if they are slow, then $300 on Saturday of the same week. You can estimate and average your weekly pay all you want, but you can never really know. It can interfere with a server’s daily life when he has to pay rent and other bills, but he doesn’t know exactly how much he will earn each month. Since servers rely primarily on their tips, it’s polite to tip your server whenever you dine at a restaurant.
Another reason why you should tip your server is that some people don’t. Whether the kitchen took too long to prepare the food, the server forgot something about a meal, or a customer is already in a bad mood, anything can lead to bad service, leading to a bad tip. Other people simply don’t tip because they don’t know or don’t care that a server’s main source of income is tips. According to Eater, the tip amount is understood to be 20% of the total bill. Some people may choose to tip less because of the service, but 20% is etiquette.
It is very discouraging for a server to spend an hour or more serving people only to have nothing in return at the end of the meal. It is a waste of time and space for a waiter to have a table he serves occupied for the duration of a meal if the table does not tip him, because another group of people who would tip Tipping could have been served instead.
Servers are paid minimum wage for tipped employees because of the specific job they do, as well as the style of service. The food service is very personalized. Yes, servers work for a restaurant and with other employees, but the tips they give while serving their tables are made solely by the server and the service or experience they provide to customers.
Because each server earns their own money, everyone works alone and must have many responsibilities, such as serving multiple groups of people at once, taking orders, bringing plates, utensils, condiments, checking on people and more . Most of the time, all of these tasks are done multiple times and at different times throughout a shift. In my personal experience, servers help each other out if possible, but often when the restaurant is busy, everyone has to fend for themselves.
Some people use the fact that servers “get what they work for” in this individual-based industry as a reason not to tip. Some people think that if they’re paying for their food there’s no need to tip, just because they think it’s not fair.
In reality, it’s unfair not to tip your server when he earns $2.13 an hour and spends his time serving you well. If you’re going out to eat at a sit-down restaurant and intend to pay for your meal, you should also intend to tip your server.
Servers know what they’re getting into when they start a job that relies mostly on tips. Yet they still deserve the grace of being tipped after successfully serving you for the duration of your meal.
Servers work hard and are constantly on the go while being paid less than the average minimum wage. Eating out comes with the experience of being served, and tipping your server comes with that experience.
Rukhshona Islamova is a second-year journalism, advertising and public relations student. Join her at email@example.com.