Economy

This Waitress' Response to a $0 Tip Is Pretty Damn Powerful

March 28th 2016

By:
Alex Mierjeski

A photo of a receipt taken by a waitress in Colorado is going viral for sending a powerful message about the struggles of low-wage workers.

After receiving a $0 tip on a $187.43 bill, Taylar Cordova posted this impassioned Facebook response:

This. This is the reason I work so much. This is why I cry in the shower. I STRUGGLE to put clothes on my daughter's...

Posted by Taylar Cordova on Monday, March 21, 2016

That post quickly went viral, garnering some 10,000 reactions and more than 11,000 shares on Facebook.

In Colorado, employers are required to pay tipped workers $5.29-per hour, compared to the $2.13 federal tipped minimum wage. Cordova, who is a server at a P.F. Chang's China Bistro, explains that she and many other low-wage workers still rely on customer tips to make ends meet.

"Whenever you feel like it's probably fine to not tip your server, that's one more bill stacking up because they're short on money," the post says.

Cordova goes on to point out that for workers with families, the stakes are especially high, because the take home pay is often too low.

"This is food for the week that our families will go without because you didn't think it was necessary, even after asking for everything under the sun and receiving it free of charge, mind you. This is one less basic necessity my daughter needs because even TWO more dollars is too much for you."

Cordova's story highlights a growing and vocal movement by low wage workers and advocacy groups to raise the minimum wage. The federal tipped minimum wage has remained the same since 1991, while the non-tipped minimum wage of $7.25 has stagnated in pace with inflation since the late 1960s.

Minimum wage

"Everyone works hard for their money, including servers," Cordova told ATTN:. "Please don't take out your frustrations out on your server, sometimes some situations are completely out of their control. To leave without tipping is not only heartless, but it's cruel." 

A number of states and cities have moved to increase local minimum wages. This week, lawmakers in California are expected to announce a tentative deal with union leaders to raise the state's minimum wage to $15 per hour. The deal would boost the wage gradually over the next several years.