What is the Minimum Wage for Servers in Florida?

Author: Jason Coles

Updated On:

Updated On:

If you are a server in Florida or are considering becoming a server, then you should know what the minimum wage is for servers in Florida to see if you are being paid the correct amount, or whether this is a job you would like to do.

The Florida minimum wage for servers acts as a safety net for those who may not earn enough in tips to meet the minimum wage threshold in the state.

Servers are those who provide and serve their customers with food and beverages in a restaurant or similar type of business where food and drinks are brought to the table, and as part of this service, a server will typically receive tips (gratuities) for doing so.

Florida servers usually rely less on their hourly wage and more on the generosity of guests.

Florida Server Minimum Wage 2024

So, what is the minimum wage for a waitress in Florida? The minimum cash wage for servers and waiters/waitresses in Florida is the same as the tipped minimum wage in Florida, which is $8.98 per hour.

With the addition of tip credits, this will reach the minimum wage rate in Florida of $12 per hour for late 2023 and the majority of 2024.

$8.98 is the minimum per hour that a Florida server must be paid and that a Florida employer must pay its servers.

Tipped Minimum Wage in Florida (Minimum Cash Wage and Tip Credits)

$8.98 per hour might not sound like a lot, but Florida servers are required to be supplemented by their employers via “tipped credit”, which is, in Florida’s case, $3.02 per hour, making the server minimum wage in Florida a total of $12.00 per hour.

The regular minimum wage in Florida for all types of employees in Florida was increased to $12.00 per hour on September 30, 2023.

Per the tipped minimum wage laws that apply to all states, Florida employers are required to pay their employees an hourly minimum cash wage with the addition of tip credits.

What tipped credits allow employers to do is pay tipped employees less than the minimum wage so long as they can make up the difference via tips per hour.

Tip credit not only allows server employees to be paid less than the minimum hourly wage, but it is also the same concept with bartenders, hotel workers, airport attendants, and pretty much any job role where tips are the primary income for the employee.

In Florida, servers must be paid a base minimum cash wage of $8.98 per hour. The expectation is that Florida servers will make at least an additional $3.02 per hour in tips on average across their pay period, and if they do, then the employer is only obligated to pay a Florida server $8.98 per hour.

The graphic below displays the Florida server tip credit rates over the past several years:

Let’s assume that a server does not make at least $3.02 per hour in tips as an average over the course of their pay period (usually two weeks), then the employer must step in and pay the Florida server a tip credit of $3.02 per hour, so the server makes a minimum of $12.00 per hour for the duration of the pay period they worked.

Here is what you can make as a Florida server on the minimum wage in Florida:

  • Weekly Server Minimum Wage: $480.00 (based on a 40-hour week).
  • Monthly Server Minimum Wage: $1,920 (based on a 160-hour month).
  • Yearly Server Minimum Wage: $24,960 (based on being paid 52 weeks per year).

Florida Server Minimum Wage (Tipped Minimum Wage) Increase Schedule

In 2020, Florida released a constitutional amendment, which showcases the minimum wage and subsequently tipped minimum wage increases each year leading up to 2026.

Florida had the first increase in its tipped server minimum wage per the state’s 2020 constitutional amendment on September 30, 2022.

The second increase took place on September 30, 2023, when the server minimum wage went from $7.98 per hour to $8.98 per hour.

This voter-approved amendment will continue to increase in future years as follows:

  • September 30, 2024: $9.98 per hour
  • September 30, 2025: $10.98 per hour
  • September 30, 2026: $11.98 per hour
  • Beyond 2026: Inflation-linked increases

Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Tipped Employees

The Federal Fair Labor Standards Act, also known as the FLSA, is a federal law from the U.S. Department of Labor.

This law establishes a national minimum wage, defines classifications for employees, and covers other essential standards and requirements for employers.

Federal law requires that employers make tipped employees aware of the cash wage paid (currently, the national direct hourly salary is $2.13 per hour), let them know about the tip credit, and explain any tip pooling systems at the workplace.

Because Florida’s minimum wage rate is higher than the federal minimum wage rate, the state laws supersede the federal regulations.

Florida Server Minimum Wage History

The table below showcases the current rate and history of the Florida server minimum wage over the past 15+ years since 2008, with the additional future server minimum wage rates until 2026.

You can see when there were increases in the server minimum wage, which includes not only the tipped minimum wage rates but the tipped credit rates too.

StateTipped WageTip CreditTotal
Florida Server Minimum Wage 2026$11.98$3.02$15.00
Florida Server Minimum Wage 2025-2026$10.98$3.02$14.00
Florida Server Minimum Wage 2024-2025$9.98$3.02$13.00
Florida Server Minimum Wage 2023-2024$8.98$3.02$12.00
Florida Server Minimum Wage 2022-2023$7.98$3.02$11.00
Florida Server Minimum Wage 2022$6.98$3.02$10.00
Florida Server Minimum Wage 2021$6.98$3.02$10.00
Florida Server Minimum Wage 2020$5.54$3.02$8.56
Florida Server Minimum Wage 2019$5.44$3.02$8.46
Florida Server Minimum Wage 2018$5.23$3.02$8.25
Florida Server Minimum Wage 2017$5.08$3.02$8.10
Florida Server Minimum Wage 2016$5.03$3.02$8.05
Florida Server Minimum Wage 2015$5.03$3.02$8.05
Florida Server Minimum Wage 2014$4.91$3.02$7.93
Florida Server Minimum Wage 2013$4.77$3.02$7.79
Florida Server Minimum Wage 2012$4.65$3.02$7.67
Florida Server Minimum Wage 2011$4.29$3.02$7.31
Florida Server Minimum Wage 2010$4.23$3.02$7.25
Florida Server Minimum Wage 2009$4.23$3.02$7.25
Florida Server Minimum Wage 2008$3.77$3.02$6.79

Latest News on the Server Minimum Wage in Florida

The minimum wage is such a hot topic around the different states, especially in Florida where laws seemingly change constantly and controversial stories of employers and employees are a staple. This latest news section has been created to keep you in the loop regarding all things Florida server minimum wage!

  • More than $250K Owed to Underpaid Florida Servers: a total of four Florida restaurants, all with the same owner had to pay back over $250,000 to server employees that they had been underpaying, only providing them with tips and not the official Florida tipped server minimum wage which acts as a safety net for minimum wage employees. Read more about this controversy here.
  • Red Mesa Stealing Server Wages: the owners of Red Mesa’s St. Petersburg Mexican restaurant have kept around $190,000 of tips that were intended for bartenders and servers. The investigation was launched by the U.S. Department of Labor and the investigators claimed that workers were losing anywhere between $10 and $175 in tips per day. It doesn’t stop there though – managers and owners were also said to be deducting the cost of employees’ uniforms from their wages too! You can read more about it here.

Average Server Salary in Florida (2023-2024)

We have covered the minimum cash wage that an employer must pay a Florida server of $8.98 per hour, and we have also detailed the safety net for the server should they not make at least $12.00 per hour with tips by receiving tipped credit of $3.02 per hour.

What we have not discussed is the average that servers get paid in Florida.

If you are a server or are looking to work as a server in a restaurant or similar business in Florida, knowing the hourly wage for servers is important, but knowing what you can expect to earn is even more important.

Most Florida servers are not going to take a position at a restaurant with the view that they can only earn $12 per hour, because based on working 35-40 hours a week, they would only earn $420-$480 per week.

What do tipped servers get paid in Florida?

The average server hourly wage in Florida (according to the job website Indeed.com) is $13.82 per hour. So, if you were to work an 8-hour shift or a total of 8 hours in a day across a couple of shifts, you could earn (on average) about $110.56 (8 hours x $13.82).

If you worked five days per week and rounded your daily pay to $111, then you could earn about $555 per week.

If you took just two weeks off a year and worked for 50 weeks you would earn $. If you decided to take 3 weeks off per year, or a total amount of time that was the equivalent of about 3 weeks off, then you would earn 49 x $555 = $27,195 for the year.

The good news is that there is no income tax in Florida but you will still need to pay taxes on your earnings because Federal taxes will affect your take-home pay.

The above calculations are just averages to give you an idea of what you can earn as a Florida server.

The most important aspect of how much you can earn will depend on how good you are at your job and what type of food/beverage establishment you work at.

Also, many people who work at restaurants or similar establishments are willing to work more than 40 hours per week so they qualify for overtime pay.

If the average food item on the menu is $8-$14 and the restaurant mainly serves wings, burgers, sandwiches, nachos, fries, and similar snack-style food, then the average check for each guest or table will be much less, and therefore, the percentage tip against the total check will result in you earning less per table you serve and you’ll have to serve many tables during your shift.

On the other hand, if you work at a finer dining restaurant or one that is really busy and serves steak, seafood, and other higher-priced menu and beverage items, then you stand to earn more money as the total check for each table you serve will be that much higher and the percentage tip you receive on a higher check will be that much more.

Highest Paid Server Job in Florida

According to Indeed.com, the highest-paid server job in Florida currently is at Columbia Restaurant Group.

This establishment, on average, pays its servers $28.32 per hour, which is an extremely good wage for this line of work – over double the average hourly rate in Florida, and almost triple the server minimum wage in Florida!

So, here is what you can make if you were on the highest-paid server wage in Florida:

  • $226.56 per day ($28.32 x 8 hours).
  • $1,132.80 per week ($226.56 x 5 days).
  • $4,531.20 per month ($1,132.80 x 4 weeks).
  • $58,905.60 per year ($28.32 x 2080 hours).

Final Thoughts

Perhaps the most important takeaway from this is that, as a Florida employer, it is your responsibility to pay your servers a minimum hourly rate + tip credit that equals or surpasses the Florida minimum wage in the event that your tipped employees do not earn enough to meet the $12.00 per hour threshold.

Failing to do so will be breaking federal and state laws. Equally, it is important that as a server working in Florida, you know your rights and how much you should be paid with your hourly wage and tip credits.

If you have specific questions about the laws surrounding the minimum wage for servers (tipped employees) from both an employer and employee perspective, you can contact the Florida Department of Labor.

Additionally, if you are an employee who isn’t being paid what you legally should be, you can file a complaint with them too.

Minimum Wage Rates for each State

Photo of author

Jason Coles

Jason Coles is the Founder of Foreign USA and its Chief Content Writer and Editor. Recognized as a prolific business plan writer by many prominent immigration attorneys in the U.S. who refer his services to their clients regularly, Jason has written over 1,335 business plans across the past 17+ years for start-up companies and franchises looking to expand their footprint in the United States. Jason is considered a seasoned expert in his field. He creates detailed business plans for his clients that include five-year financial projections, market and industry analysis reports, demographic studies, organizational charts, job descriptions, employee hiring plans, and more.