In cities where the minimum wage has been successfully raised, restaurants are increasingly considering abolishing tips altogether.
We began the serious work of folding napkins into fans, polishing the silverware, setting the tables, looking for a lighter, discussing who might have a lighter, checking the smoking hut for someone with a lighter, and lighting the candles.
“My salary is $55,000 and the take-home is about $850 a week. This is actually the first cooking job I’ve had where I’ve been salaried and the pay itself is much higher than in the past.”
The Atlantic has new data out about how the rest of us tip, focusing on the way we tip restaurant servers. Tips represent up to 70 percent of servers’ incomes.
In the restaurant industry, “I’m so broke,” was a constant server/bartender lament. Frequently, I good-naturedly nodded my head in agreement. “I know,” I said, pretending to be worried about making rent or having enough money to fly home for the holidays. “Me too.”
Workers in the food service industry don’t always get treated all that well, and if you ask servers to tell you about a time when they got cheated out of a tip, they’ll have plenty of anecdotes to choose from. Toni Jenkins, a waitress at a Red Lobster in Tennessee, was not only cheated out of a tip—she also received a receipt that had a racial slur written on the “total” line directed at her. She posted the receipt online and got some praise for taking a stand, and some criticism from people who accused her of fabricating the receipt (the customer denied writing the slur). But Jenkins is coming out on top—a California man was able to raise $10,000 for Jenkins through a fund called “Tips for Toni.”