Welcome/Difference Between “Server” and “Waiter”

Posted: May 19, 2011 in Serving
Hey guys, how’s it going!? Just a quick heads up that this blog is mainly about life as a server/working in a restaurant, though I will add other topics if I feel like it.  Though it is mainly for those who have that profession, I’m hoping to gather a larger audience to educate not only the people who work in the food industry but also the people who visit restaurants. 
For this first post, I’d like to take a moment to clarify the difference between a “server” and a “waiter”.  First off, a waiter get’s paid minimum wage and does NOT get to keep their tips but receives a paycheck.  A server, on the other hand, only get’s paid $2.13/hr (at least in the state of Texas) but keeps their tips.  Since the hourly wage is so minimal, servers rarely get more than $20 paychecks as the $2.13/hr wage is barely enough to cover taxes.  As far as I know, very few, if any, food establishments still retain waiters, as having servers are cheaper for the restaurant.
Now, with that being said, it is left up to the guests/customers to compensate said server for services rendered.  By all means, this doesn’t mean bad service should be rewarded.  It is the servers job to make sure that you, the guests, enjoy your experience and everything you need is taken care of.  It is your job to ensure that the server is compensated for the work he/she is doing.  Also keep in mind, that the server doesn’t get to keep all the tip you leave.  Most restaurants have a system called tip share where the bussers, hostesses, bar tenders etc… get a portion of a servers tip, usually based on the amount a server  sells.
Believe it or not, servers have good memories (for the most part) and will remember good tippers and bad tippers, and will tell other employees.  If you fall into the later category, don’t be surprised if the next time you visit said restaurant your service isn’t up to par because, from a servers point of view, they’re not going to go out of their way to make you happy when they know it’s not gonna be worth it.
  1. Jim Collins says:

    No Sir a Waiter or Waitress is a seasoned veteran and a professional making the same $2.13 +tips and a waiter knows the wine list by heart and the first thing a waiter does when they come in 30 mins early is invite the chef outback to share a joint and discuss the specials, how many portions, so you know when they’ll be 86’d what wine the chef recomends for the dish and what to push on the unsophisticated so the chef can make room without taking a loss. End of the night a waiter sends a round to the kitchen. A server is a kid in college paying for school, beer,car insurance or whatever but a server is doing it temporarily to “build character” as fathers are wont to say.I have known great servers and lousy waiters but for waitstaff it is a profession and sadly a dying one as corporate demons take all the individuality from everyone,we MUST FIGHT THEM for the sake of a once noble profession slowly fading like the god pan dying from neglect. I would love to hear from all sides.

  2. ihide65 says:

    I was a server until I was 28 years old, supporting my family and paying my bills. Granted, there is a stereotype about servers just working through college and partying but most of the time that isn’t the whole truth. Ok, I’ll give you 50/50. As far as Texas is concerned, the above post is true.

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