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Member Since: Feb 22, 2007
Last Visit: Nov 24, 2015
Location: United States
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A Day in the Life of a Server
posted 9/12/2008 11:34:51 PM

I work at a popular restaurant in Peachtree City, GA as a waiter. I've been waiting tables for almost 3 years now, and I've already got stories to last me a life time.

So, lets get some things straight first. Waiters, for the most part, make somewhere around $2.13/hr. Yup. Thats it. And generally, our paychecks are zero dollars because, since the government can't tax the money we take home every night, they tax our paychecks even more.

Also, our job is NOT just taking your order down, and turning it in to the kitchen, refilling drinks, and briging your food out when it's ready. If we open, at my restaurant, we get there about an hour and a half before we open, fill up the ice bin, put the nozzels on the drink machine, pull the chairs down, make tea and coffee, put the expo well together (where we put the cheeze, butter, etc on your food), audit the previous days checks (make sure everyone rang everything in right), make sure there is bread in the oven, set up the tray jacks, and then sit back and psych ourselves up to a night of waiting on your every need.

Throughout the shift, we must replenish anything that runs out, keep the our part of the kitchen clean, help the bartenders get their food out, help our fellow servers get their food out because God knows every server in the restaurant is there only for YOU. It's not like we've got three to five other tables to deal with on top of our managers yelling at us to do our sidework and run food. We also have to be aware of how long our tables food is taking and when we need to turn in their salads and entree checks.

And if you're the lucky back of house closer you get to clean EVERYTHING in the server area of the kitchen, and put everything back to where it goes. If you're a good closer, you'll be out 30mins to an hour after close. If not..well, be prepared for a late night.

Front of house closers check everyones sections at the end of the night. They check the salt and peppers to see if their full, they count the coasters, menus, and sugar packets to make sure we put the right amount in. They check the floor and the chairs to make sure they're clean.

After that we have to do our numbers, we add up how much we sold via MC/Visa, Amex, Discover, Gift Cards, etc and then we get to tip out the bussers, the bartenders, and the hostess (because they also only make 2.13/hr) 1% each of our total sales. So, if I sell $500 one night, I have to tip our $15 dollars from my Tips.

So now you relize why we get up in arms when people don't leave us atleast 15%. If you don't tip us at ALL, we end up paying for you to eat in our section.

So, now that you have an idea of what we do every day, maybe you'll be a little kinder to your waiter/waitress the next time you go out.


"Someone once told me that time was a predator that stalked us all our lives, but I'd rather believe that time is a companion who goes with us on the journey, reminds us to cherish every moment...'cause they'll never come again. What we leave behind is not as important as how we've lived."
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