New Law is Going to Cost Servers $350 a Year

Angry-man-001As if we don’t have a hard enough time making money at our job, our sneaky ass government has just gone and passed a new law that is really going to take some money out of our apron. A couple of years ago, the law changed that made it virtually impossible to add the automatic gratuity to large parties and we know how much that hurts us every time we see a party of sixteen show up to your section, stay for for hours and then throw you $10 like they’re really doing you a favor. Well, here is the latest way we are going to pay to wait tables.

Just last week, the senate passed a new bill called Food Handler Card, SB 704. Plenty of us are used to having to get a food handlers card and it’s not that big of a deal. The difference now, is that it will be required to renew every 12 months and it will cost $350 every time you get the new one. It will be required of everyone who waits tables anywhere in the United States and Puerto Rico with the exception of a few districts in Kentucky. And guess who has to pay for the fucking license: we do!!

Pursuant to Senate Bill 704, enacted into law in 2016, all retail food handlers, as defined, will be required to obtain a food handler card after taking a food safety training course and passing an exam to obtain a license which will be good for 12 months from the date of issue. The fee for such exam will be $350.00 and will be a requirement of any/all service employers who shall be serving food with the exception of the aforementioned districts. The guideline document was compiled by a stakeholder working group comprised of members of the National Retail Food Safety Coalition (NRFSC), the National Conference of Directors of Environmental Health (NCDEH), and the National Restaurant Association (NRA).  The frequently asked questions and answers in the document are intended to provide guidance for food handlers, local enforcement agencies, industry, and training providers as this law is implemented and becomes effective on January 1, 2017.

The law will not go into effect until January 1, 2017 so we have some time to let that settle in, but how did this happen? How have we not heard anything about this law until it is too late to do anything about it? And do I want to avoid this yearly fee enough to move to a certain district of Kentucky?

Gene Lee, president and chief executive officer of Darden (Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse, etc.), had this to say about the law: “We feel this new bill will improve the overall safety and excellence that we will be able to provide to our guest. While we understand this may be a financial burden for some of our staff, overall, it is a wonderful thing and we look forward to embracing the change.” When asked if Darden would ever consider paying for the card on behalf of their employees, he said, “At this time, there are no plans for that. The staff will be responsible if they want to work with the Darden company.” And it’s not just Darden, it’s every restaurant in the country.

Of course I am furious and you should be too. This is just another way for someone else to make money while taking money away from us! Fuck that! Do they think we are rich and that we can afford to spend $350 every twelve months on some bullshit food handlers license? It’s probably too late to do anything about it, but I did find a place where you can lodge a complaint. If we all do it, maybe, just maybe, we can get this piece of shit legislature overturned. Please click here and do that now!

41 thoughts on “New Law is Going to Cost Servers $350 a Year

  1. Andrew Ziebro

    All the more reason to leave the great socialist republik of Kalifornia. The state coffers are empty so why not tax servers? Easy pickings.

  2. Jeri Velgreen

    Even if this were true it wouldn’t matter in California, because when the $15 per hour minimum wage kicks in your service job will likely be eliminated by automation anyway.

  3. Jean M Radke

    It became law in North Caroline in January 2015. The book and class cost $177.00. It was a two day course where you learn a lot and you also receive a book which you keep so you may study and look up things if needed. And it is good for 5 years.So, as for me it was not a waste. And if you decide to get another job you take it with yo the company is not aloud to keep it. Best thing to happen and help me with my Manager skills .

  4. Shanea

    Ah! You got me! Damn i read this on the 2nd and didnt even consider it to be a prank. After browsing and bookmarking and checking your blog everyday for the past month i cant believe this was the article that finally made me comment. I should take this time to let you know that i love your site and i agree whole-heartedly with pretty much everything you post! You have a dedicated reader in me, Bitchy!

  5. William

    I can find no introduction of such a bill. Could you please post a link so we may see what you have seen? I’d like to see this proposed bill.

  6. Tami

    Wow that’s insane. I’m a hairdresser and we have to have ceu hours every 2 years and pay for our renewal of our licenses but what we spend is no where that high. They need to lower the cost if they have to do all that.

  7. Katie

    Raise our wages and lower our taxes if you want to do anything! $350 a year is ridiculous if you are make $25,000 a year… 😠

  8. Pingback: Waiters – Prepare For A $350 Bill | Geeks Anonymous

  9. Adam Scott

    Oh I hate you so much! I finished reading your article, but didn’t click on the link. I was so enraged that I wrote my own blog post on it, and was just about to post it, when I clicked on your link! I may still post it, and just link back to your website now…lol.

  10. Debbie

    Is this a April fools joke?
    I went a step ahead and got a food managers card, good for five years in the state of Fla. They can kiss my big white ass!

    1. Corey T

      Unions are only effective with skilled labor. Second a restaurants waiters went on strike they’d be replaced with a new batch of workers.

  11. Timothy J Newman

    If we don’t like it, maybe we should all just get better paying jerbs where we don’t have to depend on handouts from other, better people! Haw haw haw!!

  12. Corey T

    Maybe this is due to the fact that 80% of waiters under report income. Restaurant industry for 12 yrs, wife too but kinda sickening when some of my co-workers make $45k a year, only report $18k then get huge tax returns because they’re so “low income”.

  13. Bob

    Damn…I was going to write that this couldn’t happen to a more deserving group of folks, but I know what day it is. Oh well…maybe something even better will come along.

  14. ExOGpeasant

    Sadly, completely believable, especially Master Darden basically saying ‘ fuck that ‘ to paying for their employees to be licensed.

  15. Jim

    Ashley one of the requirements of the course will be that every waiter must know how to make “abril tonto” table-side. If not they can get penalized.

  16. AshleyH

    This really sucks!! Does the course/exam have to be done every single year? (Not totally clear from the blurb.) Either way, it seems so unnecessary. $350 is a lot of dough!

    1. AshleyH

      I mean, it’s clear the license will need to be obtained every year, but is it more of a “once you pass the course, you just need to renew the license” type of thing, or actually sit an exam every year? Because that doesn’t just seem like a waste of money but a huge waste of time, too.


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