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Service industry feeling the economic crunch

READ MORE: Service industry feeling the economic crunch
The economy is hurting almost everyone. The people feeling the struggle the most may be those who depend on others generosity. In tight economic times, for some, going out to eat has become a luxury. With people trying to do more with less, tipping your server may go by the wayside. Kristin Masson has worked at Elijah's Restaurant for the past two years. During that time, she has seen a change in business. "We've had less business. We close earlier each night, because there's nobody in the restaurant. My income has dropped drastically because of that because I do make tips,” said Masson. What most may not know, is servers make way below minimum wage because their tips make up for the rest. But with less people opting to eat out, tips are drying up for the people who rely on them. People usually tend to tip depending on the type of service they receive, but these days that 15 percent tip is spare change many just don't have. Local restaurant, Hell's Kitchen, is seeing much of the same. Servers say in recent months, there has been a sharp decline in their total sales. The restaurant used to generate more than a $1000 during the lunch hour, now it makes about half that amount. "To get your bills paid, you can't guarantee on what you're going to make everyday and it definitely is decreasing,” said Nikki MacNeil, a Hell’s Kitchen bartender. For many in the service industry, they can only hope the economy will make a turn for the better.

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Serving and Tips

I don't think anyone can make judgements about the serving industry without ever waiting tables. If you don't think it is a "real job"- then fine, stick your nose up a little further next time you to go a restaurant and expect to be waited on. Serving is how I put myself through college, and later in life for a little extra cash-flow when I was getting my business on its feet. I didn't exactly ENJOY waiting on stuck-up people like you, but you do what you have to! And for the record, every restaurant is different. The last place I worked-- 15% was automatically added to EVERY check (server had no control over it whatsoever). If gratuity is included- its usually restaurant policy- why are you punishing the server? In addition-- that same restaurant-- we got a weekly paycheck with our tips, so EVERY dollar WAS taxed. And at another restaurant, tip out to hostesses, bussers, bartenders, etc was so high that I rarely made over the 10% I had to claim. And about the Medicaid thing... even working at a very busy restaurant in Chapel Hill, NC and claiming ALL my tips... I still could have easily qualified for it. You are obviously not very educated on what the wage limit for Medicaid is, or how much average servers make. I know some of my friends that had Medicaid that simply could not afford their own health insurance--- do you always look down on people that don't make as much money as you? ... there is always a bigger fish out there, buddy.

Straying posts as usual......

For all of you that want to discuss tipping ettiqette, that's another story. This article is about how the service sector is feeling the crunch of the economy. While I do realize there are deadbeats out there, that's just what they are and the economy has no effect on their manners. The fact is, there is less disposable income these days. Along with the price of fuel is the increase of food costs, clothing costs, etc. Everything is going up except the salaries, so some things just have to go by the wayside. Dining out for a family one evening may be able to pay for 4 days of groceries. With the greed that seems prevalent in every avenue, people are watching their money like a dog does his bone. This news report is reflecting what local restaurants are witnessing as a decline in business which is typical in other sectors. It has nothing to do with the quality of food, service or tips by customers.


you are WRONG...some of these places are loosing money because the VALUE isn't there to go. If I get bad service, I most likely WON'T go back for quite some time. That effects these businesses. Service is almost right up there with food quality when I make a decision on where to spend my money.


Not surprised that Elijah's is not doing well. Food is mediocre and service is spotty at best. If this restaurant was in a strip mall it would be closed by now. Location is the only reason people go there to eat.

Tips What a Joke!!

Okay so you are taxed on your $2.15. How much does the server actually claim on thier taxes. I know people in the "service" industry who make well above the 10% and do not claim this money on their taxes. They may make $300 in tips but only claim $100. Paying way less in taxes then me. Do not come crying to me when you go apply for a bank loan and get rejected due to lack of income. Wait a minute I know some who does this and is on Medicaid. Maybe this is not such a bad idea. People like this have no morale standards!! GIVE ME A BREAK!!! and get a REAL JOB!!


So, I suppose I have a fake job then? If my job isn't a "real job" then what the hell am I doing all day? I think my job is a real job! It's a real job that puts food on my table! It's a real job that pays my mortgage! It's a real job that pays for my tuition...I could go on. You shouldn't reduce everyone to a stereotype because you know of a few bad apples. Not everyone that waits tables is on government welfare. I pay taxes just like the next person does. And I don't think that you have any right to look down on a person for waiting is a job just like any other. I can't understand why people see wait staff as being below others. At least I am working....I could be on the side of the street, homeless. But, you know... I do enjoy the comfort of my I suppose I'll stick with the job I have. It is unfortunate that the line of work I'm in is like this, but I wait tables because it's easy to work 40 hours and go to school. Not many jobs have the flexibility to allow employees to do so. Now i have one last thing to say to you... GIVE ME A BREAK!!! I HAVE A REAL JOB!!!


few people ASPIRE to be a food order taker for life. It really ISN'T a job and really takes little skill. As long as you are accommodating and not rude...which COULD be a job for will be doing everything you NEED to do. If you think you have a "job"...just wait until you graduate college and get a little further into LIFE...

Poor service

I used to work in the service industry. One thing I always knew was that the better I treated the customer the better my tips would be. Now, when my husband and I go out with our kids, we base our tip on the service we receive. Great service gets at least 20%, sometimes more. Mediocre service gets 15%. Poor service gets 10%. The problem my husband and I have noticed is that most of the people who work in the service industry usually judges us because we are a family and think we won't be good tippers. We have actually gone to restaurants and requested the same servers and were told they didn't think we would be good tippers because families usually aren't. I figure if they can give us good service then they deserve a good reward for it. In life you get what you deserve. People should be mindful of that if they are in the service industry.

Try improving your service

The last several times my wife and I visited Elijah's Restaurant the service was terible. Nothing like in years past.


When I go out..I TIP...HOWEVER, it INFURIATES me when tips are automatically added. First of all that fosters POOR SERVICE for larger parties...second, if they put it on..THATS ALL THEY GET! Nothing more, nothing less. I WILL however, have a manager pull tips off for poor service received when I am in a large party...JUST TICKS ME OFF! If you are going out to eat, it is CRAPPY not to leave a tip for good service...

I agree with one comment you

I agree with one comment you made, and it's probably not fair to the server, but that's just how it is....if a tip is added in to my total, that is the tip you will get and nothing more. I usually tip at about 25%, but if you tell me I have to tip 18% I will but that will be it. That does nothing but hurt your server. Also, I used to be a server and I can tell you this from experience that I do not know a single server that claims all his/her tips. They claim the minium and sometimes slightly over, but never what they actually made. They work the system. I don't blame the, but I don't listen to them either when they say they only make this amount and only this much in tips because they are lieing

No service, no tip

I'm usually a very good tipper, 30 - 35 %. What gripes me is the establishments that expect you to pay their employees wages or a bartender that expects a tip for that overpriced beverage they had to get out of the cooler 3 feet away.

Service Industry Tips

Complain, complain, and keep complaining. No one should have much sympathy for those who rake in the cash but pay little to no taxes. Every job has its ups and downs.

Never been a server?

Obviously you've never been a server. Just a few years ago before I had a "real" job I was serving. I was making 2.15 an hour plus tips. Not only does the government tax that whopping 2.15, but you are supposed to declare the cash made in tips (does everybody do that?...definitely not). Apart from that...some people are CHEAP and don't even tip 10%. Think about that. For a lunch that cost 10 bucks, that's a single dollar. If you have the money to eat out, you have the money to tip. And if you don't want to tip, then go to the grocery store and make your own food. Of course, bad service deserves a bad tip. Being a past server I'm critical of my server, however if they do their job with no issues, then they get at least 18%...the STANDARD tip amount. So please, tip your servers!!!


wow, what an ignorant statement.