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Dec 24, 2011 08:57 AM

Am I the only one that feels sad for restaurant staff?

I was reading an article in our local paper today about some of the various restaurants that will be offering Christmas dinner tomorrow. Of course the chefs talked about the advantages to eating out There was a lot of mention of how some places see the same families every year and it is a nice tradition for the families. All nice and good. But then they start talking about how their staff organizes their Christmas day around work, and I feel sad. I guess I'd be okay if I knew none of the staff celebrated Christmas, but otherwise I don't think I could ever eat happily if I knew the staff didn't get to celebrate like me. Now, keep in mind that I won't even get gas on Christmas day.

Am I alone in this?

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  1. I am with you Canada Girl, but I also think about the public servants who work on holidays, and Hospital staff, nursing home staff, emergency response staff, etc.
    Many people have careers that cause them to have to work on a holiday.

    I think a hearty Thank you! to anyone who serves our loved ones on a holiday would be in order. On the flip side, many people are happy to take a shift on these days as it can be overtime, holiday pay of time +1/2, etc. Some people just need to work to feed their own families, and pay for Christmas!
    Appreciation of those folks goes a long way....

    5 Replies
    1. re: gingershelley

      I do think of nurses, paramedics et al. But those are life or death scenarios, and somehow feels different to me. I think most in those jobs are beyond amazing and severely undervalued.

      But a restaurant feels different to me. Granted, I do see that for some (many?) of the people working the extra cash is a necessity too. I think it's just my over privileged self feeling a bit guilty.

      1. re: CanadaGirl

        So if you eat out on Christmas - TIP BIG! :)

        1. re: gingershelley

          We did just that yesterday--ate out for an early breakfast, and Mr. Pine added an extra $10 above a normal tip.

        2. re: CanadaGirl

          Hotel staff, toll booths, cab drivers, bus and train drivers, the aforementioned gas station peeps, convenience store clerks, there are lots of places that aren't "life and death" who work on the holidays. Having had to work on a few of them myself, you just plan the holiday get together on another day.

          1. re: rockandroller1

            Absolutely. I put them in the same category as restaurant workers for this. But since this is a food site, I focused on that.

      2. Where I am, most restaurants open on Christmas Day are only offering a restricted "festive" menu. It's at way higher pirces than usual - partly reflecting the increased pay that the staff are being paid.

        1. I wouldn't feel too too bad for them, but if I were eating out on Christmas day, I would definitely leave about %25 as a tip.

          If my restaurant were open on Christmas day, I would totally volunteer to work, as I don't have any really special feelings for Christmas, and I love serving and facilitating a good time....

          I worked this morning (Chistmas Eve), and I volunteered to work tonight as well.

          The time you should really feel bad for staff is working on New Years Day. That one is a rough one, especially if you had to work really late the night before. I fortunately don''t have to work till 5pm on January 1st.

          1. If you work in the hospitality industry (at least in the States) you sign on knowing that weekends and holidays are going to be your busiest times. It's a tradeoff for a certain degree of flexibility on hours and time off at other points in time. It is also the sort of job where busy is what you want because if it is slow then you barely get paid - restaurant minimum wage in most states ends up just covering your with-holding of taxes, etc - your tips are what is your real income. (A holiday generally doesn't involve a boost in pay.)

            I've always worked retail or hospitality. We find our own ways to celebrate. For years we had a group of 40 restaurant and natural foods store folks who always celebrated Thanksgiving together. It was a week later, but it was still our Thanksgiving and the turkey purchased at the sale price tasted even better!

            People are seldom working all day, so families establish traditions which work for them.

            So be a good guest, treat your service folks with polite respect and tip well! Voicing your appreciation is a nice acknowledgement of their contribution to your celebration.

            1. Step-Daughter works at a restaurant & had to work tonite......owner decided to be open all nite & the usual hours.....Hoping they'll be busy enough to make it worth her while & will get some good tips! If not, hope they'll cut her at a decent time....