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#61 Old 04-28-2012, 08:07 AM
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What is the general minimum wage in the UK and US?
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#62 Old 04-28-2012, 08:09 AM
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For someone living in the UK where we have a minimum wage it seems like it is the companies and restaurant owners who are stiffing the staff. Why are they allowed to get away with paying such low wages to their employees so that they have to rely on the customers to get a decent income? It seems so unfair.

I think that is what a lot of us are trying to point out and not comme across as stingy, ungrateful customers !

Does anybody know what salary a waite/ress earns in an average restaurant in the US, working on a full time basis ?
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#63 Old 04-28-2012, 08:12 AM
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I just looked up the UK minimum wage:

£6.08 - the main rate for workers aged 21 and over
£4.98 - the 18-20 rate
£3.68 - the 16-17 rate for workers above school leaving age but under 18
£2.60 - the apprentice rate, for apprentices under 19 or 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship
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#64 Old 04-28-2012, 08:13 AM
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Oh my god, I was looking at some of the minimum wages in the US...for tipped employees, some as low as $2/h?? No wonder they need tips!

ETA, I looked up Canada to be sure, and was right. The current lowest is Yukon at $9.27/h, tips are NO different if it's a tipping position.
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#65 Old 04-28-2012, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Pixie View Post

For someone living in the UK where we have a minimum wage it seems like it is the companies and restaurant owners who are stiffing the staff. Why are they allowed to get away with paying such low wages to their employees so that they have to rely on the customers to get a decent income? It seems so unfair.

That's only in some states. A lot of states require servers to be paid minimum wage. However, the federal government taxes food serves based on an expected tip rate of at least 8% of total sales. So... If you're a food server and you get a couple crappy/no tippers plus one dine-n-dasher and your keep your own bank, then you'll go home without earning a dime that day, might even have to pay out of your pocket. Overall, food serving is a better job than many jobs but there are times when it can really suck.
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#66 Old 04-28-2012, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Pixie View Post

I just looked up the UK minimum wage:
£6.08 - the main rate for workers aged 21 and over
£4.98 - the 18-20 rate
£3.68 - the 16-17 rate for workers above school leaving age but under 18
£2.60 - the apprentice rate, for apprentices under 19 or 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship

Here is another link for other European countries.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...ges_by_country

Overhere in France it is 9,22 €/hour, gross. You have to deduct 21% in taxes. The weekly total of work is 35 hours.
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#67 Old 04-28-2012, 08:31 AM
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If you're a food server and you get a couple crappy/no tippers plus one dine-n-dasher and your keep your own bank, then you'll go home without earning a dime that day, might even have to pay out of your pocket.

That is really awful and unfair.
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#68 Old 04-28-2012, 10:03 AM
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That is unheard of overhere. I have also never seen anybody tip a delivery man in the UK neither.

I tip the pizza guy!

Well, it's only ever about 50p but it's still a tip! (Whatever the bill is I always give up to the next pound and don't ask for change (so if it's £12.50 then I give them £13 ))

EDIT:

I know I said I don't tip but I know how dangerous the motorbikes they're riding are (in terms of how people in cars react as soon as they see L plates on a bike "You must be limited to 30mph! I shall overtake you on double white lines near a corner and if a car is coming the other way I'll just pull into you making you swerve onto the kerb! I don't care that I will nearly kill you!" (Actually happen to me today ) ) so I tip them. Plus, I want to eat my damn pizza not stand on the doorstep waiting for them to get me my change.
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#69 Old 04-28-2012, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Shyvas View Post

I think that is what a lot of us are trying to point out and not comme across as stingy, ungrateful customers !

Does anybody know what salary a waite/ress earns in an average restaurant in the US, working on a full time basis ?

It depends on a lot of things, especially on how "by the book" your employer is.

If you're a bartender, you might be lucky if you get a shift-pay or hourly-rate at all. If you do get one, it's about $2-3/hour in my area. If you're a server (e.g., waiter), you'll be lucky to get $4-5/hour.

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#70 Old 04-28-2012, 10:04 AM
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If you sat at my table for an hour and didn't tip, I got paid less than $2.83 (due to taxes) for the service I provided you.

To expand upon that for those who don't know this...Wait staff have to pay income tax on the tip you are expected to receive, even if you left no tip. So they have to pay to wait on you. I think this is the dumbest system possible but it's not the solution to make the wait staff pay to wait on me. These are generally people low or at the bottom of the economic scale. It's not like you're affecting a rich person whose life doesn't change one iota if you tip or not. These people need it for food, gas and rent.

Making them pay does nothing to change the system--it punishes the victims of it (not the right word but I can't think of another word). I have options to change the system, such as lobbying my legislators or refusing to patronize such establishments. Once I walk through the restaurant door I have accepted the terms of their business and will tip them unless they do a bad job.

On the subject of foreigners...I live a few hrs the border of Canada. We used to often get busloads full of Canadians, unannounced, between meals when there was a skeleton crew on. I was supposed to be scrubbing the kitchen at that time so I'd have to stay late. They would leave 1 "loonie" which was worth $.75, not enough to reimburse me for my cost of waiting on them. Sometimes the bus driver would leave the "loonie" and tell the rest of the tables he covered the tip!

And to top it off, those coins cannot be spent here exchanged in US banks--paper money only. So I'd have to drive to Canada to even spend them.

Wait staff have to deal with hideous customer behavior, do backbreaking work, sometimes pay ancillary staff and reimburse employers for nonpaying customers, and pay to wait on people. For me it was a deep hole of poverty I couldn't get out of. I'd have some good days but they barely balanced out the bad days.

Some times of the year I made more and the winters were brutal. Sometimes I'd go home with $7 in winter, having been paid $2.12 per hour for 6 hours. So I worked through the busy season then quit.

It is my position that such jobs are nearly slavery.

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#71 Old 04-28-2012, 10:09 AM
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To expand upon that for those who don't know this...Wait staff have to pay income tax on the tip you are expected to receive, even if you left no tip. So they have to pay to wait on you.

I think this is the dumbest system possible but it's the solution to make the wait staff pay to wait on me. Making them pay does nothing to change the system--it punishes the victims of it (not the right word but I can't think of another word). I have options to change the system, such as lobbying my legislators or refusing to patronize such establishments. Once I walk through the restaurant door I have accepted the terms of their business and will tip them unless they do a bad job.

In the same breath, though, there will be resistance from the staff, themselves, especially those who work in high-grossing establishments.

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#72 Old 04-28-2012, 10:24 AM
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I was a food server for a year and I noticed that food servers are extremely prejudiced. I can't tell you how many times I heard "[___] people are bad tippers" without any real evidence.

I waited tables while in college, and had a black male friend who also waited tables there with me. He said his family just does not tip because they say they don't have to, or want to. Even on a $100+ tab, he said they refuse to tip more than $3.
To clarify, that us one family in the south, not necessarily indicative of anyone else, but the trend was noted around here. Also, whites and others are also ****ty tippers. Not just one race. Just to be politically correct.

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#73 Old 04-28-2012, 10:28 AM
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I only tip black people.

/thread won

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#74 Old 04-28-2012, 10:31 AM
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In the same breath, though, there will be resistance from the staff, themselves, especially those who work in high-grossing establishments.

That's probably why it's never changed, and maybe never will.

Earlier I meant to say: To expand upon that for those who don't know this...Wait staff have to pay income tax on the tip you are expected to give, even if you left no tip. So they have to pay to wait on you.

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#75 Old 04-28-2012, 11:14 AM
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i don't give much of my time to tables full of foreigners because 99% of the time, they never tip at all, not even poorly. does that mean i hate foreigners? no, just means i'm not going to put much time into tables i know i'm going to end up losing money on. when you don't tip, i still have to tip out the kitchen, the bussers and the runners on your table. so a table full of drunk australians is going to cost me, personally, out of my money, 15$ when they leave me nothing. you've got to prioritize when you're responsible for 100 other drunks for 12 - 16 hours a day. i'm never rude, i never assume black people are coatchecks (what the **** is that about?), but i'm quick, pick up their orders, drop them off quick, etc. i'm just not personable. i introduce myself, list off the specials, get their drinks and move on. i've got to cut corners where i can, and that's nothing personal, that's just the job. black women are also more... hostile towards me than others are, and sometimes are astonishingly rude to me first. my top five worst waitress experiences in my entire (almost!!! ****!) 10 years of waiting tables have all been black women. black women have driven me to drink on the job, burst into tears, throw money on their table and quit my job on the spot. that doesn't mean all black women are ****ty tippers.

For me, I will give everyone equal service because I want to know if I didn't get tipped because they're cheap/rude or if it was because I didn't give it my all. I also don't assume they'll tip bad because for all I know, they work in the food industry and are great tippers. In terms of foreigners, the biggest bill I was ever stiffed on came from a family from the UK. The bill was $200, they didn't leave anything. Cost me easily $18 out of pocket to wait on them.

In terms of hostility, I've gotten the most from black females as well. I've never given attitude either, it's always completely unprovoked. I'm very friendly with all of my customers and go above and beyond when I can. A month ago, this lady was super mean to me because she ordered her sandwich wrong. When she asked me what was on it, I listed the 2 things. She said no on one and yes on the other. When her food came out, she freaked out that there was mayo on it. I apologized because I was thinking she might have ordered it without mayo too, but then I looked at my notes and remembered she said YES to the mayo. When I was leaving for the day and she was still there, she commented "Oh, they're sending Heather home because she can't take orders right?" This is after she yelled at me and told me to leave her table. Yeah, beyond rude. Same lady was talking to her friend about church too.

Every single black server I've worked with said the same thing: black people are the worst tippers. One of them even told the hostess "If you seat me with black people, I'm going to come up here and raise hell." I know people get treated differently based on their race when they go out because I've had numerous families/couples compliment me to the manager because of my service, like they weren't used to receiving it. Every time though, I only got 15%. Honestly though, I'd rather have polite people who give me 15% than rude people who give me 20%.
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#76 Old 04-28-2012, 02:15 PM
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For someone living in the UK where we have a minimum wage it seems like it is the companies and restaurant owners who are stiffing the staff. Why are they allowed to get away with paying such low wages to their employees so that they have to rely on the customers to get a decent income? It seems so unfair.

Agree.

Our minimum wage is $12.50 per hour over here, and that would be Mc Donalds workers, supermarket workers etc... restaurant workers would earn more than that, unless it was a sort of budget restaurant.

Now that I have read this thread I kind of want to tip more.
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#77 Old 04-28-2012, 02:47 PM
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http://www.buzzle.com/articles/tippi...the-world.html

Looking at this right now. For me, I think that the best system is like the one in Italy, where there is a "service charge" automatically added to the bill. Then you can enjoy your meal and not even have to think about tipping at all.

Quote:
Tipping Etiquette in Australia and New Zealand
You are not really expected to tip in Australia. If you wish, you can leave a tip of 10% to the waiter/waitress.

New Zealand
In New Zealand it is not customary to leave a tip though a tip is given as a token of appreciation to the waiter/waitress.

As you can see, all pretty casual in this part of the world...
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#78 Old 04-28-2012, 05:58 PM
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A month ago, this lady was super mean to me because she ordered her sandwich wrong. When she asked me what was on it, I listed the 2 things. She said no on one and yes on the other. When her food came out, she freaked out that there was mayo on it. I apologized because I was thinking she might have ordered it without mayo too, but then I looked at my notes and remembered she said YES to the mayo. When I was leaving for the day and she was still there, she commented "Oh, they're sending Heather home because she can't take orders right?" This is after she yelled at me and told me to leave her table. Yeah, beyond rude. Same lady was talking to her friend about church too.

Are you kidding? I would have cried. I had a customer try to humiliate me in front of other customers like that once, and after I was done helping him I went in the back room and started sobbing. I was being so insanely nice to him, and he was just a huge jerk. Even his wife/girlfriend called him out on it.

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#79 Old 04-29-2012, 12:41 AM
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http://www.buzzle.com/articles/tippi...the-world.html

Looking at this right now. For me, I think that the best system is like the one in Italy, where there is a "service charge" automatically added to the bill. Then you can enjoy your meal and not even have to think about tipping at all.


...

Not only in Italy but also in many European countries including France. Service charges are included in the bill.

I was wondering how much would a waiter/ess earn per month in a standard restaurant in the US ?
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#80 Old 04-29-2012, 12:52 AM
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Not only in Italy but also in many European countries including France. Service charges are included in the bill.

I was wondering how much would a waiter/ess earn per month in a standard restaurant in the US ?

It really depends on a lot of factors. The thing about waiting tables is that you not only have to be good, you have to be serving in a restaurant that makes a lot of money and has a good reservation book, which can depend on type of restaurant and locale. In my city, if you work at a popular or frequented restaurant and work enough shifts each week, you can probably make between $1000-2000/month--more if you work at one of the higher-end restaurants.

It also depends on the job market, too. If all the good restaurants have servers, you could be the best waiter there is and might work at a place where you barely pull in more than $50/night.

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#81 Old 04-29-2012, 01:00 AM
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It really depends on a lot of factors. The thing about waiting tables is that you not only have to be good, you have to be serving in a restaurant that makes a lot of money and has a good reservation book, which can depend on type of restaurant and locale. In my city, if you work at a popular or frequented restaurant and work enough shifts each week, you can probably make between $1000-2000/month--more if you work at one of the higher-end restaurants.

It also depends on the job market, too. If all the good restaurants have servers, you could be the best waiter there is and might work at a place where you barely pull in more than $50/night.

That isn't bad compared to many salaries in Europe. How many hours per week would that be ?
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#82 Old 04-29-2012, 01:10 AM
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That isn't bad compared to many salaries in Europe. How many hours per week would that be ?

It would depend on the restaurant. Usually they're long shifts like 9 - 6 and 6 - close.

But you should remember we're still talking about a small number of restaurants that are doing well versus the whole service industry. There are a lot more restaurants that are floundering in the US these days and there are a lot of servers who aren't making that kind of money I wrote about. I was writing about the potential income given good conditions a server could earn.

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#83 Old 04-29-2012, 01:22 AM
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It would depend on the restaurant. Usually they're long shifts like 9 - 6 and 6 - close.

But you should remember we're still talking about a small number of restaurants that are doing well versus the whole service industry. There are a lot more restaurants that are floundering in the US these days and there are a lot of servers who aren't making that kind of money I wrote about. I was writing about the potential income given good conditions a server could earn.

We have the same situation in Europe where many restaurants and businesses are barely surviving due to the recession. Shops and on-line sellers are giving continuel discounts to spending shy consumers.

In France the average net salary is €1600 per month. I my-self have a full time skilled job and make much less than this sum.
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#84 Old 04-29-2012, 01:30 AM
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We have the same situation in Europe where many restaurants and businesses are barely surviving due to the recession. Shops and on-line sellers are giving continuel discounts to spending shy consumers.

In France the average net salary is €1600 per month. I my-self have a full time skilled job and make much less than this sum.

Do you get health benefits? Vacation days? Sick days? Waitstaff in the US, with rare exception, are not entitled to any of these.

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#85 Old 04-29-2012, 01:36 AM
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Do you get health benefits? Vacation days? Sick days? Waitstaff in the US, with rare exception, are not entitled to any of these.

Yes we do. I have 27 days plus an extra 2 that the firm allows due to their policy. 45 days of sick leave. We also have automatic health insurance as 21% of the salary is deducted to cover the latter.
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#86 Old 04-29-2012, 01:56 AM
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Yes we do. I have 27 days plus an extra 2 that the firm allows due to their policy. 45 days of sick leave. We also have automatic health insurance as 21% of the salary is deducted to cover the latter.

In the US, if you're a server and you're sick, you lost a shift and income. If you want a vacation, you give up shifts and income. No restaurants (except, MAYBE a national chain--I'm not sure, I've never worked for one) offer health insurance or any other kind of benefits.

And like I said, it can be a lucrative business to be in but for the majority of people, it's not. Looking up the median salary of a server in the US for 2010, according to the Dept of Labor, it's about $1500/month or 1100 Euros. But we're talking about a yearly median, not monthly, so it's not really rational to talk about a server's pay in terms of monthly income as that will vary considerably depending upon the season.

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#87 Old 04-29-2012, 02:22 AM
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In the US, if you're a server and you're sick, you lost a shift and income. If you want a vacation, you give up shifts and income. No restaurants (except, MAYBE a national chain--I'm not sure, I've never worked for one) offer health insurance or any other kind of benefits. And like I said, it can be a lucrative business to be in but for the majority of people, it's not. Looking up the median salary of a server in the US for 2010, according to the Dept of Labor, it's about $1500/month or 1100 Euros. But we're talking about a yearly median, not monthly, so it's not really rational to talk about a server's pay in terms of monthly income as that will vary considerably depending upon the season.

This is another issue that is difficult for Europeans to understand; the health system. What happens to someone who doesn't have health insurance and they become seriously ill ? Would they end up dying of an illness because they can't pay for health care ?

Basically everyone is entitled to benefit overhere. It doesn't mean that everything is free of charge. Overhere if you don't have an extra health insurance plan you do pay out of your pocket for certain medical expenses.
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#88 Old 04-29-2012, 03:37 AM
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Here we have a public health system thingy. I buy private insurance though. These are private insurance companies which dont go through employers. In fact, none of it does.
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#89 Old 04-29-2012, 03:39 AM
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Here we have a public health system thingy. I buy private insurance though. These are private insurance companies which dont go through employers. In fact, none of it does.

Where is here ?
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#90 Old 04-29-2012, 03:54 AM
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Also, those US salaries are *including* tips. The servers are taxed on the expected tip income, so as discussed above, they actually lose money if not tipped. Without tips, in my state, they usually make $2.40 an hour salary.

I am stunned at 28 days vacation plus 40 something sick days? That is very generous compared to jobs here.
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