The Supreme Court officially ruled last week that bartenders and servers that make the bulk of their money from tips can file lawsuits for more money if they are required to do work that doesn’t involve tipping. It all came about after the high court refused to hear an appeal from Applebee’s who wanted to overturn a lower court ruling.
Since servering and bartending is a big part of how the local population survives in the Hamptons, it should come as good news, although it won’t mean that anything will really happen, at least out here, in my opinion. If you are a server at Applebee’s in the South, you might get stuck working for barely minimum wage when you add in the tips, because the tipping in many restaurants throughout the country just don’t add up.
In New York however, it is a different story. You can make a damn fine living bartending out here, and it’s a good life for a lot of people, they work hard, and some even raise families on the money that they make.
But in many of the restaurant chains, the “rules” of working is pretty strict. I personally worked at Uno’s Restaurant in Boston as a server, and besides waiting tables, you are required to do a lot of stocking, prepping, making the salads and cleaning. And all of this is required and part of your schedule.
I’ve worked at restaurants on the East End as well, and my experience is that it is no where near as rigid in terms of the prep work. Servers serve, bartenders bartend, bussers bus, food runners run. The prep work is minimal and is accordance with how busy the night is expected to be, where at a big chain, you’d be required to fold 100 napkins, even if the night is expected to be slow.
Well now, it looks like these people can sue for more pay when they know that no tips are going to get involved. As a big supporter of people who work in the restaurant industry, I think this is great news. These big companies need to take a note or two with how servers and bartenders are treated at work in the Hamptons.