Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Why would anyone want to wait tables??

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I am sure some people wonder why ANYONE would choose to wait tables for a living as opposed to something more "respectable". You don't need a college degree to it. It SEEMS easy, right? You write down orders, bring out food, fill drinks, and collect money. Isn't it just glorified fast food work?

If you think that, then you have never worked for tips before.

Yes, it can be a thankless job. You walk up to a table and greet your guests only to have them barely nod at you. They send you back three times for drinks because each soda flavor tastes flat. (It doesn't matter that you told them before that they ALL will be flat because the carbonation comes from the same place.) They take plates out of your hands or grab things off your tray. They "one more thing" you to death (sending you on four trips what could have been taken care of in one) They sit and visit long after closing, making you miss valuable sleep, study, or family time. Then they leave you a tip that doesn't even make it worth it the time you lost. You never know if you are going to make 1000 dollars that week, or 300 dollars. Those are some of the downsides to waiting tables.

The upsides are numerous. You can make wonderful money in a short amount of time. Depending on the state you live in, you can make anywhere from $2.13 per hour or $8.00 per hour, depending on wage and labor laws. When you count tips, you can average about $20.00 per hour. YOU have some control over your income. You can work as many or as few hours as you choose. Most people do not mind tipping well for good service, so if you are a thorough conscientious server, you can make excellent tips. Some servers complain that they never have enough money to pay their bills, so they want to give it up and go get a "real job" with a real paycheck. Good luck with that. I used to think that I never made money as well until I started keeping track of my tips when I was buying my home. I was amazed at what I ended up making in a month. Keep a tip journal and be amazed. When I was working at a moderately busy family owned eatery, I was making an average of $700 per week. It simply did not seem possible. There were days I left work, having made only $50. I made the majority of my cash on the weekends. I averaged almost $400 on a good weekend. $100 per shift was the average weeknight dinner shift. I compared notes with some of my college friends who actually finished college and were embarking on wonderful careers...and I made more money than many of them. In addition to that, my work was enjoyable and I could leave it at work when it was time to go home. Any problems disappeared as soon as I clocked out.

Once, I got a good routine going that worked for me....the work became enjoyable and easy. It is perfect for a college student. You can make decent money in a short shift. (most serving shifts are 6 hours or less). It is cash in your pocket daily and you won't go hungry.

Of course it is not for everyone. If you think you are just going to write down orders, plop down plates of food, and walk home with pockets full of cash...you are sadly mistaken. Keep reading to see if you have what it takes.

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