Sara 

Restaurant Manager in the Saginaw Bay Region, MI

I’ve been a restaurant manager for over 10 years. I started in the hospitality industry as a server and worked my way up at different restaurants over the years. I worked at my most recent place of employment, a new restaurant in the area, for about a year. It was during onboarding that I learned, as a salaried employee, I would be required to work five 10-hour shifts per week while only being paid for 40 hours. My salary was $35,000.

Almost the entire time I was there, I worked one or two extra 10-hour shifts per week without receiving overtime pay. The extra shifts weren’t discussed or agreed upon. It started with me being scheduled six days a week, and before I knew it, I was scheduled for seven days. During those weeks, I didn’t get a day off. We were short a manager, so I filled in wherever I was needed at the time. Every single shift I stayed longer than 10 hours. Finally, after about four months, managers were able to have one or two days off a week.

There was absolutely no regard for our time and I really didn’t have a life outside of work. During one two-week pay period that included one week of training, I was only paid for 80 hours despite working for more than 160 hours. I decided to leave my job when I learned we were going back to working seven days a week, with a permanent schedule of 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. without a pay raise. I have three sons in school that I barely saw because of the hours I worked. I could drop them off at school and that would be it. That simply wouldn’t work for me.

I really enjoy working in the hospitality industry and have worked in it for a very long time. I was really tired the year I worked at that restaurant. The fact that I never had time to reset made me not want to work in this industry anymore. I’m not sure if I’ll go back to the hospitality industry after this last experience. It really put a sour taste in my mouth.