The US employs over 8.1 million restaurant workers who earn an average salary of $24,861—that’s 54% less than all occupations across the country.1
Beyond the low pay, the restaurant industry—and its workers—faces severe challenges due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Since the pandemic began, over 110,000 restaurants shut down, whether long term or permanently.2 On top of that, 46.7% of people are eating out more.3
With added pressures, safety precautions, inconsistent work, or unemployment, restaurant workers struggle to find stability during the pandemic.
To raise awareness and help those in the restaurant business who may be seeking a new gig, we found the best (and worst) paying areas for restaurant jobs in the US. (We included all 50 states and Washington DC.)
We looked at the average salary for servers, bartenders, dishwashers, and other restaurant jobs to find a weighted average. We then ranked each state by comparing the average restaurant staff salary to the average income for all occupations.