Wanting a Raise

Just opened 12 weeks ago. When we opened we hired a gal as a waitress. Very outgoing, energetic great waitress. When we opened we were slammed for about 3 weeks straight. Girls were making tons and tons of money. I told them it will settle down so enjoy it.

After about 8 weeks we made this girl a head waitress. She makes 6.50 and hour plus tips. Her responsibility is to help the other girls, check out waitresses, train new ones(hasn’t had to yet). Keep the front of the house in order.

She does great with customers and most employees.

So now she wants a raise.

Am I correct in thinking a raise does not make people perform “better” or “more”?
A raise after 30 days a little soon don’t ya think?

Very odd, she wrote us a note that was wierd. Promising to work harder. Better. But deserved more money.

What happened to work FOR a raise?

Will I be SOL without her…kinda.

What do ya think?

Your 2 cents would be appreciated.

I appreciate her courage and forthrightness asking for what she wants. I would wait about 5 seconds before wanting to say NO. I think you are right on thinking it pushy that 12 weeks into a new job, 30 days after a promotion she is asking for more $$.

Servers make more money by providing more service and perceived value to customers. Management can contribute by developing increased customer flow. I’m thinking she is a bit brassy at this stage of the game. In my state, the tip wage is 2.15/hour . . . straight wage 5.15/hour. She is a good bit above the standard wages here, and above the customary ones as well.

If you want to give her a goal to work towards, and keep her interested at the same time as telling her “no”, then I suggest an action plan. Work together with her to devise a timeline and establish measurable goals for her to attain the next pay increase of X. Structure gives security and direction to driven people. It also gives you a defined thing to point to in evaluating her performance toward the goal.

Or you can jsut tell her yes/no and be done with it.

Forgot to mention that 12 weeks doesn’t give me the warm feel of oyalty to the company. If I had that froma valued employee, some seniority, and the person could make a convincing case, I would consider a raise and the action plan thing for developing skills and moving them toward more leadership role. $6.50 is pretty good in server role with tips and 12 weeks on the job.

no,let her find another place to work,wait help are like trolly cars,you miss one,its o.k,there will be another by in 10 or 15 minutes.you can put 2 other servers on the floor for what you pay that one,sounds like a great offer,2-4-1

call her bluff.

I agree with Nick’s first offer. Find a way to offer her goals that if she reaches she will get her raise. But those goals should be something that is likely to lead to you getting more revenue as well. Maybe some threshold on customer service reports, or something like that.

I look at this diferently than some of the others. I tell my staff when I hire them that I will pay them no less than $X.00 but will watch how they work and if they are worth more to me they will be paid what they are worth. I have had staff that got a rais every payday for 6 weeks. I feel that if you expect more (supervisory duties) you should pay more. I want my best people training the new hires.

I had a college prof that said don’t expect to get more work out of people by giving them a raise because it will never happen on a consistent basis. If this person is worth more then pay her if not don’t. And if you think you will be SOL with out her try this. put your hand in a sink full of water then pull it out, the hole that is left is how much you will miss her in the end.

Does the request for more $ relate to the “title” you gave her?
That MIGHT make some sense - you’ve acknowledged that she’s the best, and perhaps should make a little more than a newbie. And did the title bring with it some time away from earning tips at tables? That too would make sense.

i dont get it,you already pay her a wage that is twice the average.if you do the math,your already buying her a company car,paying the insurance ,and her cable bill at 400.00 a month at 40 hrs a week.

Man, us in Canada wish we could pay what you guys do, our minimum wage is 8.50 and you cant find a 15 year old to work for it! ugh!!

is that u.s. currency?
b. romano

We pay our outstanding employees above market wage and treat them well. We have low turnover and a skilled cross-trained staff. You only get what you pay for.

Here’s what to do…

Give her the raise, and then, to provide for yourselves, lobby congress to establish a guaranteed wage for business owners (since the Democrats suggest that EVERYONE is entitled to a certain level of pay) :lol:

I agree with the others. $6.50 is quite a bit for a server in my area. My best waitress makes $5.75, and she is wonderful - takes care of the customers, great with kids, etc…but, I have hired 2 more since she’s been here that have taken on the same traits. Mostly, because of making operations manuals and telling them that this is what is expected from them. High turnover is a bad thing, but it sounds like this girl won’t make it long anyway if she’s not happy with $6.50.

I think you have to be in control. If you weren’t already planning on giving her a raise, then don’t give her one just because she asked. Don’t pay so little that you run everyone out the door - but don’t pay people because THEY feel that they deserve it.

I also think that if she was good enough, you wouldn’t have asked for our opinion, you would’ve just given her the money.

Explain to her how much it costs you to run a business, and you don’t have money growing on trees. Chances are, if you just started 12 weeks ago, you don’t have a lot of cash for yourself, if any. So why should she get the leftover.

Just my opinion though.

I think you should all open a business in Alberta and see what it is like to have an employee!!! Here is what it comes down to is she worth more money? If yes then pay it if no then dont when you really do the math a .50 cent raise for someone that works 40 hrs a week is 20.00 so is she worth 20.00 a week?

I fixed this problem before it started. I’m sure this little advice won’t help you now but may help you in the future should you decide to use this program:



500 hours…25 cent raise
1000 hours…25 cent raise
1500 hours…25 cent raise
2000 hours…25 cent raise
2500 hours…25 cent raise
3000 hours…25 cent raise
3500 hours…25 cent raise
4000 hours…25 cent raise
4500 hours…25 cent raise
5000 hours…25 cent raise and a weeks (40 hours) paid vacation.

This continues until the next 5000 hour benchmark. Then it’s 2 weeks vacation. The next is 3 weeks, and so on


I do the same thing with insiders but increase their wages every 300 hours. They get their vacations every 3000 hours.

It’s in writing and everyone knows about it when they’re hired. It’s not really that flashy but I’m hoping it’s incentive enough to keep people shooting for that next level. If one would stay with me for… 5,000 hours (at 35 hours/wk = 2.4 years) they’ll be making $7.90/hour + tips and gas, and then they’ll get a week’s vacation on top of it.

I’m sure a few of you will think I’m cheap. Don’t look at the money, but rather the system. If you like it, plug your own increments in there. It’s yours if you want it. -J_r0kk

shouldn’t it be in a waitresses best interest to give the best possible service at all times in order to get the best possible tip?
screw the increase…people talk you are setting yourself up for problems way too early…
then again there are those few that have you by the balls that you have to suck it up and do whatever it is to make them happy (I have the highest paid cook for a pizzeria I think) :cry:
good luck

Thanks for sharing the table. I was reading this thread just to read it, and low and behold I pulled something great out of it. Thanks!

I don’t think you are cheap. I am shocked at some of the wages people on here pay their employees. I realize some is due to geographic differences, but some of it is just out of line.

I do something like those automatic tenure-based raises, but for a far shorter period. And the first 80 or so hours are “probationary” and at about minimum wage. Probationary meaning that at the end of that period you either get a raise, or get let go. By then, we know.

After a few automatic raises though, it becomes skill and merit based.

If you “qualify” for certain roles you get a certain pay rate as a minimum (skill based) and after that, in the SAME role, you can get raises if I WANT TO GIVE YOU ONE (merit based) - because you do those jobs better, more eagerly, or faster than others.

This whole program too is written and understood by all.