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I was a server for over 8 years.  Reading all 16 of these comments I think what I've suspected is true. 1)The general knowledge of the server in regards to their job, "tip etiquette", and general wage/tip ratio justification has declined severely. (I was a server from 91-99) 2)Everyone ignores inflation in this thread.  Sure the wage hasn't increased but the check sizes DO increase. In fact, you have one of the only jobs left today that has BUILT IN security against inflation.  3)Tips and percentages aren't known anymore by servers. [according to these comments] Ready? and this isn't subject to change EVER regardless if you are paid $10.00/hr on top of tips.. got it???!  10% for lunch. 15% for exceptional service.  15% for dinner, 20% for exceptional service.  Why do you think imposed gratuity (like "parties of 6 or more includes gratuity) is 18%??? Because that's right in the middle.  I was at Hyde Park, the server was a flamaing asshole and we were a party of 12.  So he knew he had his 18% coming and he took a complete SHIT on our table.  I was eating my $45 steak when everyone else was eating desert and he had a complete lack of giving a shit.  I asked for the manager and he backed the server.  They were NOT going to comp the steak.  I said to both of them "If you can tell me why I come here and drop $200 on a single meal with my spouse as opposed to $60 at outback for the both of us, I will hand you each $200 cash"  They couldn't answer.  The server said "the atmosphere?" NOPE.  The manager said "the kitchen?"  NOPE.  I pointed to the server.  I said "YOU. You're the only reason I come back. And you treated me and my friends like shit.  I can get that treatment at denny's and I can get a good steak at home.  BE THE REASON I stay not the reason I never come back. "  When I worked at the cooker, there was a sign on the door of the kitchen as you walked out " A person will share their good experience here with a friend, and a bad one with 20"  It's fing true.  Stop whining because if the $5/hr difference you are clammering for is going to make your life from food stamps and struggle to TRUMP TOWER LIVING!!! Woohooo! then you have much bigger problems with yourself than a job issue.  I think $3.50 would be an appropriate change to the server minimum wage. 

There are two problems with what people here are expecting.
1)It is not as simple as "you need to make at least $7.25/hr even if you get stiffed"  the fact is, you can go to McDonald's, work much less and make more according to the gripe.. We both know that isn't true.  So how do you police the server's income?  The IRS couldn't even track that.  Because I as a restaurant owner would need to know what you made to compensate you the difference in hourly rate.  For example, $20 shift? Ok, you just went up to $5.80/hr that day.  $5 shift? okay $7.25/hr.. $100 shift? okay $2.13/hr... that's too complicated with how wait staff are, the number of them etc...

2)Even if a system could be worked out, essentially you are looking for a base pay to ensure a minimum wage. Even if what you say is true and you are making $1 a week, Getting the hourly national min wage would be OVER paid.  It needs adjusting.  Again $3.50 calculates to be the most accurate increase.  If you compare this to let's say a corp sales job, they don't get paid a fucking thing. 100% commission. (most)

3)You make cash (tax free money) and that's being ignored.  $10,000 a year tax free is the same as $15,000 taxed.  Yes you claim 8% but your credit card income is at least that.

4)You don't HAVE to live under those conditions and $5/hr won't change a thing.  You can work hard or you can work smart.  (lady in NY you are retarded tipping out nearly 40%... I've only ever had to tip out 10% to bus or bar.. period.  work somewhere else. You may not find a job but you can ALWAYS walk into ANY restaurant and work.. we all know this... )  Here is what I did.. 1)hostess gets $10 immediately when I walk in.  "I want a good section and no black patrons."  Call me racist until I die. I don't hate black people but if I am a server, yeah I hate your tables because YOU DO NOT TIP. The biggest tip in 8 years I got from a table of people who happened to be black was $2 on $56.80  It was an older couple about 60yrs old or so on their wedding anniversary.  And I know it's not b/c I am white. I worked with 3 black servers at that place and they would bitch constantly about getting stiffed by black patrons.  It's just a cultural practice and nothing more.  They just don't believe in tipping.
So now, I am not, for the most part getting stiffed.  2)Busser. I made real friendly with the busser.  Look they are over worked, understaffed. there are going to be tables servers have to clear themselves. I am not going to be that server. Not out of laziness at all, out of time... I cannot flip as many tables if I am bussing my own.  $10 up front, made personal friendships with the best one.
Guess what, Shawn the guy I buddied with? He would ask me constantly what I made, or how the night was.. why? because he trusted me and knew some of the girls were stiffing him.  Guess what he did? Blew off their tables.  Literally I grab a tip or check and before I could come back the table is reset.  THAT was golden.  worth the 15% loss between the two of them.  I literally experimented once and found I made about 28%-35% less doing it on my own or just doing the required 10%.  Lastly, the other guy, you pay for half of the miscooks? Unless you signed something (depending on the state you are in) that's actually unlawful.  You could definitely get that money back should you reside in an at will state that has laws regarding "predatory business practices" and if they are writing off the entire meal (instead of half) with the IRS, that's tax fraud... I am pretty much willing to bet my children they are in violation of this and other FLSA guidelines.  Bottom line, which this thread CLEARLY demonstrates, as always in this country (USA) your well being is up to YOU not the government.  They want you to be dependent on them and require a socialist economy. More gov't equals less freedom, more gov't equals lower quality of life (I promise this)  I am sorry but until you go to Guatemala and live there for 5 years on your own steam and soak in the local life and take a big whiff of THEIR problems, you won't see how absurd it is that this article exists and there are people supporting the "I need my $ or I will die!" activists in here.  It's pathetic and embarrassing.  We used to be a country filled with people who ROSE to a challenge, not run from it or seek the tit of uncle scam....

STOP EMPOWERING THE RICH. do not take no for an answer ever in life, question everything and most of all, DO IT YOURSELF!

Friends and family. THEY are your minimum wage, they are your lift from poverty.  Love and treat others well, love yourself and never lie to yourself ever!! be true and just do not fall into the mindless droning of benign indifference that corporations and government lobbyists want.. The fact you try to make this happen is EXACTLY what they want.  The very "rob peter to pay paul" mentality of accomplishment is how the enrons of the world happen.  You are playing their game.  Corruption is extortiary in nature.

I know that's more involved than this simple article but it disturbs me to see people SO BLIND to the true path of success. The true path of resolving a wage issue.. asking for more, you probably will get it. (you won't get $7.25 trust me, maybe $5.15) but you are asking for a five dollar difference.  You can make up that difference at a lower unseen cost than this way.  Trust me.  And what then in 10 years? Another fight to hike it?  Restaurants are the hardest thing to run own operate and STAY open in.. VERY VERY hard business. Average life span is less than 5 years.  Trust me, reply on yourself first, then if for some reason you can't live your life properly without the extra $5, take it to the hill.. and best of luck.
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