24-Hr Restaurant Wages

If you’re the overnight waitress at an “open all night!” place like Denny’s, do you get a reasonable hourly wage? I can’t imagine there are enough customers to make your shift worthwhile based on tips alone…

Actually drunks tip pretty good.

I don’t remember anyone getting a shift differential when I worked on midnight shift at a Jerry’s Restaurant. However this was a few decades ago and I was a cook.

You’d be surprised. There aren’t that many restaurants open 24 hours so the ones that are open in the middle of the night get pretty busy.

When I was a college student we’d occasionally go out to eat at 1 or 2 in the morning and we were never alone.

For sure, if the location is right (college town!) then it makes sense.

I ask because I happened to be at a Denny’s in the burbs at 1am and there were three parties there: one guy drinking coffee and using his laptop, one guy drinking ice water and using his iPad, and me. I tipped about 30% on my bill but that was still only $5

Used to do overnight security at some local Perkins, 12-5am*

At the busier ones, they had a fuller staff and would make decent tips because the traffic wasn’t that much slower than say, mid-afternoon. At the slower ones, there would be one cook, one wait-person, and me. The people working there hated being on the overnight shift because of the slow traffic, the bad customers and the lack of tips. Saw a lot of shitty people stiffing the waiter/ress or trying to make up stupid excuses to demand their food for free.

  • Our company did this for all the local Perkins but one that opted out. Until one of their waitresses was raped while taking out the garbage. Then they opted back in.