Employee question....

Right now are crew is going pretty good. Last night, one of my favorite waitresses said she was giving her notice.

Here is the my dilemma…

She used to host for 7.00 an hour and alternated waitressing a few nights a week. Our main server left and she became the main server. Her checks went from a couple of hundred bucks to the usual small server check.

Over the last couple of weeks she gets upset when she gets her $80 check. I kept trying to explain to her to make a living as a waitress you gotta put your tips right in the bank when you leave here. I show her that if she takes the 70 bucks she made and divides it by the 6 hours she works and adds her hourly she is making 15 bucks an hour. She just doesn’t “get it” and is quitting to go work at a diner where she thinks she will make more money. She doesn’t want to go back to hosting.

I really like her, she isn’t the brightest crayon in the box but she is an awesome waitress and employee. She is an awesome employee, just young (17). Do I make her an offer to stay? Or do I let her go?

We have never really offered an employee a counter offer to stay, I guess really we don’t have a big turnover and the good ones always seem to hang around until a life event takes them away so this is new to me.
Most of our crew has been there since we opened and our other location has had the same kind of thing. Employees have been there for years. Usually leaving because of college or babies.

I don’t want to tick off the other employees if I were to make her an offer which would eventually get out. I think maybe once you are set on leaving a job you are set on leaving.

Thanks for your thoughts.


we’ve had the same problem with drivers… they just can’t and won’t understand how tips actualy work now matter how hard you try and show them. I’d say let her go… you would’nt believe the amount of workers that we let go and they come back 2 weeks later asking for their job back because the “new” place they went to pays “less” and the “people ssssuck”.

I agree, let her go and let her know she is welcome to return. We tried countering in the past and you are right on both counts, if they want to leave they will end up leaving anyway, and others will get jealous.
we have several employees who left on good terms that we call up from time to time when we are in a jam. Also, a high percentage of our good employees who leave do come back when they need part time work. If you like her work ethic let her go on freindly terms and make her know she will be missed.


i would do the same as the above people mentioned. Let her go. Shes too young to realize anything yet. I have the same stuff with drivers, like Integraolist says … They leave and don’t make the same money any where else.

I paid one of my drivers $8.00 / hour, $1.50 Delivery reimbursement.

He now works for a competitor for $5.00 / hour, $0.00 delivery reimbursement.

& i’m the scumbag…

Totally agree with replies. Just think how many times you have to go over hours with an employee when their paychecks are less when they take some days off. They have to learn from themselves and most don’t.

A funny antidote.

New this guy that hung Christmas lights and decorations. He just picked up temporary workers every year and paid them cash. Some of them complained because they were not getting money back after taxes in April. They’d rather be on payroll.

We have a lot of employees in our stores claim too little on their W4’s as well “on purpose” just to get more money back after filing taxes.

Many times when you try to explain it to them it just makes them distrust you. They only see what they see.

My personal feeling is that you pay a fair wage and that is it.

If you counter offer because they are leaving this can appear to be saying that you don’t pay enough in the first place and only offer the true amount because they are leaving.

I go with the others. Let her go and see if she comes back. No employeee is irreplacable not matter how good they seem. There is always a better one somehere out there and one day they will turn up working for you.


Well thanks for all the replies. I won’t counter offer. And you are right all employees are replaceable>

That is what I love about this forum…the responses. Kinda helps you get your thoughts together.

As always, much appreciated


“Employees are replaceable” kinda scrapes on me. They are replaceable like customers are replaceable, like locations are replaceable, like spouses are replaceable. Technically correct, but good ones are worth doing everything possible to keep.

(But I do agree with everyone that this employee sounds like a simpleton and and should wished well on her way.)

It is often hard to svck up the pain and just let the employees go. I have a longish quick story to let you know it will work out . . .

We had a very young dining room server working for us who weekly complained that she might quit and apply for another job. She was generally grumpy, took directions without too much whining, and whined when hours were slow. She took home an average of about $9/hour after tips and taxes. Take home, mind you. Customers gave her high school graduation gifts of like $100 and $25 last summer. The relationship was deteriorating, but we didn’t see the big picture well enough to intervene or dismiss her . . . until one of our drivers resigned 2 hours before a shift. Our server complained all shift about having to do more opening, cleaning and closing work on the checklists . . . and kept asking why she had to do it all (nothing new, just more intense complaint). We believe she had the mindset that she was more indispensable now.

Wife decided to have a serious supervisory conference one shift, complete with written expectations and demand for immediate improvement. Well, it was a really tense start of the Saturday night shift for some reason, and when wife called server aside to confront and start the conference, the server unhinged, said she was leaving, and wouldn’t be back until Tuesday (next shift). Kim told her that would not be necessary, that she was terminated and would receive her check in the mail. Further unpleasantness about wanting to know why this had to be done now and couldn’t wait until later, yadda yadda.

We have been a little at loose ends trying to get a decent replacement server candidate (have had some great volunteer fill-ins) and driver. That server who would complain constantly about not having money has since applied at a chain sandwich shop. I got the referral call by accident since she used our shop number (we aren’t normally there during the day). I said we would not rehire her, but would recommend they give her a job if it were structured and directly supervised.

Kris, you and I both will hate it for a while, then find a way past it. Hopefully sooner than later :slight_smile:

Thank her for her two weeks notice. Then ask her if she’d do you a favor. Tell her up-front your (this) whole plan. The next night she works, ask her to empty her pockets of all money and give her a receipt for any money she has – she will get it back at the end of the night, so she doesn’t have to worry about theft or it getting lost or whatever. Now, at the end of the night, cash out with you. Show her how much she made.

You started with 0 to start the night, you sold $300 in food, and paid me that $300. you have $45 left in tips. You worked 4 hours, that’s $11.25/hour in tips. If you’d like your check to be larger, you can give me the $45 in tips and I will add that $45 into your paycheck (which she will pay full taxes on – she should be declaring every penny anyway, but everyone knows that doesn’t happen). Her paycheck will be quite nice, but her “spending money” during the week will be zero since she’s not walking out with her tips that night.

She has a money management issue. Think of a young kid who understands how money works. Give him $100 at once and he’ll likely save it. If you give him $1 100 times over the next week, he’s probably going to go out and spend it as he gets it.

Make sure you explain to her how much you appreciate the great job she has done for you and that you’ll be happy to give her a good reference if she needs it in the future. If she still decides she wants to leave, let her know that you would be glad to have her back on your team if things “don’t work out”. Let’s be realistic… .no matter what you pay her, you’re never going to overcome the small paycheck – without going broke. A 25 cent/hour raise is a whopping $10 pre-tax at the end of a 40 hour week. Not a dent in the paycheck.

Do make sure that you’re paying her the right wage for the job she’s doing. For instance, if she’s not working as a server her whole shift, you should pay her $7 (or whatever) for the hour she’s working on prep before you open, etc. It’s fair, and kinda the law. I’m not suggesting that she does anything OTHER than work as a server, but just wanted to mention it just in case.