Server Salary

Median pay for Servers rounds out to $14.73 per hour, with $9.68 of that amount coming from tips and gratuity. Hourly earnings reach $2.16 per hour on the low end and $9.89 on the high end. Location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by the specific employer and years of experience. The majority of individuals in this role claim moderate levels of job satisfaction. Medical benefits are awarded to just under one in five, and approximately one-eighth earn dental coverage. Female Servers are more common than men among those who completed the survey; more than half (65 percent) are women. The numbers in this rundown were provided by PayScale's salary survey participants.
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$7,455 - $46,500

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$2.16 - $9.89

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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
$7,455 - $46,500  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $489.36  
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).
)
$8,785 - $38,225  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 272
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
$2.16 - $9.89  
   
Hourly Tips
$2.02 - $17.54  
Overtime
$0.00 - $17.19  
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 - $489.36  
   
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).
)
$8,785 - $38,225  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,690
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Job Description for Server

A server works in a restaurant or bar, acting as the go-between from the guests at a table and the kitchen or bartender. He or she takes orders, delivers food and beverages, and helps ensure quality standards. In many establishments, the server also furnishes a bill and facilitates payment for the guests.

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Server Tasks

  • Present check for payment and provides change as needed.
  • Take food and beverage orders, give food orders to kitchen and deliver orders.
  • Maintain table appearance by pre-bussing, check drink levels and remove clutter.
  • Keep station clean, set up and take down station tables appropriately.

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Popular Employer Salaries for Server


Known for taking on a considerable number of Servers, Olive Garden Restaurants, Applebee's Neighborhood Grill and Bar, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Pizza Hut, Inc., and Denny's are leading firms in the industry. The biggest paychecks can be found at The Cheesecake Factory, Inc. — the median salary there is $31K; however, employees are subject to a wide range in pay, with the lowest salaries sitting near $9K and highest ones in the neighborhood of $52K. Chili's Grill & Bar, Buffalo Wild Wings, Inc., and Darden Restaurant Group also offer top salaries for Servers. Workers at these firms can expect to earn about $31K, $26K, and $25K, respectively.

Pizza Hut, Inc. lags the field greatly in terms of pay, offering a median salary less than half of the top paying company's rate ($15K). Also approaching the lower end are Cracker Barrel Old Country Store at $16K, Brookdale Senior Living Inc. at $18K, and Longhorn Steak House at $18K.

Pay by Experience Level for Server

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


Workers in their first five years can expect to earn $19K, but people who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably bigger sum of $25K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $25K. Veterans who have surpassed the 20-year mark may make no more than those who are navigating the mid-career stage.

Pay Difference by Location


For Servers, busy Seattle offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 61 percent above the national average. Servers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like New York (+49 percent), Chicago (+34 percent), Houston (+32 percent), and Las Vegas (+29 percent). Trailing the national average by 19 percent, Atlanta is the market with the smallest paychecks. Employers in Austin and St. Louis also lean toward paying below-median salaries (11 percent less).

Server Reviews

What is it like working as a Server?

Server in Birmingham:
"Not what you would expect."
Pros: The flexibility of my schedule, multitasking, being on my feet, meeting new people, building and maintaining relationships, training new employees, and team leading.
Cons: No guaranteed pay, period. Most of the time your entire hourly wage over a two week period goes straight to taxes. Since this is a tip based industry, it is assumed that a tip is a reflection of service. Some people aren't aware of the fact that we ONLY make tips very poorly or not at all. Some are aware and could care less, yet expect you to run circles around them throughout their entire visit. Also, when large groups of people (8 or more) come in, we can no longer add automatic gratuity to the check. Sometimes a group of 30 people will come in and take up your entire section for 2-3 hours without leaving you a dime. It's just part of the job. You win some and you lose some.

Server in Las Vegas:
"Fine Dining Restaurant Server."
Pros: Working in a restaurant where the average bill is $30-$50 is wonderful because guests usually tip very well on top of it. Very fast paced environment so time goes by pretty quick. Schedule is very flexible so it is great for students and other busy people.
Cons: Dealing with guests can be a pain in the butt. They often are unsatisfied with even the best of service and sometimes will enter the restaurant already wanting free food. If you have an early class serving might not be for you. Getting home really late and waking up early and sitting in a lecture can be overwhelming. The biggest downside I have with serving is relying on guests to pay my bills. I might walk out of the restaurant with $200 or I could walk with just $10. You never really know.

Server in Lubbock:
"Its A College Job."
Pros: Flexible for me to study. Makes good money during college football season.
Cons: Nothing.

Server in Lee's Summit:
"Amazing."
Pros: I not only get to serve the residents up their food but I also make their day and make them as happy as possible.
Cons: I dislike the way some of my coworkers don't respect that its the residents home and we are there to help them not just get paid.

Server in Flourtown:
"A Work Environment That Can Be Very Stressful With Low Pay."
Cons: Other department's work is frequently shirked onto my department. We are one of the hardest working part-time departments, and also the lowest payed.

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Experience Affects Server Salaries


Experienced
up arrow 23%

Late-Career
up arrow 21%

National Average
$20,000


Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 327 votes.

Gender

Female
65 %
Male
35 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
10%
1-4 years
52%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
14%
20 years or more
4%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 19% dental benefits Dental: 13%
vision benefits Vision: 11% employee benefits None: 79%
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