Everyone in the United States is well aware that people who work jobs relying on tips are getting screwed over. Most of us have held those types of jobs at some point or another, and even though you can have some great days, not having a guarantee that you’ll make enough to get by regardless of how long or hard you work is stressful, demeaning, and downright unfair. Anyone who thinks otherwise is living in a world of delusion.
And at least one person with some level of control at a restaurant in Florida seems to be among them.
A sign posted on the door of the unnamed restaurant made its way to the internet, sparking renewed frustrations with the way the U.S. allows restaurant owners to shirk the minimum wage, passing the responsibility of payment on to the customer instead.
“Please remember to tip your server!” the sign began, which would have been fine in and of itself. But it continued: “Servers make state minimum wage, which is only $5.65/hr, most of which is taken away in taxes! They rely on your tips to make a living!”
Now, we don’t know who put the sign up. Maybe it was a server, frustrated with the lack of money coming in. Maybe it was approved by a sympathetic manager whose hands are tied when it comes to wages. But it definitely doesn’t make the restaurant look good, either way.
And a customer took to Facebook to call them out over it.
“You do know that it’s just a minimum wage requirement and you can take care of your employees right?” she wrote. “The server wage is bad enough as it is, but you don’t have to make it worse by trying to guilt your customers into overtipping when you could very easily take the markup you’re making on a side of potatoes alone ($3 if you’re curious) to pay a livable wage.
“Your staff is taking care of your restaurant, you’d think that you’d take [care] of your staff in return.”
The real trouble started when the restaurant’s social media decided to weigh in, saying it was “bold” of the customer to assume they “don’t take care of our own.”
“You should ask how our servers feel about us,” they wrote.
Of course, the flier itself admitted servers only make $5.65 an hour, which no one in their right mind would call being taken care of. Just because something is legal doesn’t make it right, after all.
“If your servers are happy with how you treat them, then you shouldn’t need to tell customers to tip,” the original poster fired back.
The post eventually got shared to Reddit, where people largely agreed that restaurants need to take some responsibility for the well-being of their staff, rather than begging customers to be extra generous.
“If only there was someone that had the power to change their wages,” u/Gullflyinghigh snarked. “Someone that could maybe choose to pay above minimum wage and take away tipping? Ah well, crazy talk.”
“So what do your workers need you for then? If I’m going to be paying them then this is my store now,” another user wrote.
The original poster later clarified that obviously we should all be tipping our servers anyway and that if the staff isn’t making enough money from tips, it’s the restaurant’s responsibility to pay them more.
“They are basically saying ‘tip our servers so we don’t have to pay them,’ in the tone of this flyer,” she wrote. “If there’s not a problem with your staff getting paid, why are you begging for tips?”