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Food Server Salary

For Food Servers, gratuities account for a significant portion of income and add up to slightly less than three-fifths of their $16.97 total hourly pay. Hourly base pay hovers around $2.16 per hour on the low end and verges on $10.15 near the top. About one in five enjoy medical while about one in seven get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to less than one-tenth. Work is enjoyable for Food Servers, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. There are more female Food Servers who answered the questionnaire than male, making up 63 percent. This overview is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$11,878 - $47,786
(Median)
12K
24K
36K
48K
MEDIAN: $24,338
10%
50%
75%
90%

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$2.16 - $10.15
(Median)
2
3
7
8
10
MEDIAN: $7.00
10%
25%
50%
75%
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$16K$32K$48K
Salary
$11,878 - $47,786  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $511  
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).
)
$9,158 - $37,135  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 51
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
$2.16 - $10.15  
   
Hourly Tips
$2.48 - $16.60  
Overtime
$1.52 - $16.34  
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 - $511  
   
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).
)
$9,158 - $37,135  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 383
United States (change)

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.

Food Server Job Listings

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Pay by Experience Level for Food Server

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


Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience make $19K, but folks with five to 10 years under their belts enjoy an appreciably larger median of $23K. On average, Food Servers make $22K following one to two decades on the job. Food Servers who have spent more than 20 years on the job report earning a significantly higher median of $23K.

Experience Affects Food Server Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 16%

Mid-Career
up arrow 13%

Experienced
up arrow 12%

National Average
$20,000

Entry-Level
up arrow 5%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 99 votes.

Gender

Female
63 %
Male
37 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
7%
1-4 years
46%
5-9 years
28%
10-19 years
12%
20 years or more
7%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 21% dental benefits Dental: 15%
vision benefits Vision: 9% employee benefits None: 77%