Servers not treated fairly in food industry

It’s a horrible feeling whenever you are a hard-working person and the establishment you’re working at belittles you.

I’m not going to mention the place of my previous employment, but I will certainly tell you the horrors of being a server.

First of all, servers don’t get paid enough, and automatically many believe that earning tips is enough to cover the lack of pay. Wrong. Somedays I didn’t even earn enough to cover what I was supposed to earn in tips during the day.

It’s not because I’m a bad server. I would know if I was. It’s because many customers don’t like to tip servers. They can spend $30 on a meal, but they can’t even tip their server 15 percent. At my previous employment, if you didn’t make a certain amount in tips, you got written up for it. Being a server, you have to rely on the customer that you’re waiting on to tip you. If you don’t earn tips just because customers don’t want to, you are the one that gets in trouble.

I used to make $3 an hour being a sever. It’s bad, I know. Tips are supposed to make up for the bad pay. How are you supposed to make a decent amount of tips whenever customers don’t feel like tipping you?

Another reason why I quit my previous employment is because of the way management treats their employees, especially servers. Servers receive bad pay, and we try to make the best of the situation. Management is supposed to help out servers and make sure their establishment doesn’t get a bad reputation. That’s pretty hard, considering whenever you’re the only server working for three hours and you’re expected to serve 50 people by yourself. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that if a restaurant is busy and there is only one server, the smart thing to do is try to call someone in. But that’s the problem. A manager doesn’t want to call another person in because the fine establishment that you work at doesn’t want to pay for extra help. It doesn’t matter if customers are getting their food orders wrong, or late, and the service is slow (since there is only one server). All of that doesn’t matter. As long as they don’t have to pay for another server for a couple of hours, their reputation doesn’t mean anything.

My previous employer expected servers to do everything. We were expected to seat customers, take their drink and food orders, answer the phones, take care of the entrees coming out of the oven, fry wings, fries, and other sides, wipe down tables, take care of the salad bar, and, on top of that, take care of your ‘cut work’ before leaving for the day.

That’s not the worst part. The worst part of all of this is if you don’t leave at a certain time, you get in trouble. You’re supposed to do all these things, and you’re expected to the tasks at hand well and fast. It seems to me managers think you have super human abilities and you can do these tasks all at once.

The last time I checked, I’m just a normal person with only two hands. I can only do so much.

It makes me upset that servers don’t get the respect they deserve. You try so hard and you greet the customers with a smile, yet you don’t receive a tip. Then you have your manager in your ear all the time constantly telling you to do this and do that whenever you have a million other things to do.

If you mess up an order, they get on to you. It doesn’t even matter the situation. It doesn’t matter that the restaurant is filled with people and you’re the only server. It doesn’t matter that it was the only order you messed up on. You still get in trouble.

But if a manager messes up, it’s OK. It’s OK because apparently managers are worth more than severs. According to one of my previous managers, “servers are replaceable. Everyone of you is replaceable.”

Not all establishments are bad, though. I enjoyed some of my time where I used to work. They hired me whenever I wanted to earn some extra money. If I were to go back in time and knew what I know now, I wouldn’t even apply. It’s not worth it. It’s not worth my time.

Some may say I’m a cry baby, and I’m not cut out to be a server. That may be true. It’s true because I know my worth. I respect people who are servers. I will and have always tipped whenever someone waited on me. I know how it feels.

I hope this gives people a little more perspective on what the everyday server goes through. I also hope whenever you go into a restaurant you plan to tip. Because at the end of the day, servers are not replaceable, and we’re worth more than what we make.

Author: Nicole Lopez

My name is Nicole but you knew that already.

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