Wait-staff pay

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When I read Brian O’Neill’s column about the low wages that wait staff in restaurants receive (“People Working for Tips in Restaurants Could Use a Raise,” May 8), I decided I needed to say something.

Some years ago, for 18 months, I waitressed in a restaurant in California. The restaurant was comparable to Eat’n Park or Denny’s. We got minimum wage in our paychecks and supplemented this by whatever tips were left by patrons.

When I returned to Pennsylvania I was shocked to learn that wait staff received less than whatever the current minimum wage is. The assumption seems to be that tips will bring the income of wait staff up to minimum wage. That is an assumption. In an expensive dinner house, wait staff will do very well. Otherwise, not so much. As Mr. O’Neill noted in the column, wait staff usually means waitresses.

We understand that waiting on tables does not require academic credentials. However, it does require energy, affability and tact. Watch your waitress the next time you eat in a restaurant. I always do.


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