Restaurant Staff Decides To Work For Tips Only To Save Business – Would You?

I just saw on the news this morning that 17 waitstaff workers at a pancake house in Michigan have told their boss that they will be working for tips only in order to help keep the place in business. Of course, along with this, they also get to keep their jobs too! And once their customers heard about this, they stepped up to the plate and started leaving bigger tips, as without the waitstaff doing this their favorite place might not be in business anymore. So my question to you is – would you do it too? I think I would if A. everyone else was doing it and B. it was a small, family-owned local business that my community patronized often. What do you think?

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Comments (13)

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  1. Paul says:

    No I would not. RAISE YOUR PRICES! If people are willing to leave bigger tips then raise your prices and PAY your employees. I think tipping is stupid to start with. The restaurant should charge more and pay better. If I don’t like the service I won’t be back. Leaving bad tip does nothing.

  2. Jennifer says:

    Sure, if I lived in MI. They only have to pay them like $2.83/hr anyway. I’d rather take a “pay cut” of $20/day than have no job at all.

  3. david says:

    Paul, raising prices guarantees your customers pay more, which means they might not come in any more at all. Tipping is optional, so they can choose what to leave.

  4. david says:

    Jennifer, most places pay waitstaff around that same amount, so it would be the same almost anywhere else as well.

  5. Chris says:

    I would. I worked as a server about 4 years ago, and we made about $2.13 an hour. In two weeks I would make a little over $100 before taxes, which took up most of it because you pay taxes on wages and tips. So really, it seems like a small price to pay to keep your job in a bad economy where work is getting harder to find.

    Good to see that customers are will to chip in the difference. I wouldn’t doubt it if the employees are coming out at about the same that they usually would. After all, they only have to make an extra $2 an hour.

  6. Paul says:

    Who cares? People will either go or not. If I have to add 15% to my bill raise your prices 15% and pay your employees. I don’t go to the grocery store and pay less and then decide if the cashier should be tipped for doing his/her job. So why should it be that way for restaurants? Lets stop paying everyone. Lets see how much we all get tipped. Again the concept of tipping is stupid. PAY THE EMPLOYEES! and charge what you have to charge to do so. If people can not afford it. Then they shouldn’t be eating out anyways. There should be NO special minimum wage for Waiters/Waitresses. Heck there should be no minimum wage. If someone is willing to work for $1 a hour you should be able to pay them that. When no one shows up for the job paying $1 the employer will be forced to pay more.

    Me I will take no job over a pay reduction, unless there was a written guarantee returning me to my prior pay level + raises, when the economy turns around. Employers love this. They can ask for 10/20/30% pay cut and NEVER return that money to you when the company is doing well again.

    NO one and I NO ONE will look out for your interests if you don’t. Working for free, given up paid time off cost you and makes the employer money. Sure they’ll say thanks. I don’t want their thanks, I want that which I have earned. Thanks are worthless.

  7. david says:

    I am sorry you are so angry about this Paul. That was not the point of the article; the point was if anyone would take a pay cut to save their company and their job. I most certainly would if I believed in the company and my ability to survive and recover.

    Thanks are worth a lot in my book, but then again I only work for myself.

  8. Paul says:

    Businesses/Companies exists for one reason only. To make money. Part of the cost of doing business is paying you employees. I am not angry. I feel here again is another place where the government has over stepped and in its attempt to socialize us has depended people get paid a minimum of $X per hour. Again supply and depend should set the wages not the government. If you or any one else is willing to work for free so someone else can make money. Go for it. I never will. I work I get paid what I negotiated for. You want to now renegotiated to pay less? Too bad. I will stop working for you and go somewhere else. I might take the pay cut else where since supply and demand will dictate that. But I will not give it to the current employer. You hired me, You decided I was worth X. Because you can not competently run your company does not mean I am worth less. Therefore you pay me or I move on. Business goes under oh well. More people looking for work then. That’s life.
    When I can buy something with a thanks it will have value. Until then it is worthless. No matter who you work for yourself or someone else. You can not pay your mortgage with a thanks.

  9. Charles in Vancouver says:

    Wouldn’t do it in Canada. In some provinces there is a differential between minimum wages for serving staff and all other employees but it’s not huge. For example Ontario is presently $8.75/hour ($9.50 starting March 1st) but $7.60 for liquor servers ($8.35 starting March 1st). BC has a lousy “new worker” wage of $6 and then after 500 hours of lifetime work it goes up to $8, but there is no lower amount for servers.

    So that’d be a significant chunk of money to give up.

  10. tom says:

    I think it’s a great idea and even better that it was the employees idea.

  11. Truck trader says:

    wow thats really good thinking and support from the staff workers …

    i really appreciate their support towards saving the restaurant or their business.

  12. on the fence says:

    I am a server and havent been paid in three weeks, so basically am working for free and really dont like it. I do make great tips, and thankful for my job, but part of me is pissed off and makes me not really care about my job. If they can spend money on other stuff why cant they pay me?

  13. Ronda says:

    I don’t believe Paul has ever owned his own business. My employees work for tips too, to help us out. In small communities like ours, if we raised prices in our restaurant, people could not afford it. Besides, if no one is asking Paul to only work for tips, what should it matter to him and I didn’t read anything in the article that said the owner asked the employees to only work for tips. That was their choice and their hearts are in what they do. They must really love their jobs, customers and boss. Bless them all. I hope this place is still in business. Paul – chill out. It is our government that sets the standard for working as a waitress or waiter. In our state, we only have to pay them $2.13 per hour but they must claim all the tips they make in a year and pay taxes on them. If they don’t make enough in tips and what we pay them an hour, in a day, then we, the employer, must put in the extra to bring their hourly wage to meet the national minimum wage rate. If the restaurant is not busy enough for the waitress to make enough tips and pay to equal minimum wage, where do you think the employer will get it. The government did not offer any buy outs to all the Mom and Pop business in the USA that try to keep their communities going and doing it by not ripping off customers as you state they should do by raising all the prices.