I recently just started my first serving job at a pub. It's one of my favorites, I love the food, I love the atmosphere, so I applied and got the job. I also love the job. I'm rusty at it because I'm only a month in, but I still enjoy what I'm doing.
However, there is so much that I didn't realize was attached to serving and the restaurant industry, and I really wish someone told me beforehand. So, I made a list in case someone else gets into my position.
You Will Not Just Be Serving
I wasn't told that's I'd be cleaning the ENTIRETY of front of house: sweeping and mopping—by myself. I found out my first day of training that we don't have a busboy and that the servers do all light bussing with extremely hot spray water and a sanitizing machine.
You will be constantly cleaning tables, replacing soda, getting ice, stacking cups, cleaning plates, etc...
I don't know why in my mind I thought there was someone hired specifically to do the cleaning, but I was wrong, and I found out this is very common at restaurants. The amount of work you do end up doing, you get up you 15,000 steps easily.
You Won’t Get Tips for Training
This was a strange concept to me. Training, I was paid minimum wage in my state—no tips for that week. Even though, I ended up taking on tables by myself by the end of the week—multiple tables—while my trainer sat and watched, she got those tips. Not me.
You don't split tips with your trainer when you're being trained, you just don't get them. It's weird, I still don't like it.
There Really Isn’t a Correlation Between Dressing “Slutty” and Getting Good Tips
I work at a pub where the dress code is the pub's tee-shirt, black booty shorts, and green knee-high socks. I haven't found any worthwhile evidence in my time that: no bra = more tips; or thigh high socks = more tips; or makeup = more tips. I've tried them all, it's not a thing.
On a Monday night where I dress “slutty", I got around the same amount of tips on a Monday where I didn't. Maybe you get a couple dollars more, but I haven't had tables leaving me $15 tip for a $20 meal because my nipples were poking through.
Like, everyone. The servers will be juuling constantly in the back of the house if they're not going outside to take an actual cigarette break. The cooks do, the bartenders do, everyone will smoke.
I don't know if they came to the restaurant addicted to nicotine like me, or if the job made them want to start. All I do know is every single one of my coworkers smokes and a lot of them have told me that it's the same restaurant-wide.
The Tips Really Don’t Compensate for the Amount of Work Put In
As I said in my first post, you'll be doing a lot of work, not just taking orders and bringing them out. On nights that are slow and I get maybe $30 in tips, I feel like shit. Because it's an eight-hour shift at $4.30 an hour giving me $34 for just being there and doing my job.
Add my tips, I get $64, which technically doesn't even reach my state's minimum wage. It feels gross knowing that you'll put in the same amount of work every shift, but some you just won't reach a normal wage with tips. It's days like that that make me feel under-appreciated at my work and for what I put in.
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