If you are a server in Minnesota or are considering becoming a server, then you should know what the minimum wage is for servers in Minnesota to find out whether or not you are being paid the correct amount or whether this is a job you would like to do.
The Minnesota server minimum wage rate in 2023 is $10.59 per hour for large employers and $8.63 per hour for small employers. Read on to find out all the details of how this breaks down.
What is Considered a Server in Minnesota?
Servers are those who provide and serve their customers with food and beverages in a restaurant or similar type of business where food and beverages are brought to the table, and as part of this service, a server will typically receive tips (gratuities) for doing so.
Minnesota servers, fortunately, do not need to rely fully on the tips they receive to make up the minimum wage rate, as the state does not have a tip credit system in place.
This means that a Minnesota server will receive a flat payment of the minimum wage rate or higher (the same as non-tipped roles) without the wage being split between a traditionally lower-tipped minimum wage and a tip credit to make up the difference.
Put simply, tips do not count toward minimum wage for servers in Minnesota. Employers of restaurants that hire servers (and bartenders, etc.) must pay them the state’s standard minimum wage.
Minnesota Server Minimum Wage for 2023
How much do Minnesota servers make? The minimum cash wage for servers and waiters/waitresses in Minnesota is $8.63 per hour for those working in businesses with 25 or fewer employees and $10.59 per hour for those working in businesses with 26 or more employees, which is the same as the is the same as Minnesota’s tipped minimum wage.
This is the minimum per hour that a Minnesota server must be paid and that a Minnesota employer must pay its servers.
Server Minimum Wage in Minnesota (Minimum Cash Wage and Tip Credits)
$8.63 or $10.59 per hour does sound like a lot, but unlike most states, Minnesota does not have tip credits nor a tipped minimum wage rate that is lower than the regular rate.
Employees in every industry within the state will be paid the exact same minimum wage, depending on the size of your employer.
The regular minimum wage in Minnesota (which is the same as the server minimum wage) for all types of employees in Minnesota was increased to $8.63 per hour (for those working for employers with 25 or fewer employees) and $10.59 per hour (for employers with 26 or more employees) in January 2023.
Most states follow a law that allows employers to pay their employees an hourly minimum cash wage with the addition of tip credits, which will total the regular minimum wage.
However, in Minnesota, there is only one minimum wage rate for all employees due to there being no minimum cash wage and no tip credit.
In Minnesota, servers must be paid a minimum wage of either $8.63 or $10.59 per hour, depending on the size of the employer.
Let’s assume that a server does not make an average of $10.59 per hour in tips over the course of their pay period (usually two weeks), then the employer must still pay the Minnesota server a wage of $10.59 per hour, and the tips are still there for the server to keep.
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 Minnesota’s minimum wage rate is higher than the federal minimum wage rate, the state laws supersede the federal regulations.
Minnesota Server Minimum Wage History
The table below showcases the current rate and history of the Minnesota server minimum wage over the past 15+ years since 2008.
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.
|State & Year||Large Employer Server Wage||Small Employer Server Wage|
|Minnesota Server Minimum Wage 2023||$10.59||$8.63|
|Minnesota Server Minimum Wage 2022||$10.33||$8.42|
|Minnesota Server Minimum Wage 2021||$10.08||$8.21|
|Minnesota Server Minimum Wage 2020||$10.00||$8.15|
|Minnesota Server Minimum Wage 2019||$9.86||$8.04|
|Minnesota Server Minimum Wage 2018||$9.65||$7.87|
|Minnesota Server Minimum Wage 2017||$9.50||$7.75|
|Minnesota Server Minimum Wage 2016||$9.50||$7.75|
|Minnesota Server Minimum Wage 2015||$9.00||$7.25|
|Minnesota Server Minimum Wage 2014||$8.00||$6.50|
|Minnesota Server Minimum Wage 2013||$6.15||$5.25|
|Minnesota Server Minimum Wage 2012||$6.15||$5.25|
|Minnesota Server Minimum Wage 2011||$6.15||$5.25|
|Minnesota Server Minimum Wage 2010||$6.15||$5.25|
|Minnesota Server Minimum Wage 2009||$6.15||$5.25|
|Minnesota Server Minimum Wage 2008||$6.15||$5.25|
Average Server Salary in Minnesota (2023)
If you are a server or are looking to work as a server in a restaurant or similar business in Minnesota, knowing the hourly wage for servers is important, but knowing what you can expect to earn is even more important.
Most Minnesota servers are not going to take a position at a restaurant with the view that they can only earn $8.63 or $10.59 per hour because, based on working 40 hours a week, their gross pay would be $345.20 or $423.60 per week.
What do servers get paid in Minnesota?
The average server hourly wage in Minnesota (according to the job website Indeed.com) is $13.16 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 $98 (8 hrs x $12.31) based on the minimum wage alone. If you worked five days per week, then you could earn about $490 per week.
If you took just two weeks off a year and worked for 50 weeks, you could potentially earn $24,500. If you decided to take three weeks off per year (or the equivalent), then you could possibly earn 49 weeks x $490 = $24,010 for the year. This, of course, is before Minnesota income tax.
The above calculations are just averages to give you an idea of what you can earn as a Minnesota server just based on the minimum wage plus an average of what tips will top this up.
The most important aspects of how much you can earn will depend on how good you are at your job, the type of food/beverage establishment you work at, and how busy it is.
Also, many people that work at restaurants or similar establishments are willing to work more than 40 hours per week, so they may qualify for overtime pay.
If the average food item on the menu is $13-$18 and the restaurant mainly serves wings, burgers, sandwiches, nachos, fries, and similar snacks or small portion-style food, then the average check for each guest or table will be much less, and therefore, the percentage tip against the total check could 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.
Most of this also depends on how busy the restaurant is and how many servers there are in relation to the number of covers the restaurant has.
Perhaps the most important takeaway from this is that, as a Minnesota employer, it is your responsibility to pay your servers a minimum hourly rate that equals or surpasses the Minnesota minimum wage, regardless of what tips they receive.
Failing to do so will be breaking federal and state laws. Equally, it is important that, as a server working in Minnesota, you know your rights and how much you should be paid.
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 Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry wage claim adjudication department.
Additionally, if you are an employee who isn’t being paid what you legally should be, you can file a complaint with them too.
Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry
443 Lafayette Rd,
St Paul, MN 55155
Telephone: 651-284-5075 or 800-342-5354