Bartender Receives Only $9 For Working 70 Hours

By: Stephen Thompson | Last updated: Oct 26, 2023

A bartender recently turned to social media to share her pay stub, and the numbers were shocking. She earned only $9.28 for 70 hours of work. That’s rightless than ten dollars for a week’s worth of work. So how is this even possible? 

From tipping procedures to wage disparities, we’ll examine the financial problems bartenders endure and why they deserve more. So take a drink, settle in, and prepare to uncover the truth about the dark side of the service industry.

The Texas Bartender

Aaliyah Cortez, who works in the Lone Star state, uploaded a video of her paycheck on TikTok. In the video, Cortez passionately breaks down the numbers to highlight the importance of tipping those who serve us.


Source: TikTok

After working a grueling 70 hours, Cortez’s hourly wage was only $2.13. When federal taxes, social security, and Medicare were deducted, her take-home salary was a meager $9.28. She clarified that this was only for her hourly labor, as she did accept gratuities from customers. 


Going Viral

The power of social media is undeniable, and Aaliyah Cortez’s viral post is proof of that. Her video has received over 99,000 likes and 3,058 comments, igniting a much-needed dialogue about the harsh reality of working in the service business.


Source: Kasia Palitava/ Pexels

It’s difficult to believe that companies can pay their tipped employees as low as $2.13 an hour in some states. The only condition is that their tips make up the difference in reaching the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

Much Needed Conversations

After her post went viral, Cortez spoke to BuzzFeed, expressing her hope that her video would help draw attention to the unequal payment system in the service industry. 


Source: cottonbro studio/ Pexels

Cortez’s dissatisfaction with the system is apparent. “I would like to see the system change who pays our wages,” she told the Daily Mail. Ideally, it should be the employer’s responsibility to pay their employees a fair wage. However, until such changes occur, service industry workers must rely on the generosity of their clients.

All's Well That Ends Well

In the wake of the overwhelming response to her viral post, Cortez took to TikTok to express her gratitude. In a subsequent video, she thanked her viewers for watching and listening to her story.


Source: cottonbro studio/ Pexels

“I owe it to you guys. Thank you,” she said.