On Restaurants and Short Staff

Well I’m sure you all read of the well below expected job creation numbers for last month.  At the same time “small business” was wringing their collective hands over the inability to “return to normal” snd fully reopen their businesses.  Seems the unemployed refused to come back to work.


Well of cuorse Republicans in 12 states immediately concluded that the unemployed were being sapped of their “can do” attitude after a year of living on the dole.  Recall that the Feds increased unemployment insurance by $400 a week in the first pandemic go round then cut it to $300 in the second, which is set to expire in September.

Our friends on the right immediately argued the reason for the low job creation numbers was simply that the dole was to  lavish, encouraging the shiftless to stay home because they were making more money on unemployment than they did working full time at their shittly, low wage, no benefits jobs.

So a dozen red state Governors pulled the extra Federal unemployment benefit away from the lazy bastards leaving them only their state benefit.  That’s $275 a week in Alabama.  Maybe that will pay the rent and the lights.  You can go to a food bank to eat.

Now most of the small businesses crying about inability to hire staff are restaurants.  They constitute the fastest growing sector of the American economy and are by far the lowest paying in terms of cash salary and benefits.  Forget benefits; there are none.

The minimum wage in America is $8.75 an hour.  Unless of course you are a “tipped” employee whereupon virtually all states allow the owner to count a  certain percentage of your tips toward the minimum wage, effectively confiscating a portion of tips from the employee.

Tipped employees, such as waitresses and bartenders, may sometimes be paid a cash wage that is lower than the prevailing minimum wage through a system known as a tip credit.

In states that allow a tip credit, a certain amount of received tips per hour may be credited against the minimum wage by an employer, although the tipped employee must receive at least the minimum wage (with combined cash wage and tips) each hour.

So for example in Florida the minimum wage is $8.46 per hour.  If you are a waitress however it is assumed that you will receive $3.02 in tips. If you  do the restaurant needs to pay you only $5.44 an hour in cash salary.

In Alabama the minimum wage is $7.25 an hour with a tip schedule for restaurant workers of $5.12!  The owner need pay only $2.12in cash salary.

Oh listen to the restaurants cry that they need help!

So the 12 red state Governors decided to pull the Federal $300 a week extra in order to starve to rebellious restaurant workers into submission.  You WILL take that crappy job!

The pandemic has revealed a great many social conditions – always there but now more visible.

First of all, workers may not be returning to work because of child care requirements.  Schools haven’t all reopened to in class sessions and there may be no one to care for a child. This is a primary cause keeping women out of the work force.

Secondly the pandemic is not over.  Its getting better, but not over.  Working maskless right now in a crowded restaurant may not be everyone’s cup of tea.

And then of course, there is the money.  Many of the unemployed from crappy jobs now know what it is like to get a living wage.  And many refuse to go back to the old pre-pandemic days.

We have all heard Republicans spout economic principles for years.  The answer is right in front of them.

Restaurants need to raise wages. The is what economists tell us to do in order to attract employees.  “But small business/restaurants will need to shut down!”


Too many restaurants are only alive because they pay employees poverty  level wages.

They deserve to go out of business if they can’t pay a  living wage.  And if they can then pay up, attract quality employees and make a little less profit.

Stop whining to your Governor about the dole.  You’ve had your hand out much too long.  Minimum wage jobs is not the way to grow the American economy.


About toritto

I was born during year four of the reign of Emperor Tiberius Claudius on the outskirts of the empire in Brooklyn. I married my high school sweetheart, the girl I took to the prom and we were together for forty years until her passing in 2004. We had four kids together and buried two together. I had a successful career in Corporate America (never got rich but made a living) and traveled the world. I am currently retired in the Tampa Bay metro area and live alone. One of my daughters is close by and one within a morning’s drive. They call their pops everyday. I try to write poetry (not very well), and about family. Occasionally I will try a historical piece relating to politics. :-)
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5 Responses to On Restaurants and Short Staff

  1. DesertAbba says:

    If I could, this post deserves a 40% tip or better yet, a salary that would make a zip what it is, a gratuity from served to server, and not a restaurant subsidy!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. beetleypete says:

    It is increasingly hard to actually hate the owners of restaurant chains that operate such policies for the lowest earners in society.
    Come to think of it, no it isn’t. I do hate them for their greed and entitlement, even though I don’t know them.
    In our nearest town, 80% of the restaurants have closed for good. Even with government help of an 80% wage furlough, the owners were too greedy to carry on until it was over. I hate them too.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. GP says:

    The jobs are out there now, but no one wants to go back to work. Taking an example from the gas shortage – how about we start a rumor that jobs are scarce – everyone will line up to get one!


  4. Don Ostertag says:

    No one wants to work! An awful lot of my family have had no jobs in show business for over a year. They want to work. They want to work in the jobs they have done all their lives, not bus tables for a week’s work earns them less than a day’s work in their trade. America wasn’t built on minimum wages. Any one who says no one wants to work is just ticked off because they think their hero should have or did win the election.

    Liked by 1 person

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