Food Server Salary

Food Servers rely heavily on tips to get by, with gratuities accounting for slightly more than half of their $17.41 total hourly pay. The range in hourly base pay spans from $2.18 per hour to $10.37. Location and years of experience each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. The majority of Food Servers claim high levels of job satisfaction. In this profession, nearly one in five enjoy medical and dental coverage, and less than 10 percent have vision insurance, as well. Female Food Servers are more common than men among those who completed the survey; more than half (63 percent) are women. This snapshot results from replies to PayScale's salary survey.
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$10,306 - $47,569

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$2.18 - $10.37

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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
$10,306 - $47,569  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $410.84  
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).
)
$10,409 - $36,439  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 43
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$7$14$21
Hourly Rate
$2.18 - $10.37  
   
Hourly Tips
$1.03 - $16.92  
Overtime
$0.99 - $15.30  
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$14K$28K$42K
Bonus
$0.00 - $410.84  
   
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).
)
$10,409 - $36,439  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 334
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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 with more experience do not necessarily bring home bigger paychecks. In fact, experience in this field tends to impact compensation minimally. Those in the early stages of their career can expect to make around $19K; however, individuals with five to 10 years of experience bring in $22K on average — a distinctly larger sum. Food Servers bring in $23K after working for 10 to 20 years. In the end, more experience does seem to mean larger paychecks; seasoned Food Servers with more than 20 years of experience earn a predictably higher median salary of $25K.

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Experience Affects Food Server Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 24%

Experienced
up arrow 15%

Mid-Career
up arrow 8%

National Average
$20,000

Entry-Level
up arrow 5%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 88 votes.

Gender

Female
63 %
Male
37 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
7%
1-4 years
44%
5-9 years
29%
10-19 years
11%
20 years or more
9%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 20% dental benefits Dental: 15%
vision benefits Vision: 9% employee benefits None: 78%
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