Employee Wages and Benefits

Wages and benefits vary slightly from restaurant to restaurant, even for the same position. If you are a manager hiring people for the first time, or simply assessing wages in order to make changes to your current payroll.


Tips are considered a benefit of working in a restaurant, but many servers and bartenders would most likely consider it part of their income. These restaurant workers usually work for a pay rate of less than minimum wage, but take home a good deal more based on their tip income. Tips are sometimes distributed among kitchen staff and bussers as well. Unlike other restaurant benefits, tips are given by guests, not restaurant owners.

Meal Benefits

Restaurants often offer daily employee meal benefits to their workers. These usually involves one discounted or free meal from the restaurant menu per employee per shift. However, each restaurant meal policy is different, depending on corporate rules, food type and budget.

Paid Time Off

Restaurant managers may receive a certain number of paid sick days and vacation days, depending on the restaurant’s policies. Hourly workers typically need to request time off in advance and do not get paid for vacation days or sick days.


Restaurant managers and other supervising positions are often entitled to insurance benefits in the restaurant. Sometimes these benefits are even extended to hourly workers, but this depends on the company. Insurance benefits typically include the following:

  • Medical
  • Dental
  • Vision
  • Life
  • Disability


A tax-deferred retirement savings investment plan sponsored by an employer. Employees who are offered a 401K plan transfer a portion of their income to the 401K account each month and plan to withdraw it after retirement. Much like insurance, 401K plans are not offered by all employers, and when they are, they are mainly offered to managers and assistant managers. Since many restaurant workers are youths who may not be fulfilling their careers in the restaurant, 401K benefits are not quite as common for these hourly workers.