| | Print
busy restaurant staff

Whether you are becoming a restaurant manager or are a server it is very important to be aware of restaurant employment laws.


With restaurant wages all over the place because of tipping in restaurants, your waitress salary can fluctuate every night, let alone every week. We have rounded up some key restaurant labor laws and employment laws that often are overlooked. Being aware of your rights, on both ends of the spectrum, is crucial to running a successful business.

1. You shouldn’t have to pay for your uniform if it is required to wear during work.

It makes sense but employers are often passing off the brunt of uniforms to their employees when it is a really a business expense for the owner. This doesn’t mean they are required to provide five shirts and a jacket, but the bare minimum should be given when starting work. The rest is up to the employee to purchase if they want more options.

Key restaurant labor laws and employment laws are often overlooked.

 2. Tipping pools are a no-swim zone

Often times managers try to take a share of the tips for back of house workers, or anyone that isn’t a server. While the pay-difference between front of house and back of house needs to be addressed – this is not the way to do it. It gets very tricky when it comes to reporting tips, because back of house workers generally aren’t required to report them while front of house staff will end up paying taxes on them.


Why is turnover is so high, what is the actual cost, and how do you fix it? Find the answers in our Staff Management ebook.

Download The Guide

 3. Dine and dash is not a server’s expense

It’s terrible when a server has been waiting on a table and to not get a tip, but it’s even worse when they don’t pay at all. While it is a problem for the restaurant, sunk costs of the meal and servers time, that doesn’t mean that the server has to pay for it. Same goes for broken plates or glasses. Accidents happen and that cannot be taken out of their tips or paycheck.

Have questions about the tipped minimum wage in your state- we break that down for you here.

It never seems to be quite cut and dry, restaurant employment laws, but as long as your arm yourself with your rights you can find yourself not in a lot of tricky situations.

Check out Upserve’s guide to staff management!



Written by   |  
Megan is always adventuring. Whether it is simply wandering around Newport, RI or venturing off across the world, she is constantly looking for a new travel destination. While she may not be able to tell you the exact cities she has visited, you can expect a play by play of everything she ate.
Restaurant Insider