How Much Do Waiters Make? Average Waitress Salaries in 2023

A waiter, waitress, or server role can be a great job opportunity for workers who want a flexible service industry position that is almost always in demand. Of course, an important question to ask if you’re considering pursuing a job in this role would be, “how much do waiters make?” 

However, it can sometimes be difficult to determine how much a worker can expect to make as a waiter, especially when you factor in tips. These factors can make it challenging to know how much you can expect to be paid in this position or determine whether you are being paid a fair wage in this role. 

In this piece, we will be trying to answer the question “how much do waiters make” based on relevant factors and information. This resource is meant to help existing or aspiring waiter/waitress workers evaluate their compensation compared to other workers in this role. 

This guide will include the average waiter/waitress/server salaries in 2021, essential factors to consider that can influence compensation, and how much you can expect to bring home from this role. This resource is beneficial to current servers or aspiring waiters curious about pursuing this path.

Adia is an on-demand staffing platform that helps connect businesses looking to hire wait staff with vetted professionals looking for work. When posting jobs on the Adia app, employers can see when their hourly pay is below or above standard, so they can easily determine whether their income is within a range that workers on Adia are willing to accept. This feature helps employers stay competitive in the hospitality employer marketplace and secure great workers with competitive wages at a fair price! 

A Few Things to Note About the Average Waiter Salary

The amount that a waiter or waitress can earn can depend on a few critical factors. While some factors may be out of your control, working hard and becoming a better waiter can significantly increase your income in the form of tips.

In the following subsections, we will discuss some of the other factors influencing how much pay a worker can expect to receive in a waiter or waitress position.


The location that a waiter’s business is in can strongly influence the amount of money they can earn. For example, a restaurant in a city with a greater cost of living will likely pay more than one in a lower cost of living area. Additionally, the amount of foot traffic and customers your business sees can affect how much you make in tips, as more customers mean more opportunities to get tips. 

Therefore, a server in a popular food chain in an airport or a major U.S. city may make more in tips than a server working in a restaurant in a small town in Alabama or Arkansas that doesn’t get many visitors. 

Type of Restaurant 

Another substantial influencing factor in determining the salary for hospitality workers in server positions would be the type of restaurant a waiter or waitress works at. For example, a restaurant with food and drink options for people of all ages may do better in a wholesome neighborhood town with many young families than, say, a heavy-metal-themed dive bar that only serves alcohol in the same place. 

Restaurants and eateries with more opportunities to serve the demographics within their areas tend to have a better business.

Type of Shifts

As a waiter or waitress, the tips that you can receive can largely depend on the customers present during their hourly shifts. Therefore, a shift during a time of day where many people are likely to visit the restaurant will have more opportunities for a waiter to make a lot of tips. 

For example, a server working at a restaurant during a slow lunch shift is likely to bring home less money than a server performing the same hourly shift length on a busy weekend night, as more customers mean more of a chance of making money in tips. 

Skill Level

Finally, the skill level is always important in determining the wage for any job, especially for servers. A waiter or waitress who is good at their job with a higher skill level is more likely to be scheduled for busier shifts and more likely to be rewarded in tips for their excellent performance. However, a waiter with a lower skill level is less likely to be scheduled for busier shifts with more customers and is less likely to exhibit work worthy of higher tips.

The following section will answer the most significant questions regarding pay amounts for waiters and waitresses.

Do Servers Make Good Money?

To determine whether servers make good money, we must look at the average wage that these workers can expect in their role. Therefore, we have provided the figures below to help you decide whether you think servers make good money. 

How Much Do Waiters Make in Tips in a Day?

In the United States, servers make a median average of $100 in tips per day. This number is based on tip amounts for waiters and waitresses across the country. Still, the amount you make could depend on factors like the restaurant type, location of your restaurant, or your experience level.

How Much Do Waiters Make in Tips in a Week?

The current United States National Average for how much waiters make in tips per week is $700. However, this can depend on factors such as the hours worked and the popularity of the place of employment during the worker’s hourly shifts.

How Much Do Waitresses Make a Month?

So how much do waitresses make in a month? According to the current median National Average, waitresses and other servers make a base salary of $2,813 per month, not including tips. Things that can influence this number would be the restaurant’s location, type, and the number of hours worked. 

What is the Average Annual Server Salary?

According to the National Average, the average annual server salary is a base salary of $39,737. This is the median wage for servers in the United States. Still, the annual salary that you can expect to make as a server can depend on many factors, such as your experience level, your shifts, and the popularity of your place of employment, which can influence the amount you can expect to receive in tips. 

How Much Do Waiters Make Per Hour?

The average hourly pay for a waiter job in the US is $7.45 and it ranges from $5.77 to $23.80 per hour.

Average Server Salaries Across America

As previously mentioned, the amount one can make from a waiter’s salary or waitress’s salary can differ based on the location in which they work. The following subsections will share specific and updated average wages for wait staff in the most popular United States locations, as sourced from 

How Much Do Waiters Make in California?

The average salary in San Diego, California, is $42,359 per year with additional compensation of around $120 in tips each day. This high percentile amount is likely due to the area’s popularity and higher cost of living within that location.

How Much Do Waiters Make in New York City?

The average waiter salary in New York, New York, is $42,272 per year with additional compensation of around $180 in tips per day. The lucrative median tip amount could be due to the number of tourists visiting the area, meaning that the restaurants and bars see lots of customers.

How Much Do Waiters Make in Texas?

The average waiter salary in Dallas, Texas, is $43,709 per year with additional compensation of around $120 in tips per day. This average base salary is in a higher percentile, 10% above the national average for server salaries, which is likely due partly to the cost of living and popular restaurant chains within that area.

How Much Do Waitresses Make in Miami, Florida?

The average waiter salary in Miami, Florida, is $40,338 per year with additional compensation of around $130 in tips per day. While this amount is high, the fact that the area is primarily popular for vacations at certain times of the year can affect its customer popularity, unlike New York, which is popular for business year-round. Therefore, fewer customers may mean fewer opportunities for servers to make money. 

Ready to Make More Money Serving? Let’s Talk!

When trying to answer the question of “how much do waiters make,” you should consider important factors like job location, type of shifts, type of restaurant, and skill level. Changing these can also affect your amount earned in this position.

If you want to be hired as a server, Adia can help. Adia’s online staffing platform matches workers looking for jobs with open positions. Additionally, our blog provides readers like you with great resources on topics like increasing the minimum wage and determining competitive wages for hospitality positions. So visit us online today to see how our workforce staffing service can help you!

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Let's stay in touch!

Keep me in the loop on the latest gig economy happenings.