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To: Eat'n Park
Give Eat'n Park Employees a Raise
1. Adopt a one fair wage policy for the front of house - raising the wages of the servers over a period of time from $2.83/hour to $7.25/hour so that when people don't tip or business is slow, we can still afford to take care of our families and pay our bills.
2. Begin providing real raises to back of house employees- they don't deserve to live in poverty.
3. And finally - support and implement a paid parental leave policy.
Why is this important?
When I was seventeen years old, I got my first job at a local diner. I enjoyed the busy restaurant environment and could see myself working in this industry for years to come. Fast forward ten years later, management experience, a bit of college under my belt, and I'm still working in the restaurant industry. Sadly, my passion and love for the industry has faded rather quickly all due to my current employer: Eat'n Park.
I was 36 weeks pregnant when I was hired at Eat'n Park. To their credit, they were very accommodating with my pregnancy needs and schedule, but I started to notice some things that had me question my employment there. After a typical eight hour shift, we're lucky if we walk out with twenty dollars in our pockets. That's because we're paid the petty wage of $2.83/hour - a wage that hasn't been raised in nearly twenty years, and rely exclusively on widely fluctuating customer tips. We are also often burdened with additional non-tipped work and sometimes forced to give up our tables if the shift supervisor (who makes four times the amount we do) decides that they want some extra money. As a result of the low pay and unfair working conditions, we can't keep staff. Since I started earlier this year, a majority of the people that I trained with have all quit.
It's worth noting that the majority of Eat'n Park servers are women, many of them mothers. They're trying to raise a family off the tips and a $3.99 breakfast special. Let's do some math on that one; a 20% tip (considered what people typically tip for excellent service) is a paltry 80 cents. It should come as no surprise that when my coworkers have children (including myself), they can't afford to take much time off work. I managed to take two weeks off after having my son, Connor. Unfortunately, there are many others who can't afford that.
The most infuriating part is that what I've shared is only half my story. Arguably the hardest job at Eat'n Park is working in the back of the house. Some of these hardworking guys and gals only make $7.25/hour and haven't seen a raise in YEARS.
Let me finish by saying that we support and applaud Eat'n Park for making a genuine effort in being a good community partner, but they need to recognize that we, their employees, are also members of the community. They need to fairly compensate the staff before they run a sophisticated PR campaign to make themselves look good in Pittsburgh.
Finding a decent job is tough, it's tougher when we're working full-time and not making any money. We can hustle our whole shift to make sure that our managers and customers are satisfied, but still only leave with a few dollars in our pockets. Something has to change and it has to change NOW. I want to see my fellow employees succeed in life and be secure in their financial and personal lives. I want our back of house employees to FINALLY be rewarded for their work with a raise. Help me bring equality to my fellow co-workers and get some much needed change to our restaurant industry.