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How much do bartenders and waiters make per hour in Florida? Servers’ wages with and without tips

Servers’ salaries in the Sunshine State are slightly better than in the majority of other states in the nation. Here’s a look at how much they earn…

How much bartenders and waiters make in Florida

Florida’s economy relies heavily on tourism being one of its largest industries in one of the most visited states. People come from all over the nation, and beyond, to take advantage of its weather, beaches and amusement parks among its many attractions.

Many of those visitors make the most of their time in the state going out to the many restaurants and bars on offer while there, as well as the residents of the Sunshine State. That requires servers to wait on the tables and bartenders to prepare and serve drinks. Nationwide it is the third most common sector of the workforce.

But how much do those vital laborers earn? Despite the high necessity, not as much as other parts of the United States, but server’s salaries on average in Florida, including base pay and tips, are better than in the majority. But one’s take home pay depends on many factors and income is not the same for all servers. Here’s a look…

What is the minimum servers make per hour in Florida?

Florida is one of 28 states and the District of Columbia that requires employers to supplement tipped employees minimum cash wage above the minimum cash wage required under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act so that they earn the same minimum hourly wage as workers that don’t rely on tips for the majority of their hourly wage. The federal tipped minimum wage is a paltry $2.13 per hour. Eight other states have their own minimum wage set higher than the federal one which is paid to tipped employees as well regardless of their tips.

Voters in the state approved a progressive increase in the minimum wage over five years in 2020. At the end of September 2026 employers in the Florida will have to pay at least $15 per hour to workers. After that the minimum wage will be indexed to inflation.

Currently, the minimum wage for tipped employees, including waiters and bartenders is $7.98 per hour which their employer must pay them. However, the tipped minimum wage by law is supplemented by their employers via “tipped credit” to bring the floor for tipped employees, in this case servers, to the state’s minimum wage for non-tipped employees.

In Florida, as of 30 September 2022 the state’s minimum wage was $11 per hour. So currently, the “tipped credit” is $3.02 per hour which the employer would have to pay the server if the bartender, waiter or waitress didn’t receive at least that amount in tips per hour during a pay period.

On 30 September 2023 the state minimum wage will rise to $12 per hour and increase by $1 every year until 2026 when it reaches $15 per hour. As mentioned, after that date the minimum wage will be indexed to inflation each year.

How much do bartenders and waiters make per hour in Florida?

According to the online job site Indeed, they average hourly wage for a server is $14.67 per hour, less experienced waiters and waitresses earn on average less and vice versa for those with more experience. This is 8 precent less than the national average for servers according to the sites data, but higher than 28 other states.

Not only a server’s experience but also the category of server will affect how much you earn. For example, fine dining servers averaged $16.59 per hour in the Sunshine State while bartenders averaged $14.19 per hour.

The top posting at the time of publishing was Maggiano’s Little Italy where the average pay per hour reported to the site was $29.81 nationally. The one employee post from Florida that included their salary reported earning $65,000 per year, or $31.25 per hour if they worked full-time with no holidays. But that was more than double what others claimed they earned per hour around the nation at the franchise, albeit in different serving positions.