UnderCover Waitress: Not Tips, Not Wages, It's About Pay Ratios

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Not Tips, Not Wages, It's About Pay Ratios

I don't usually cross-post things here with articles published at PayScale. However, this is (in my not so humble opinion ;-)) important. Share this with your friends who work in the kitchen. I've often said that it's a bad idea to pit the kitchen against the dining room by paying poor wages to the cooks and letting them feel green over the amount of tip money we make on a good night. Yes, it is illegal to have to tip out the BOH, but I am also talking about the personal/work dynamics the situation causes.

No employee should be encouraged or even allowed to look to other employees (not to mention more vulnerable and expendable employees) for their wages. Some of the other FOH staff should not be depending upon servers to make enough money. Bartenders and hostesses are doing specific jobs for the employer; maybe the employer should pay them better than $8.50 per hour.

Employers pay wages. If your employer has to take the bus to work and has beat-up shoes, he may be telling you the truth when he says he can not afford to pay you more. Forget the shoes; look at what your employer drives.

If we stop getting distracted by minimum wage arguments and start talking about pay ratios we may eventually (am I an optimist?) reverse the problems of the working poor. It's egregious that people work full time for low wages while their bosses are setting six figure salaries for themselves. In the restaurant industry, those same flush bosses expect their waitresses and waiters to compensate other staff.

Forget About Wages, It's About Pay Ratios

Anyone who has ever had a boss plead poverty as an excuse for not giving raises, or even paying living wages, needs to read this article. The United States of America has no regulations regarding the difference between lowest and highest paid employees and CEOs of companies. That means people who pay minimum wages with no benefits to workers are free to set six figure take-home salaries for themselves, and it happens all too often. The fight to reverse this growing gap is starting.
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