If you are a server in Kansas or are considering becoming one, then you should know what the minimum wage is for servers in Kansas to ensure you are being paid the correct amount, or whether this is a job you would like to do. The Kansas server minimum wage rate in 2023 is $2.13 per hour.
The laws surrounding the Kansas minimum wage for servers are designed to provide a safety net for those that 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. Kansas servers usually rely less on their low hourly wage and more on the generosity of the guests they serve for the majority of their paycheck each week.
Kansas Server Minimum Wage 2023 and 2022
So, what is the minimum wage for a waiter in Kansas? The minimum cash wage for servers in Kansas is $2.13 per hour, which is the same as the tipped minimum wage in Kansas. This is the minimum per hour that a Kansas server must be paid and that a Kansas employer must pay its servers.
As you can see from the following graphic, the minimum wage for servers in Kansas has not increased over the past several years.
Server Minimum Wage in Kansas (Minimum Cash Wage and Tip Credits)
$2.13 per hour is not a lot for a tipped server to be paid, but if tips are not sufficient enough, Kansas servers are required to be supplemented by their employers via “tipped credit.” In Kansas, tipped credit is $5.12 per hour, making the server minimum wage in Kansas a total of $7.25 per hour. The regular minimum wage in Kansas for all types of employees follows the federal minimum wage guidelines, and it has been this way since 2008.
Based on the tipped minimum wage laws that apply to all states, Kansas 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 a server can make up the difference via tips per hour during each pay period.
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, casino workers, and pretty much any job role where tips are the primary income for the employee.
In Kansas, servers must be paid a base minimum cash wage of $2.13 per hour. The expectation is that Kansas servers will make at least an additional $5.12 per hour in tips on average across a working week. If they do, then their employer is only obligated to pay a Kansas server $2.13 per hour.
Assuming a server does not make at least $5.12 per hour in tips as an average over a working week, then the employer must step in and pay the Kansas server a tip credit of up to $5.12 per hour, so the server makes a minimum of $7.25 per hour for the duration of the pay period they worked.
Average Server Salary in Kansas (2023 and 2022)
If you are a server or are looking to work as a server in a restaurant or similar service-related business in Kansas, knowing the hourly wage for servers is important, but knowing what you can expect to earn is perhaps even more important. Most Kansas servers are not going to take a position at a restaurant with the view that they can only earn $7.25 per hour, because based on working 35-40 hours a week, they could only earn $254-$290 per week.
What Do Servers Get Paid in Kansas
The average server hourly wage in Kansas (according to the jobs website Indeed.com) is $14.06 per hour. If you worked an 8-hour shift or a total of 8 hours in a day across a couple of shifts, you could earn (on average) about $112.48 (8 hrs x $14.06). If you worked five days per week and rounded your daily pay down to $112, then you could earn about $560 per week.
If you took a couple of weeks off a year and worked for 50 weeks, you could earn about $28,000. If you decided to take 3 weeks off per year, you could earn about 49 x $560 = $27,440 for the year. This, of course, is before Kansas income tax has been deducted.
The above calculations are just averages to give you an idea of what you may be able to earn as a Kansas server. The most important aspects of how much you can earn will depend on how good you are at your job, what type of food/beverage establishment you work at, how busy the restaurant/cafe or bar is, and how many other servers are working with you. Some people who work at restaurants or similar establishments are willing to work more than 40-hours per week, making them (potentially) qualify for overtime pay.
As a Kansas employer, it is your responsibility to pay your servers a minimum hourly rate + tip credit that equals or surpasses the Kansas minimum wage in the event that your servers do not earn enough to meet the $7.25 per hour threshold. Failing to do so will be breaking federal and state laws. Equally, it is important that as a server working in Kansas, 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 in Kansas (tipped employees) from both an employer and employee perspective, you can contact the Kansas 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.