The Great Hall
Servers making more than chefs/cooks? The Great Hall: Servers making more than chefs/cooks?
By Starp (Starp) on Tuesday, October 02, 2001 - 12:07 pm: Edit

I recently came across a bulletin board where they
were discussing how much restaurant employees earn.
I was a bit surprised to find out that
waiters/waitresses can--and it seems, often--earn
more than the chefs/cooks. I've heard high five to six
figure incomes mentioned. Is this scenario strictly
reserved for the creme de la creme restaraunts, or is
this more common? Doesn't this seem out of whack?

By Cheftim (Cheftim) on Tuesday, October 02, 2001 - 12:47 pm: Edit

Servers are paid minimum wage by the house, some places pay less. There real money come from tips. Figure a server is tipped somewhere between 10% to 20% of their sales. Cooks are paid strictly by the hour, by the house at what ever rate. It may be out of whack but it's a fact of life.

A cook knows what he's going to get at the end of the week a server is dependent on the whims of others, as much as servers may deny it, tips are voluntary.

It's a generalization but most cooks wouldn't make good servers and most servers would make good cooks. If your good at both you'll become a manager of some kind and work for salary.

By Thebaker (Thebaker) on Tuesday, October 02, 2001 - 03:16 pm: Edit

My girlfriend makes more than me,
And she is the waitress at the place I work,

Of course she does works more hours than me,
and it's not always the same pay while mine is the same whether we are slow or busy

By George (George) on Tuesday, October 02, 2001 - 03:20 pm: Edit

Hey Tim this is a misspell right?
"It's a generalization but most cooks wouldn't make good servers and most servers would make good cooks."

You meant most servers would NOT make good cooks.

By Cheftim (Cheftim) on Tuesday, October 02, 2001 - 04:33 pm: Edit

Yes that is a misspelling

Let me correct myself;

It's a generalization but most cooks wouldn't make good servers and most servers would not make good cooks. If your good at both you'll become a manager of some kind and work for salary.

By Peachcreek (Peachcreek) on Wednesday, October 03, 2001 - 09:48 am: Edit

Yes, Starp, the waitstaff of the restaurant DO make more than the kitchen staff. And I can't tell you how many years I have heard the lame excuse that the "reliable pittance" that the higher paid kitchen workers makes is somehow better than the hit-or-miss nature of tips. When my asst. mgr moved away, my advice was not to get a cooking job, but to be a waiter. O.K. So he is not honing his culinary skills, but he does make at least DOUBLE what the cooks make. And that is at a pancake house! A real no-brainer! AND since he meets so many people, he was offered a job at a better place by someone whose table he waited. The tips at his new job? $30.00+ per hour. My thought is that if chefs knew how stupidly easy it is to wait tables,(and yes, I do wait tables) there would be no one left to cook the food.
Let me tell you the story about the three ditzy ladies and their nine toddlers.....Piece of cake.

By Thebaker (Thebaker) on Wednesday, October 03, 2001 - 06:31 pm: Edit

There is no way in Hell I would ever want to wait on tables,

You could not pay me enough to deal with some of the junk I hear people pull.

Leave me alone and in the kitchen.......

By Peachcreek (Peachcreek) on Wednesday, October 03, 2001 - 08:09 pm: Edit

Its like everything else-you hear about the one bad customer that day, not the other 99 that were totally cool. I started waiting tables when I owned a small cafe. My first table scared the heck out of me and I almost burned the kitchen down as I cooked and waited tables at the same time. It got easer from there. These days I'm pretty much bulletproof. I also do all of the basic cooking, and know the food is excellent. A good product sells itself. It is up to the salesperson to give good customer service and be knowlegable about the product.
Come to think of it, years ago I was in a conversation with a waiter at a high-end seafood place I worked at. The guy was by far the easiest for the kitchen to work with, he sold well, and would actually take the time to understand the nightly menu. Maybe the best waiter I have ever met. He was an ex-broiler guy from Palm Springs. We had a talk about how EVERY exceptional waitstaff either of us had worked with had had prior kitchen experience. It is still true today.
I have been running the kitchen line the last year or so with only a smattering of waiting. I miss it. Every now and then I take a table or two when the waitstaff is swamped and I am caught up on my stuff. And caterings-but they don't count. Thats like showing up at some persons' party and having something to do.

By Tmarta (Tmarta) on Thursday, October 04, 2001 - 06:21 pm: Edit there a real story or not?
I have a small place, do selling for the bakery as well as the cooking for the restaurant and a little table waiting, but I avoid it if possible. I want to create. I don't have a lot of people-patience. I had made an unnamed potato fluff this weekend and a woman leaned over and told her mother-in-law that it as "Potatoes Benedict"!!!
I actually enjoy most of the catering jobs, though. The people are usually enhtusiastic and excited about the occasion. They are also easily led! I enjoy pleasing them, but the table work is grating on the nerves.

By Thebaker (Thebaker) on Thursday, October 04, 2001 - 06:26 pm: Edit

I agree with you Tmarta.

Its not one customer that makes me feel this way,

It's that I dont like being out with people..
I worked retail for a few years and had my fill of people,,,,

Some people just like it but it's not for me..

And by the way. I have helped out in the dining room and been told im great with the customers..

By Peachcreek (Peachcreek) on Sunday, October 07, 2001 - 11:18 am: Edit

I had to fire a waitstaff Saturday afternoon, and just ended up finishing the shift myself. The person was one of several new hires for the upcoming busy season, and even though they had prior waiting experience, they couldnt seem to do the work. I told them "You do really well till the customers show up, then you just fall apart".
I get the feeling that anyone with clean fingernails can apply for a server job and get one, most places.

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