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How much do Restaurant Servers Make?

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How much do Restaurant Servers Make?

Old 06-11-2019, 05:28 AM
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When I got my first job out of college I was still waiting tables Friday-Sunday. I made more money in 20-30 hours waiting tables than I brought home each week from my 55k salaried job. Went 4 months without a day off and I bought a boat with cash after that first summer . I got creamed on taxes the next year though! 20/hr is probably realistic for those chain restaurants. I worked at a higher end restaurant on the water in a busy tourist location, 3-400 a night was normal.
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Old 06-11-2019, 07:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Fish Haid View Post
Compared to kitchen or dishwasher, servers must make twice as much, right?
Ask who the servers have to "tip out" , many times they have to give a cut to bussers and food servers, bartender , maybe hostess .
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Old 06-11-2019, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by nodima View Post
I get it, but at same time, the life lessons one gets working in a restaurant are invaluable. BTDT - I knew it was not for me as a career, but worked in several through college, mostly in the kitchen and it really showed me the value of hard work - promotions/recognition etc., and what it takes to succeed in life - those same elements you are worried about can also show as a great example of what not to do, far more effectively than Dad telling me stuff. Seeing it first hand, made the right choice easy. The other thing that worked for me was seeing how many different foods are prepared - learned a lot of skills I use every day. So, it is not all bad.
Was going to say the same thing. Taught me some really really useful lessons that I still need today.

Also, you typically can't help but learn about good food, cooking techniques, wine and pairing, how to read people, and communicate face to face with folks (very important nowadays), etc....
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Old 06-11-2019, 12:45 PM
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It depends. There was an upper east side restaurant in the building next to me back in the 1980's. The waiters had to pay the owner $25 a shift in order to wait tables there. The tips were that good. Several of the waiters made enough to open their own restaurant after a few years of waiting tables.
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Old 06-11-2019, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Insider View Post
it will depend on where you live, but $150 a night for 6 hours and maybe $80 for a 4 or 5 hour lunch shift is probably about average in places outside the upper east coast and far west coast
the $20 an hour is probably a good average

as for tipping and taxes wait staff pay the IRS 8% on their total sales off the top so while many might not be declaring the full tips they get they are paying taxes so when a person stiffs a server the server has lost money on serving that table to the tune of at least 8% of the ticket

then you have tip out to the bartender, busser, hostess and sometimes food runners (food runners are a stupid idea).....some places tip out to others as well it just depends on the state laws and base pay rate

the 15% (creeping towards 20%) comes from the above

base pay of $2.31 an hour (outside of the "living wage" places), server pays 8% off the top to the IRS, and probably another 3% to bartender, busser, hostess (can go higher with others)

take a $100 tab with a 15% tip ($15 dollars)......$8 to the IRS, $3 to the B/B/H = $11 out of that $15 leaves $4 for the server if they turn 5 tables in an hour (depends on the place) that is $20 in tips

get a good server, with great support staff, busy place where people are not taking their time and you have a 5 table section and you turn them in 45 minutes and upsell items and make sure to push the alcohol and you can get to $35 or $40 per hour on those types of nights......probably brought back down by the lunch shift with the $10 three item combo and 4 co-workers eating on 4 separate checks and tipping 10% to 12% and you will have at least a half an hour to an hour and a half of that shift when it is much slower

and as for restaurants being a party job (it is)

three guys are sitting around drinking and BSing one day with their dogs and one of them that is an architect says my dog is really talented look at this and tosses down three bones and the dog makes a little Stonehenge like design.......the second guy that is an artist says look what my dog can do and throws down three bones and the dog makes a little artsy sculpture and everyone says that is really cool

third guy that is a waiter says that is nothing look what my dog can do and he tosses down the bones and his dog crushes them up and snorts them, has sex with the other two dogs, and calls in sick for work
Fing Priceless......I owned a bar/rest for 7 years.....amazing Iím still alive.
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Old 06-12-2019, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Insider View Post
it will depend on where you live, but $150 a night for 6 hours and maybe $80 for a 4 or 5 hour lunch shift is probably about average in places outside the upper east coast and far west coast
the $20 an hour is probably a good average

as for tipping and taxes wait staff pay the IRS 8% on their total sales off the top so while many might not be declaring the full tips they get they are paying taxes so when a person stiffs a server the server has lost money on serving that table to the tune of at least 8% of the ticket

then you have tip out to the bartender, busser, hostess and sometimes food runners (food runners are a stupid idea).....some places tip out to others as well it just depends on the state laws and base pay rate

the 15% (creeping towards 20%) comes from the above

base pay of $2.31 an hour (outside of the "living wage" places), server pays 8% off the top to the IRS, and probably another 3% to bartender, busser, hostess (can go higher with others)

take a $100 tab with a 15% tip ($15 dollars)......$8 to the IRS, $3 to the B/B/H = $11 out of that $15 leaves $4 for the server if they turn 5 tables in an hour (depends on the place) that is $20 in tips

get a good server, with great support staff, busy place where people are not taking their time and you have a 5 table section and you turn them in 45 minutes and upsell items and make sure to push the alcohol and you can get to $35 or $40 per hour on those types of nights......probably brought back down by the lunch shift with the $10 three item combo and 4 co-workers eating on 4 separate checks and tipping 10% to 12% and you will have at least a half an hour to an hour and a half of that shift when it is much slower

and as for restaurants being a party job (it is)

three guys are sitting around drinking and BSing one day with their dogs and one of them that is an architect says my dog is really talented look at this and tosses down three bones and the dog makes a little Stonehenge like design.......the second guy that is an artist says look what my dog can do and throws down three bones and the dog makes a little artsy sculpture and everyone says that is really cool

third guy that is a waiter says that is nothing look what my dog can do and he tosses down the bones and his dog crushes them up and snorts them, has sex with the other two dogs, and calls in sick for work

Sorry, but they are not paying 60% tax rate. That 8% would go towards their taxable earnings, but they aren't dishing that out...
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Old 06-12-2019, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by KIMDer View Post
Sorry, but they are not paying 60% tax rate. That 8% would go towards their taxable earnings, but they aren't dishing that out...
Post 53 spells it out...
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Old 06-12-2019, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by chrispnet View Post

Post 53 spells it out...
As I said, it goes to their taxable earnings on their w-2, they are not paying it directly in taxes.
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Old 06-12-2019, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by KIMDer View Post


As I said, it goes to their taxable earnings on their w-2, they are not paying it directly in taxes.
yep.
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Old 06-12-2019, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by r_ventura_23 View Post
Really? No one is gonna ask?
Your repetitive, immature stuff gets old. People come on here trying to get honest, hands on experience/perspective and your only responses are people are cheap or the line you've always used, pics of wife. Seriously, any idea how long that line has been around and how ignorant it starts to sound, especially since it's the only thing you post 20-30 times a day.

Last edited by Mark Y; 06-12-2019 at 04:56 PM.
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Old 06-12-2019, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by mz06907 View Post

whatís cash?
A hell of a lot better than a debit card.
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Old 06-12-2019, 08:45 PM
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You guys understand modern POS systems track all credit card tips and show a total for the server. Good luck declaring 8% of sales when you have a paper trail showing your true tips. . A couple issues with this system. . It doesnít include cash tips and it doesnít deduct tip out if any.
Also remember the restaurant can get in trouble for the servers under declaring tips.
So this is why at some restaurant an employee will be terminated for not following company policy for declaring all their tips.

My favorite is when a server wants to get a car or house loan and asks the manager to write them a letter saying they make more money than what is on their W2 to qualify. Donít laugh I know it happens.



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Old 06-13-2019, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Rustyprop View Post
You guys understand modern POS systems track all credit card tips and show a total for the server. Good luck declaring 8% of sales when you have a paper trail showing your true tips. . A couple issues with this system. . It doesnít include cash tips and it doesnít deduct tip out if any.
Also remember the restaurant can get in trouble for the servers under declaring tips.
So this is why at some restaurant an employee will be terminated for not following company policy for declaring all their tips.

My favorite is when a server wants to get a car or house loan and asks the manager to write them a letter saying they make more money than what is on their W2 to qualify. Donít laugh I know it happens.



this is why it was mentioned about tipping in cash. Any credit card tips are automatically declared. I tip in cash when I have it, unless expensing it for work.
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Old 06-13-2019, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by KIMDer View Post


this is why it was mentioned about tipping in cash. Any credit card tips are automatically declared. I tip in cash when I have it, unless expensing it for work.
Less than one percent of the credit card slips are marked “cash” or have $0 on the tip line. Almost everyone who pays with a card will tip on the card.

Tip percentage is also included on POS reports. If the server is receiving cash tips on credit card sales it looks like they are providing bad service to the customer.

https://www.foodnewsfeed.com/fsr/tec...ad-restaurants
This changes when you get behind the bar. Many more people pay and tip in cash.
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