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Cook in a Restaurant, Earn $19,000 a Year! And Average Salaries for 11 Other Food Service Jobs

Cook in a Restaurant, Earn $19,000 a Year! And Average Salaries for 11 Other Food Service Jobs

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Celebrity chefs can make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. Their support staff makes, well, a little less


Cook in a Restaurant, Earn $19,000 a Year! And Average Salaries for 11 Other Food Service Jobs


Like employees in any industry, people who work in restaurants take home a wide range of salaries. From the person who greets you as you walk in the door to the guy who washes your dishes after you’re finished eating, everyone who works at a restaurant, be it hourly or full-time, earns a paycheck. What they make varies greatly, and we’ve tracked down the average salaries for 12 restaurant industry jobs.



According to 967 reported salaries on Glassdoor, the national average for a bartender’s salary is $30,108.’s report is a bit less sunny, with a median salary of $18,318.


iStockPhoto/Thinkstock reports that the national average busser salary is $14,000.



Glassdoor reports that hourly wages for dishwashers at chain restaurants, including Cracker Barrel, Chili’s, Friendly’s, and Red Lobster, range from $8.58 to a little over $10. According to Indeed, the average yearly salary of a dishwasher in the United States is $20,000.

Executive Chef


Executive chef salaries vary greatly; reports $67,240 as the national median, while Glassdoor’s 316 executive chef salaries average $59,396. According to Indeed’s calculations, the industry average is $49,000.

Executive Pastry Chef


This is another high-paying restaurant job, but it’s becoming rarer and rarer outside of fine dining establishments. Glassdoor averages the salary of Executive Pastry Chefs at about $67,000, and puts the median at about $62,000.

Fast Food Cook


According to Glassdoor, McDonald’s pays its cooks $8.90 hourly (which equals out to about $25,000 per year), and Chipotle pays $9.81 per hour. According to, the median fast food cook salary is about $19,000.


iStockPhoto/Thinkstock reports that the national average salary for a restaurant host or hostess is $22,000, while puts that median closer to $18,000. Glassdoor has the details on what hosts and hostesses earn per hour: $6.73 at Applebee’s, $6.92 at Outback, $8.19 at Cracker Barrel, $9.25 at Red Lobster, $9.44 at Olive Garden, and $10.91 at PF Chang’s.

Line Cook


Working the line isn’t an easy or high-paying job; averages the salary at $19,000, and is right behind that at $22,919. Out of 454 line cook salaries on Glassdoor, the national average is $24,106.



Chain restaurant managers can expect to earn between $40,000 and $50,000 per year, according to Glassdoor, with putting the national median for all restaurant managers at $49,718.



Glassdoor compiled nearly 4,000 server (or waiter or waitress) salaries from around the country and found that the average is about $24,000. Indeed puts that number closer to $20,000. When tips are added, however, that number will most likely change depending on the restaurant. In some restaurants the hourly salary plus tips barely scratches minimum wage; in others a server can take home more than $100,000 annually.



According to, sommeliers can expect to earn about $53,000 annually. Indeed puts the figure closer to $56,000.



Sous-chefs should expect to make about $46,000 annually; Indeed, Glassdoor, and all estimate the average salary to be right in that ballpark.

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