Lookin' Good at 58

Monday, October 5, 2009

Have You Ever Thought About This?

When I started out in this business back in 1979 I could make the same money as I could right now and it would last longer because things were less expensive.Then things got more expensive and I started to look for additional sources of income because I was making about the same amount of gratuities.

Afterwards I got married and needed my wife's income to keep up with the rising cost of living so that we could support our family. Back when I got started most were and could afford to be a stay at home Mom with Dad being the sole provider.

Now think about this when you started out as a server or bartender. Are you making on a good night what you used to make on a regular night when you first got started? Factor in inflation and unless you are working day and night 6 days a week your buying power probably is a lot less than it used to be.

Now think about 20 years further down the road. It probably will not be worth working as a waiter anymore than part time to go along with another full time job. Christmas rush gets later every year. Most people are broke. The Martini lunches went the way of the dinosaur cause of company cutbacks and stiffening drinking and driving laws that have been introduced the last few years has cut business.

I am glad I got into waiting tables and bartending when I did cause things are changing rapidly in this business and what I learned and experienced early on doesn't count for a whole lot now.

Ponder this , as I walked out Saturday I earned $218 in gratuities and a fellow co-worker who is 23 years old and just there a month told me he had his best night ever making $240. I congratulated and was genuinely happy for him.

But tell me what career can you work 29 years longer than someone else and make less than that person on any given night? I know it is the nature of the beast but if you really think about it well...you know , right?


purplegirl said...

I really try NOT to think about it--and when I do I just hope that in a few more years when inflation is even worse, I won't be doing this any more. At least not as my sole source of income.

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

Purplegirl...part time would be okay and just for the fun of it.

The Veteran Server said...

I agree wholeheartedly, and had I not been waiting tables for more than ten years now, I would have got out a few years ago. Alas,I don't have too many marketable skills and I'm quite lazy when it comes to seeking out new employment, but waiting tables is definitely not what it used to be.

LW said...

When I first started serving, 10 years ago, I was able to afford a nice apartment on my own, always had plenty of money, etc.
I am fortunate to be making the same amount now as I was then. Unfortunately, I am bartending now as well and that should be yielding more.

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

The Veteran Server...I concur. We have to work more to make what we used to make years ago.

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

LW...being single nowadays in this business is not easy unless you have a second stream of income coming in.

Liz said...

If it makes you feel any better, I have a PhD in chemistry and make less money than you. :) And yeah, the main reason I read these server blogs is because I dream of going back to it!

But really, I am too old, and serving in most restaurants requires excellent balance, speed, and stamina. It is kind of like catwalk modelling in that regard, so it is normal that the young'ins are beating you money-wise.

Move to Europe; professional waiters are valued here (in spirit...you will make less money!)

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

Liz...I have to stick with the money with the family and that. As for young ones making good tips I can run circles around them but the thing is each night anyone can make more tips. Just depends sometimes who you get that makes the difference. Fortunately though on a consistent basis I do okay.A PHD in Chemistry is not shabby.