r/antiwork Jan 14 '22 Silver 5 Helpful 16 Wholesome 10

So sorry, I'm broke so I can only pay you $77 for my food. You were great though.

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u/EggCounselor Jan 15 '22

Restaurant industry is one of those where it’s hard to come by people with the right set of skills and nerve. Once you’re in you’re in kind of deal and you get away with a lot. So if you’re one of those good ones and come back after being awol for 2 weeks the boss might just act like it never happened because he knows he needs you. Thing is it’s also hard to come by bosses like that. When it works it works. I know a friend who used to make 2 grand a week. He eventually stopped working 72 hours a week, down to about 40 and was still making well over 1,000. If that restaurant paid him a salary he’d be making half of that.

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u/Nickadeamus36 Jan 15 '22 edited Jan 15 '22

I’ve been a chef for 20 years. Cooked in America, Australia, and New Zealand.

I have never cooked in a place where going awol for more than a day was okay, no matter how good you are, the only time it’s been okay is if you were a cook in a high end place, and were awol because you were in jail. Not a waiter.

Also there is some talent in being a good server, but for the most part owners don’t give a shit about that, only the kitchen does. Because they are the ones affected. The ability to be able to stagger tables, correctly sell specials etc. servers are literally a dime a dozen and the high turnover is expected, and not considered a problem.

Bartenders get away with a giving away the odd free drink, but that’s only because the owners know that a free drink makes the customer looser with their cash and more likely to come back to their “favourite bartender”.

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u/Small_Disk_6082 Jan 15 '22

I worked in the industry most of my adult life, and can say that, in all variations, from high end pp to low pp, great servers and bar staff are typically treated like royalty, and can get away with a whole helluva lot - because they're not a dime-a-dozen.

But shit staff in FOH or BOH get the axe the same way everytime, even if they're a chef with solid creds but suboptimal performance.

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u/thrashgender Jan 15 '22

Some of the servers at my last job would make ~1k in two nights. 10-16 hours a week and making almost double what I made in 60 hours BOH

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u/EggCounselor Jan 15 '22

Yup. And your check is $0.76. Just covers the taxes and those tips are all yours. Being paid a salary is every servers nightmare. At the end of the day 20% is 20% for the customer, but how often do you really eat out? It isn’t breaking anyone’s bank and it means these people who work so hard get the option to potentially make one hell of a living. Let the tourists bitch all they want

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u/bmiyares319 Jan 15 '22

This! I stupidly took a key manager position at the restaurant I work at thinking the steady $14/hr would be better than unsteady tips (I am apparently very and at math) and it turns out I would be making less than half of what I made as a server with 3 times the responsibilities so I requested to go back as a server. It’s so dumb.

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u/EggCounselor Jan 15 '22

Yeah man, the same is said for a lot of jobs actually, including mine which is EMS. More pressure coming down from your superiors, and your salary potential plateaus at lower than what you had as a regular paramedic.

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u/Syrdon Jan 15 '22

If he was being paid salary, there’s no reason he should be expecting any less (at least pretax). Clearly the customers think he’s worth the extra price on the bill, so the business income isn’t the problem. The owner might try to get a larger cut, but that’s a labor relations problem.

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u/EggCounselor Jan 15 '22

Maybe I wasn’t clear. He was bringing in at least $300 a night. That’s a slow night. Usually it was 400-600, and he was working 6 days a week. He was making damn near 150k a year before taxes.

There’s absolutely no way he’d be making out with that much on a salary working at a restaurant. Zero chance. Let’s take into account the time period where he stopped putting in all that OT. Average $300/day working 260 days out of the year. That’s 80k which is well over what most top level managers make at mid-high end establishments. Not happening for a server.

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u/Syrdon Jan 15 '22

Why not? Customers are clearly willing to pay for it, so the only question is what he can force management to live with. If they’re that willing to accept deeply inconsistent work, they’ll pay the rate to make it.

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u/EggCounselor Jan 15 '22

Are you under the impression that what customers are willing to pay has any sort of significant impact on low level employee salary, if any?

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u/Syrdon Jan 15 '22

That’s what unions are for. That said, if you’re pulling in that much, and your employer is willing to tolerate the stuff previously mentioned from you, you aren’t a low level employee.