Waitress Receives No Tip on $187 Bill: A Harsh Reality of the Restaurant Industry

Working as a waiter or waitress in the restaurant industry can be challenging. Dealing with impatient and disrespectful customers, and standing on your feet all day are just some of the difficulties. However, perhaps the biggest issue is the low pay. In the United States, restaurant owners are allowed to pay their employees less than the federal minimum wage, with the expectation that they will receive tips.

In fact, in 21 states, servers are paid as little as $2.13 an hour before tips. Shockingly, a report in The Wall Street Journal revealed that nearly 15% of the nation’s 2.4 million waiters and waitresses live in poverty, compared to just 7% of all workers. They are also more likely to rely on public assistance and less likely to have access to paid sick leave or health benefits.

Unfortunately, despite the expectation of being tipped, there are customers who choose to be rude and tip below the standard 15% or even nothing at all. One such incident gained attention when waitress Taylar Cordova shared a bill online to raise awareness of the disrespectful treatment faced by restaurant workers.

The bill in question amounted to $187.43, yet Cordova received no tip. A standard tip of 15% would have been around $28.11. Her post about the incident has been shared more than 12,000 times, clearly striking a chord with many.

Cordova’s caption on the post revealed the frustration and hardship faced by many servers. She wrote, “This is the reason I work so much. This is why I cry in the shower. I struggle to provide for my daughter because of THIS. Whenever you feel like it’s probably fine to not tip your server, that’s one more bill stacking up because they’re short on money. This is food for the week that our families will go without because you didn’t think it was necessary, even after asking for everything under the sun and receiving it free of charge, mind you. Every decision has a consequence.”

It’s important to understand the reality of a server’s income. They typically earn a base pay of $2-5 per hour, depending on the employer. So when customers choose not to tip, regardless of the service they received, it severely impacts the server’s ability to support themselves and their family. Cordova urged customers to consider how they would manage on such a low income and questioned whether they could pay their bills and feed their family on that pay alone.

Fortunately, there is hope for servers in the future. Seven states, including New York, have already increased or eliminated the lower tipped minimum wage, and seven more are in the process of doing the same. This change is necessary as the restaurant industry continues to grow, with an estimated 12.9 million people working in the industry by the end of this year, making up 10% of the U.S. workforce.

It’s crucial to spread awareness about the challenges faced by restaurant workers and the importance of tipping. So please, share this article with your family and friends and remember to show your appreciation for the hard work of servers.