Thursday, October 23, 2008


I serve God, I serve my family, I serve at my church, and I serve at The Cheesecake Factory. I have heard a couple of Pastors speak about servers, whether it be treating them with respect, or tipping them well. Since I know all about it first hand, I have decided to point out the straight facts about serving, and offer some tips as well. If you get offended when you read this, you may want to re-think your gratuity strategy.

The Basics:
I make $3.13 an hour. I REPEAT, SERVERS MAKE $3.13 AN HOUR.

So do the bussers, food runners, and bartenders.
Every 2 weeks I get a paycheck that ranges from $10.00-$30.00. HENCE, We do not collect a paycheck.

Guess who pays the bussers, food runners and bartenders? The Servers do.
No matter what I receive in tips, I still have to pay out certain set percentages to everyone else. Therefore, When you stiff me, I still have to pay 2.2% of that sale to the busser, 1.2% to the bartender, and 1% to the food runner. So when you stiff someone, not only are they not making money, they are actually losing money.

In the year 2008, nothing less than an 18% tip is acceptable. That tip is average for satisfactory service.

If you sit at someones table for three hours, keep in mind that they could have turned that table over 2 more times after you, maybe even three, so please tip accordingly. Example: I had 2 men who hadn't seen each other since high school. They had photos, and stories, and were in no rush. As soon as they sat down, they said they would be a while, and they would take care of me. Their bill was $60.00, they were there a little over an hour, and they left a $20.00 tip. Nicely done.

Please treat servers with respect. They are hard working people just like you, and they hold your dining experience in their hands. There are reasons that people wait tables that you may not even think about. It's not necessarily lack of education or skills. Here are my reasons:

I make my own schedule.
If you want to work more, you pick up extra shifts on your time, in the sections that you want.
If you decide you do not want to work or can't work, people are always looking for shifts.
I can set my schedule to work when my kids are at their dads, so it doesn't interfere with my time with them at home.
I get to drive my kids to school, pick them up, and attend all school activities.
I leave with cash in my pocket each time I work.
I'm moving around, and busy, which is what works best for me. When I sit in one spot for too long, I get sleeeeepy.....
I can not speak for all restaurants, but The Cheesecake Factory is a money making restaurant.
This job is a good fit for me and my lifestyle for now as a second source of income.

When you are approached by your server, put your phone down, and look them in the face. No different than what you expect at your place of business. Teach your children to do the same.
Hopefully this post will help everyone better understand the 'Server' world. If you come in to The Cheesecake Factory to eat, come and see me. If your not a good tipper, give me a hug and go sit somewhere else. ;0)

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