About WW

Wiser waitress was first launched in 2009, after a broken leg, resulting from a hiking accident, suddenly forced a  unplanned vacation from waiting tables.   Thanks to a broken fibula, some free time , and a few friends ready to pitch in, the opportunity became available to write and reflect on a industry I had for so long relied on as my way of earning a living.

After a decade of waiting tables on the west coast, It was shocking  to discover servers in the South West are only paid $2.13 an hour.  Waiting Tables in San Francisco didn’t make me rich, but it did provide a living wage and kept me out of poverty.  I could pay my rent and save some money.  And  I earned enough to pay all my taxes owed on tips with my base wage. The minimum wage for a dishwasher was the same minimum wage for a server.

But upon arriving  into the waste land of $2.13 I discovered quickly the down side of the tip credit.  Not only did I experience a dramatic drop in my income, I found that there were many employers abusing the tip credit.  Not only were they taking the tip credit, thus allowing them to pay servers a small tiny wage of $2.13, they were also requiring these servers to share tips with back of the house employees, sometimes the whole staff.  And unfortunately , these employers were not the exception as I found the practice to be widespread and prevelant.   Nobody seemed to bother meeting the criteria  for taking a tip credit and  no one, including the wait staff often didn’t even know what that criteria was.   Tired of  seeing waitresses and waiters work in oblivion and employers taking advantage of their ignorance, I felt it was important to bone up on the rules of industry.

And so countless hours were farmed out to emails, phone calls, research and  interviews. Friends donated their time by editing, cross-referencing  or translating text in Spanish.  Our goal is to provide  answers, and attempt to  clear up  the widespread misconception, erroneous information  about  state and federal regulations among  policy makers, public officials, restaurant workers, and employers. And the process is not easy. We  encountered many state and federal workers who were also confused about the tip credit. Extracting  public information from these various agencies requires patience and a tenacious spirit.  But by raising questions, these public workers are forced to  become more aware of the laws and policies themselves.   And so it is believed that by pulling all this public policy information together,  wiserwaitress can  display a reference site not only for servers but everyone- diners, employers, public officials, teachers, and policy makers. Wiser waitress is in a nutshell,  an attempt to put both the years of others experience as well as my own in the industry to some good use and hopefully inspire everyone to at least question the existing policies that affect the U.S. tipping system and the dining experiene in the U.S. today.

Special thanks to to everyone who participated in editing this website

Country folk restaurant advocates Rural Northern NM (picture above)

Thank you!!!!!!!

Gina Ferrer, Yesika Medina, Katherine James, Carol Crews, Mindy, Christina, Jimena, Brandt Milstein, Micheal Blaha and everyone who has contributed to the humble beginnings of this blog.

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