After my briefest stint with a company ever, including freelancing, I quit Huddle House. My optimism was not entirely ill-founded; I did, in fact, like the job. We had a couple annoying kooks, but mostly they were harmless and fun. And even the normal customers are a little more chatty and fun than they are at other restaurants.
However, the owners are crooks.
The minimum wage laws for tipped employees are slightly more complicated than normal: they only have to pay $2.13 an hour, unless that salary plus my tips equals less than minimum wage, in which case the employer is legally responsible for making up the deficit.
Rather than doing that, however, the owners log into the computer and change the tips I reported to make it look as though I’ve been getting minimum wage. In fact, I’ve been making about $2-$3 in tips, bringing my grand total in a good week to about $5 an hour. It was aggravating before; since minimum wage has gone up, it’s infuriating. And my attempts to communicate my frustrations with the owners were rebuffed.
So now I’m attempting to get the government to do something about it. Wish me luck.
In the meantime, if you live in the Clemson area, don’t go to Huddle House. If you must go to a diner, go to Waffle House. It’s cheaper and, at least to my knowledge, the owners aren’t scammers.
But no matter where you go, remember, your tips are not a favor. They are your server’s lifeline. Since minimum wage has gone up and your server’s base wage hasn’t, 18-20% should now be your standard tip.
Thank you, please come again.