If you are a server in Mississippi or are considering becoming one, then you should know what the minimum wage is for servers in Mississippi to see if you are being paid the correct amount, or whether this is a job you would like to do. The law surrounding the Mississippi minimum wage for servers acts as 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, cafe or similar type of business where food and drinks are brought to the table. As part of providing this service, a server will typically receive tips (gratuities) for doing so. Mississippi servers will usually rely less on their hourly wage and more on the generosity of guests for their paycheck each week.
Mississippi Server Minimum Wage 2023
So, what is the minimum wage for a server in Mississippi? The minimum cash wage for servers in Mississippi is the same as the tipped minimum wage in Mississippi, which is $2.13 per hour. This is the minimum per hour a Mississippi server must pay and a Mississippi employer must pay its servers.
Server Minimum Wage in Mississippi (Minimum Cash Wage and Tip Credits)
$2.13 per hour may sound like a small amount to be paid an hour, but Mississippi servers are required to be supplemented by their employers via “tipped credit”, which is, in Mississippi’s case, $5.12 per hour, making the server minimum wage in Mississippi a total of $7.25 per hour. The regular minimum wage in Mississippi for all types of employees follows the federal minimum wage guidelines, and it has been this way since 2008.
Per the tipped minimum wage laws that apply to all states, Mississippi 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 they earn 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, casino workers, and pretty much any job role where tips are the primary income for the employee.
In Mississippi, servers must be paid a base minimum cash wage of $2.13 per hour. The expectation is that Mississippi servers will make at least an additional $5.12 per hour in tips on average across their pay period, and if they do, then the employer is only obligated to pay a Mississippi server $2.13 per hour.
Let’s assume a tipped server in Mississippi earns (on average) less than $5.12 per hour during the working week as the tipped portion of their earnings (an accumulation of their tips). In that case, the employer must pay the difference between the minimum cash wage ($2.13 per hour) that the server made in tips per hour in a working week, and the total of $7.25 per hour. This is tipped credit against the minimum wage and it can be up to 71% or $5.12 per hour.
Average Server Salary in Mississippi (2023)
If you are a server or are looking to work as a server in a restaurant or similar service-related business in Mississippi, knowing the hourly wage for servers is essential, but knowing what you can expect to earn (on average) is even more important. Most Mississippi 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 would only earn $254-$290 per week.
What are servers paid in Mississippi?
The average server hourly wage in Mississippi (according to the job website Indeed.com) is $10.67 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 $85.36 (8 hrs x $10.67). If you worked five days per week and rounded your daily pay to $86, then you could earn about $430 per week.
If you took just two weeks off a year and worked for 50 weeks you could earn $21,500. 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 could potentially earn 49 x $430 = $21,070 for the year. This is, of course, before deducting Mississippi income tax and any other federal taxes from your pay.
The above calculations are just averages to give you an idea of what you can earn as a Mississippi server. The most important aspects 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 that 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 $10-$15 and the restaurant mainly serves wings, burgers, subs, 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. This might be the case if you work breakfast and lunch shifts, and not during the evening.
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 and work the lunch and dinner shifts, 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.
Perhaps the most important takeaway from this is that, as a Mississippi employer, it is your responsibility to pay your servers a minimum hourly rate + tip credit that equals or surpasses the Mississippi 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 Mississippi, 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 Mississippi Department of Employment Security. Additionally, if you are an employee who isn’t being paid what you legally should be, you can file a complaint with them too.