If you are a server in Nebraska or are considering becoming one, then you should know what the minimum wage is for servers in Nebraska to make sure you are being paid correctly and whether this is something you would like to do.

The laws surrounding the Nebraska minimum wage for servers acts as a safety net for those working in restaurants, cafes, and hotels 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. For doing this, a server will typically receive tips for doing so. Nebraska servers usually rely less on their low hourly wage and more on the generosity of the guests they serve for their paycheck each week.

Nebraska Server Minimum Wage 2022 and 2021

So, what is the minimum wage for servers in Nebraska? The minimum cash wage for servers in Nebraska is the same as the tipped minimum wage in Nebraska, which is $2.13 per hour. This is the minimum per hour that a Nebraska server must be paid and that a Nebraska employer must pay its servers. As you can see from the following graphic, the minimum wage for servers in Nebraska has not increased over the past several years.

Nebraska server minimum wage

Server Minimum Wage in Nebraska (Minimum Cash Wage and Tip Credits)

$2.13 per hour it not a lot to be paid, but if tips are not sufficient enough then Nebraska servers are required to be supplemented by their employers via “tipped credit”, which in Nebraska is $6.87 per hour, making the server minimum wage in Nebraska a total of $9.00 per hour. The regular minimum wage in Nebraska 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, Nebraska employers are required to pay their employees an hourly minimum cash wage with the addition of tip credits. 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, some airport workers at baggage drops, and pretty much any job role where tips are the primary income for the employee.

In Nebraska, servers must be paid a base minimum cash wage of $2.13 per hour. The expectation is that Nebraska servers will make at least an additional $6.87 per hour in tips on average across their pay period, and if they do, then the employer is only obligated to pay a Nebraska server $2.13 per hour.

If a tipped server in Nebraska earns, on average, less than $6.87 per hour during the working week as the tipped portion of their earnings (an accumulation of their tips) then their 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 $9.00 per hour. This is tipped credit against the minimum wage and it can be up to 76% or $6.87 per hour.

Average Server Salary in Nebraska (2022 and 2021)

If you are a server or are looking to work as a server in a restaurant or similar service-related business in Nebraska, knowing the hourly wage for servers is important, but knowing what you can expect to earn is perhaps even more important. Most Nebraska servers are not going to take a position at a restaurant with the view that they can only earn $9.00 per hour, because based on working 35-40 hours a week, they could only earn $315-$360 per week.

What Do Servers Get Paid in Nebraska

The average server hourly wage in Nebraska (according to the job website Indeed.com) is $15.68 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 $125.44 (8 hrs x $15.68). If you worked five days per week and rounded your daily pay to $125, then you could earn about $625 per week.

If you took just two weeks off a year and worked for 50 weeks you could earn $31,250. 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 earn 49 x $625 = $30,625 for the year. This, of course, is before Nebraska income tax has been deducted.

The above calculations are just averages to give you an idea of what you can earn as a Nebraska 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, and how busy the restaurant/cafe or bar is. Also many people that work at restaurants or similar establishments are willing to work more than 40-hours per week which may make them qualify for overtime pay.

If the average food item on the menu is $10.00-$15.00 and the restaurant or cafe mainly serves wings, burgers, subs, nachos, fries, and similar snack-style food, then the average check for each guest or table will not be that high, and therefore, the percentage tip against the total check will result in you earning a lower amount of tips 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.

Final Thoughts

Perhaps the most important takeaway from this is that, as a Nebraska employer, it is your responsibility to pay your servers a minimum hourly rate + tip credit that equals or surpasses the Nebraska minimum wage in the event that your servers do not earn enough to meet the $9.00 per hour threshold in a given work week. Failing to do so will be breaking federal and state laws. Equally, it is important that as a server working in Nebraska, 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 Nebraska (tipped employees) from both an employer and employee perspective, you can contact the Nebraska Department 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.