Food Server Salary

For Food Servers, gratuities account for a significant portion of income and add up to just over a half of their $17.46 total hourly pay. The hourly wage varies between $2.18 per hour and $10.35. Geography and years of experience each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. In this profession, close to a fifth enjoy medical and dental coverage, and roughly a tenth have vision insurance, as well. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. Female Food Servers survey participants are more prevalent than men — 62 percent of professionals. Figures cited in this summary are based on replies to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$10,235 - $48,773
(Median)
$10K
$24K
$49K
MEDIAN: $24,489
10%
50%
90%

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$2.18 - $10.35
(Median)
$2
$7
$10
MEDIAN: $7.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$17K$34K$51K
Salary
$10,235 - $48,773  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $412.17  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$10,206 - $37,555  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 42
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$7$14$21
Hourly Rate
$2.18 - $10.35  
   
Hourly Tips
$1.08 - $17.06  
Overtime
$1.10 - $16.16  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$14K$28K$42K
Bonus
$0.00 - $412.17  
   
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$10,206 - $37,555  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 337
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Job Description for Food Server

Food servers are tasked with taking orders accurately, answering guest questions about the menu or restaurant in general, and then delivering that food in a timely manner. A food server is also expected to perform quality control work by checking back with guests. The server also presents the check at the end of service and may process the payment. In restaurants without bus persons, the server also cleans and resets his or her table after guests depart.

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Food Server Tasks

  • Input the order to the kitchen.
  • Record the details of the order from the guests.
  • When complete, retrieve order the from kitchen, confirm its accuracy, and deliver to guest.
  • Greet guests in a friendly and courteous manner and explain any specials and restaurant promotions for guest awareness.
  • Operate procedures to pre-check order and close out the check.

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Pay by Experience Level for Food Server

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


Food Servers do not generally earn higher incomes from more experience in the field. Although individuals who have less than five years' experience earn $19K on average, people with five to 10 years benefit from a notably larger average of $22K. After working for 10 to 20 years, Food Servers make a median salary of $23K. Old hands boasting more than twenty years of relevant experience report pay that is more or less commensurate with that extensive experience; average earnings for this group come out to approximately $25K.

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Experience Affects Food Server Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 22%

Experienced
up arrow 15%

Mid-Career
up arrow 11%

National Average
$20,000

Entry-Level
up arrow 5%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 89 votes.

Gender

Female
62 %
Male
38 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
8%
1-4 years
43%
5-9 years
29%
10-19 years
11%
20 years or more
9%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 20% dental benefits Dental: 16%
vision benefits Vision: 10% employee benefits None: 78%
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