Food Server Salary

Food Servers in the United States take home an average $8.12 per hour. The pay spectrum stretches from $2.42 per hour to $11.54. Geography is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career length. In this profession, just over a fifth enjoy medical and dental coverage, and nearly one-eighth have vision insurance, as well. Job satisfaction for Food Servers is high. The majority of Food Servers (66 percent) who took the survey are female. The figures in this overview were provided by individuals who took PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$9,755 - $48,000
(Median)
$10K
$22K
$48K
MEDIAN: $22,500
10%
50%
90%

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$2.42 - $11.54
(Median)
$2
$8
$12
MEDIAN: $8.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$16K$32K$48K
Salary
$9,755 - $48,000  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $404.06  
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).
)
$14,140 - $35,671  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 34
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$6$12$18
Hourly Rate
$2.42 - $11.54  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.17 - $16.55  
Overtime
$0.36 - $16.11  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$12K$24K$36K
Bonus
$0.00 - $404.06  
   
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).
)
$14,140 - $35,671  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 292
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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.


Experience does not seem to be a strong driver of pay increase in this role. Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience have a median salary of $19K. Those who have been around for five to 10 years can expect to take home more — $21K on average. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $24K. More than 20 years of experience mean a somewhat bigger median paycheck of $26K, but it's not much more than what less experienced people make.

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Experience Affects Food Server Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 27%

Experienced
up arrow 18%

Mid-Career
up arrow 4%

National Average
$20,000

Entry-Level
up arrow 5%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 62 votes.

Gender

Female
66 %
Male
34 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
8%
1-4 years
45%
5-9 years
22%
10-19 years
13%
20 years or more
11%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 23%
dental benefits
Dental: 20%
medical benefits
Vision: 13%
dental benefits
None: 74%
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