• Restaurants Demand State Freeze Servers’ Wage

    February 25, 2016

    Tags: ,
    Posted in: #99Percent, Economy, Minimum Wage


    More Americans work for less than minimum wage than work for minimum wage. They are the people who occupy tipped positions, mostly working as servers in restaurants.

    They fall outside the minimum wage, and thus do not have even the weak assurances of an income the minimum provides. And those tips — they are great at some swanky joints, weak at lesser ones. Tips ebb and flow, depending on the weather (rain and snow can keep customers home), cheapo patrons and which shift one pulls; daytime Tuesday is not as good as Saturday night. Or a four top who orders wine with each course, or that family on vacation who “just wants ice water.” Your income depends as much on luck as anything you do with your time and labor.

    Or here’s one strategy that does not depend on luck: encourage your waitresses to dress sexy, such as at Hooter’s, to pull in more tips, mixing sexual exploitation with exploitation of wages.

    And save the speech about how all these folks should go out and get a different job if they don’t like the system. Almost two million Americans work below minimum, and they do not have access to two million currently available, better paying, jobs.

    But from the restaurant owner’s side, the deal is sweeeeeeeeeet. They get to pay subminimum wage, and leave it up to the customers to make up their payroll. And if the customer stiffs the waiter, that’s no skin off the owner’s nose. And of course some owner’s skim the tips, and/or require servers to share their tips with the back of the house kitchen staff, diluting a small amount of money further.

    The owners have no interest in having the government mess with that solid gold system if it can be helped.

    As an example, New York state’s hourly minimum wage for tipped workers rose from $5.00 to $7.50 on January 1 (standard, non-tipped, minimum wage is $9.00 an hour in the state), much to the dismay of the New York State Restaurant Association. The restaurant owners lobbying group sent a letter to NY Governor Andrew Cuomo demanding that he freeze the tipped wage for five years. This letter comes just weeks after the National Restaurant Association filed an appeal with the state Supreme Court, claiming that Cuomo’s plan to raise the minimum wage further by 2018 is part of a longstanding pattern of discrimination “against the hard working men and women that own New York’s restaurants.”

    Implied is a hearty “up yours to the working men and women that work in New York’s restaurants.”

    Oh, and by the way, want to know if your favorite restaurant owner supports the freeze? You can’t. The Restaurant Association’s letter had more then 100 restaurant owners included as signatories. However, the Association will not release the names of the signatories because restaurateurs who have taken “political stances” in the past “have received death threats.” So it’s a safety issue. Right.

    Employers should be responsible for paying their own employees, not relying on customers to hand over cash just to keep serfs servers on the job.

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    Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity.

  • Recent Comments

    • John Poole said...


      There is periodic talk of banning tipping. It would force the venue owners to offer a decent wage. I will boycott any restaurant which allows tipping and support only those who disallow tipping. The whole practice has to disappear. I refuse “renumerances” on my private bookings telling the client my fee is all I expect or want. Sometimes guests will come up with a $20 and I tell them to spread it out among the serving help and that the host has already paid me well.

      02/25/16 8:54 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...


      Where is the Tip Jar for what Peter V.B. does for “serving the people”? Thanks again Peter.

      02/25/16 9:08 AM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      chuck said…”Where is the Tip Jar for what Peter V.B. does for “serving the people”?”

      Hey,….where’s my tip for contributing here? After all..I bust my ass to help this blog continue to “serve” humanity. I spend at least an hour per day here flapping my lips, working my fingers to the bone and wearing out my brain cells. And what do I get for my efforts?(hurrumphs) ..sheesh, you think I do this for enjoyment? spare me. I gots better things to do than spend my days opining about …well…tips. Know what I mean? I mean, crap, I COULD be out in the snow changing my alternator. Or splitting more firewood. Or packing ebay in a 5 degree below zero garage. But nooooooooo..I give all that up to sit here in my nice warm house..and spill my guts out. So c’maaan..throw me a bone once in a while. I mean..even SNAP goes only so far…ya know? Oh, I know, ya’ll think I eat steak, and shrimp, and lobster and all that good stuff …just because I get SNAP. geeeze, you’d think I was rich or sumpthin. Well, I gots news for ya’ll.

      Look…I’m facing a breakfast of top ramon. A lunch of top ramon. And dinner of top ramon. Maybe a peanut butter or balogna sandwich or two in between. And maybe a special snack my wife makes up..you know, a bowl of a avocado dip and some great nice chips. Oh, I forgot about those summer sausage, cheese and crackers too. Geeez..come to think of it..mmmmmm, those wunnerful homemade chockolate chip cookies in the afternoon. Holy cow..it’s almost time for my daily trip to the Hideaway. MMMMMMM… popcorn. And peanuts. And……BEEEEEEEER. and then, a big ole spread of happy hour treats. Mmmm..I love those miniture hot doggy thingys..and chips and dips..and all kinds of stuff.. …er…wait…where was I????

      ummm…nevermind. forget the tip. Just send me a sixpack of your fav beer. mmmmmmmm…beeeer. I love beer.

      ok, where were we? oh yeah. Tips. For servers. Hey, who do they think they are, hmmm? sheeesh..of all the nerve. You’d think they were starvin or sumptin. Well, here’s a tip. Get a grip. Be thankful your not in my shoes. At least you have a job. Now, excuse me..I’ve got an appointment with a happy hour..(mmmmmm..happy hour…beeeeer)…. But just to show I’m grateful..I’ll leave a tip this time. I just happen to have some change my wife forgot to steal from my pants. Ok, time to go. C’ya.

      02/25/16 10:02 AM | Comment Link

    • b. traven said...


      Just to give you guys a little perspective on the value of money before Bill Clinton and his friend Robert Rubin started to put our financial system in the hands of the banks and Wall Street. I got out of WW II without a sou in my pocket but with my government behind me. The GI bill gave me three backstops. If I couldn’t find a job I could join what what was called the “52-20 Club” The govt. would give me $20 a week for 52 weeks until I found a job.I did that one for a few weeks. Until I used the GI bill which gave me (as I remember) $200 to go to college). It wasn’t enough to pay for food. rent, and girls so I worked in the steel mills as casual union labor for $1.25/hr. and double time for taking an extra shift. I belonged to the Steelworkers union and they saw to it that I was protected. Those other vets working in the mill took the third GI option and got a $10,000 dollar low interest loan to buy a house and with union protected seniority were able to send their kids to college.Government works.Only businesses go bankrupt and destroy lives.

      02/25/16 11:24 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      The number one rule for customers is never anger your waiter… unless you like vomiting.

      As employees of Chipotle enjoy free meals after a shift, it is also noteworthy to report that not a single employee suffered an illness, although customers did. Furthermore, with the advent of precise D.N.A. testing, there were two, specifically different, strains of E. coli discovered, when there should have been just one, though they both “coincidentally” appeared simultaneously in different locations, one type for eleven of the states, and another type for the other three states, the latter being a very rare strain of E. coli, normally found only in food research labs.”

      Short sellers made a killing.

      02/25/16 11:37 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...


      Tips to all! Vt. has cow tipping. Tip the Govt.(pitchforks) if it doesn’t work for the people. Power to the People.

      02/25/16 12:08 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      B traven. I loved your book! The script of Treasure of Sierra Madre had an uplifting ending of a geezer who had found his true calling late in life gave his share of what is left of a prospecting venture to a young drifter if he promises to end his vagabond ways by contacting Cody’s widow.

      So are you suggesting external or internal sabatoge in the Chipolte chain?

      02/25/16 3:28 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      “So are you suggesting external or internal sabatoge in the Chipolte chain?”

      E. coli didn’t come from the food materials. It was sprayed onto the foods by bioterrorists working for the biotech industry who targeted Chipotle restaurants.

      The strain of E. coli was different from the strain usually found in foods. The most likely explanation is that in planning their corporate sabotage, the biotech bioterrorists derived their E. coli from an animal source far from any farm fields, then found a simple mechanism for nebulizing it (spraying it) on Chipotle food materials at targeted Chipotle restaurant

      Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/052837_Chipotle_E_coli_investigation_corporate_sabotage.html#ixzz41DdZkSmv

      02/25/16 4:50 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      Pitch- you might want to temper your comments somewhat. Peter keps an open forum with the hopes of engendering a wide mix of intelligent and informed responders. If they see cetain rantings they will move elsewhere, We owe it to PVB to make sure this forum is welcoming to all points of view.

      02/25/16 5:59 PM | Comment Link

    • StarkNakedTruth said...


      Rich Bauer…

      Interesting info on the food borne illness events at Chipotle. A friend of mine in the corporate food industry, who recently attended a national food service convention, basically said the same thing. Insiders are convinced that the contamination of Chipotle food products was intentional. It also explains why investigators were unable to trace the E-Coli strain back to a single food vendor source.

      On the other hand, the outbreak of Norovirus among college students in the Boston area (having consumed food at Chipotle) was most likely due to an employee ignorance/malfeance. (RE: Coming to work sick, and which is a much more common occurrence than you can imagine.)

      02/26/16 9:11 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      The SEC should check who made a killing shorting the Chipotle stock.

      02/26/16 11:52 AM | Comment Link

    • Links 1/3/2016: Firefox OS in Panasonic Ultra HD TVs, Raspberry Pi 3 | Techrights said...


      […] Restaurants Demand State Freeze Servers’ Wage […]

      03/1/16 11:48 AM | Comment Link

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