Essay The Minimum Wage For Restaurant Workers Must Be Raised

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"It is but equity...that they who feed, clothe and lodge the whole body of the people, should have such a share of the produce of their own labor as to be themselves tolerably well fed, clothed and lodged." -- Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, 1776 The restaurant server is one of the most popular jobs in the country and according to the National Restaurant Association, currently, 1 in 12 Americans work in the restaurant industry and about 50 percent of all adults have worked in the industry at some point during their lives. The industry is clearly very large with over 13 billion workers, but overall, workers in the industry do not get paid very well. According to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), the average annual salary for a…show more content…
From about 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM, many customers come in for lunch and from 5:30 PM to about 8:00 PM, there is a dinner rush. During these periods, servers receive many tips due to the large volume of customers. But during the period between the lunch and dinner rushes and the period after the dinner rush, generally, restaurants receive a lot fewer customers, which is something I can attest to having worked in a restaurant this past summer. During these down periods, servers are not acquiring many tips, which means they do not have much to supplement their hourly wage. In addition, restaurant business is very dependent on the time of the year. While these seasonal fluctuations may not affect restaurants in major cities to a great extent, restaurants located in towns in touristy regions have a tourist season, in which restaurants are usually busy, but during the rest of the year, business declines. In terms of server wages at these restaurants, they are much higher during the tourist season, but servers often struggle to makes ends meet during the longer offseason. From a personal experience of working in a restaurant located in a touristy town, I found these fluctuations in business to be a reality. I worked in a restaurant in Williamstown, Massachusetts, which gets very busy in the summer due to a renowned theater festival. During the summer, the restaurant was completely

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