Restaurant Server Job

Job Description for Restaurant Waiter/Waitress Position

Job Duties

What Are the Responsibilities of a Restaurant Server?
Server job duties consist of taking food and drink orders, bringing food and drinks to guests, answering questions about menu items and specials, and catering to patron requests. Specific responsibilities may include refilling drinks, clearing tables, printing receipts, and operating cash registers. Training for waiter and waitress jobs generally involves instruction on proper protocol and etiquette when handling food and dealing with customers. Additional training may include memorization of menu items and company policy. Server training takes place during employee orientation.

Job Qualifications

What Are the Requirements for a Restaurant Server Job?
Traditionally entry-level, server jobs generally require no educational or work-related qualifications for employment consideration. Minimum age requirements typically fall between 16 and 18 years old, depending on location and employer. Desirable character traits include friendly, energetic, and helpful personalities. Servers must work quickly and efficiently and exercise professional courtesy at all times. Some restaurants may require workers to operate cash registers. Other requirements vary by specific restaurant location.

Salary & Compensation

How Much Can a Restaurant Server Make?
Average starting pay for servers falls between $3.50 and $7.50 per hour. Including tips, waiters and waitresses often bring home much more than hourly pay would suggest. On average, servers earn a yearly salary of $20,000 to $30,000 per year. More experienced servers generally make between $12 and $15 an hour, including tips. In most states, minimum wage for workers receiving tips rests between $3 and $4 per hour. The best metropolitan areas to find server jobs include Boston, MA, Burlington, VT, Seattle, WA, and New Bedford, MA.

Employment Benefits

What Kinds of Job Benefits Can a Restaurant Server Earn?
Servers work a variety of shifts. Some waiters work full-time in eight-hour increments. Some restaurants may only provide servers with five-hour shift options. Many restaurants offer waiters and waitresses employment benefits. Typical job benefits packages include 401(k) retirement plans, health insurance options, paid time off, and discounts on food and merchandise. Employee benefits generally vary by restaurant and location.

Restaurant Server Salary Comparison (Tips Included)

How Do Average Waiter Salaries Compare Between Restaurant Chains?

Average Salary Per HourAverage Salary Per Year
Buffalo Wild Wings$11.00$22,000
Cheesecake Factory$14.00$28,000
Cracker Barrel$13.50$27,000
Olive Garden$13.25$26,500

Restaurant Server Salary Comparison (Tips Not Included)

How Do Average Waitress Salaries Compare Between Restaurant Chains?

Average Salary Per HourAverage Salary Per Year
Buffalo Wild Wings$4.75$9,500
Cheesecake Factory$5.50$11,000
Cracker Barrel$4.75$9,500
Olive Garden$4.75$9,500

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  • MK Gundlach says:

    A little misleading, as each state sets its own minimum wage (and some adjust it down even further per federal requirement for tipped workers at $2.13 per hr). So if a chain has more franchises, say, in WA (wage of $9.04 plus tips) and another has more in UT (wage of $2.13 plus tips) it heavily skews the results posted here. Better to compare state by state rather than chain by chain for the most reasonable estimate.

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