No minimum wage increase for servers since '91

By Evrod Cassimy – bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - It's a tough time for the restaurant industry with people not going out to eat as much as they normally would. But for servers who rely mostly on tips from their customers, this time hits them even harder.

"On a weekday night you're talking $20-$30 is what you're average you're going to be leaving with," said water, Ross Shahan.

Shahan works at Bottom's Up Pizza in the Bottom. The federal minimum wage for a server is $2.13. It hasn't been raised by Congress since 1991 making it difficult for some servers to make good money some nights.

"You'll get like a small family and they're not always mean or rude about it, but sometimes they don't have the extra cash, and they run you to death so you have to clean up twice of a mess, and after they leave you find out you got either stiffed or only a couple bucks," said Shahan.

"If they don't make tip wise the amount to make up that difference from $2.13 an hour to $7.25 an hour then we as a company would foot the bill," said Bottom's Up Pizza Assistant Manager, Jeffrey Bland.

This adds an additional cost to an already struggling industry. Servers still hope that by offering the best service possible they can still earn 20% per table. But at a time when most customers are struggling financially they're forced to work 2 and sometimes 3 jobs to make up the difference.

A spokesperson for the Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association explains that the minimum wage for servers hasn't gone up because they can make more in tips. As of now Congress has no plans to increase the federal minimum wage for servers.

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