Average Waiter/Waitress Hourly Pay

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The average hourly pay for a Waiter/Waitress is $6.04.
MEDIAN $6.04
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United States (change)
Hourly Rate
$2 - $12
$3 - $9,249
Profit Sharing
$20 - $18,937
$0 - $29,590
Total Pay
$7,621 - $36,373

Your Market Worth Over Time

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Job Description for Waiter/Waitress

Waiter/Waitress Tasks
  • Maintain table appearance by pre-bussing, check drink levels and remove clutter.
  • Keep station clean, set up and take down station tables appropriately.
  • Present check for payment and provides change as needed.
  • Take food and beverage orders, give food orders to kitchen and deliver orders.
The top respondents for the job title Waiter/Waitress are from the companies Waffle House, Inc., Sonic Drive - In and Olive Garden Restaurants. Reported salaries are highest at Sonic Drive - In where the average pay is $7.09. Other companies that offer high salaries for this role include Denny's and Olive Garden Restaurants, earning around $7.00 and $4.90, respectively. Cracker Barrel Old Country Store pays the lowest at around $2.22. Waffle House, Inc. and Applebee's Neighborhood Grill and Bar also pay on the lower end of the scale, paying $3.25 and $4.00, respectively.

Waiter/Waitress Job Listings

Pay by Experience Level for Waiter/Waitress

An entry-level Waiter/Waitress with less than 1 year experience can expect to earn an average total compensation (includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay) of $5.97 based on 1,051 salaries. An early career Waiter/Waitress with 1-4 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $5.99 based on 1,635 salaries. A mid-career Waiter/Waitress with 5-9 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $5.41 based on 497 salaries. An experienced Waiter/Waitress with 10-19 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $6.28 based on 345 salaries. In their late career (20 years and higher), employees earn an average total compensation of $5.
Employees with Waiter/Waitress in their job title in Seattle, Washington earn an average of 77.8% more than the national average. These job titles also find higher than average salaries in Los Angeles, California (76.3% more) and New York, New York (48.0% more). The lowest salaries can be found in Boston, Massachusetts (33.8% less) and Houston, Texas (13.2% less).

Years of Experience

This data is based on 3,655 survey responses.
Entry Level
Early Career
Mid Career
Late Career