If you are a server in Texas or are considering becoming one, then you should know what the minimum wage is for servers in Texas 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 Texas 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 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. Texas servers usually rely less on their hourly wage and more on the generosity of guests for their paycheck each week.
Texas Server Minimum Wage 2023
So, what is the minimum wage for a server in Texas? The minimum cash wage for servers in Texas is the same as the tipped minimum wage in Texas, which is $2.13 per hour. This is the minimum per hour a Texas server must pay and a Texas employer must pay its servers.
Server Minimum Wage in Texas (Minimum Cash Wage and Tip Credits)
$2.13 per hour may sound like a small amount to be paid an hour, but Texas servers are required to be supplemented by their employers via “tipped credit”, which is, in Texas’ case, $5.12 per hour, making the server minimum wage in Texas a total of $7.25 per hour. The regular minimum wage in Texas for all types of employees in Texas 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, Texas 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 Texas, servers must be paid a base minimum cash wage of $2.13 per hour. The expectation is that Texas 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 Texas server $2.13 per hour.
The graphic below displays the Texas server tip credit rates over the past several years:
Let’s assume a tipped server in Texas 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) and what 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.
Here is what you can make as a Texas server on the minimum wage in Texas:
- Weekly Server Minimum Wage: $290.00 (based on a 40-hour week).
- Monthly Server Minimum Wage: $1,160.00 (based on a 160-hour month).
- Yearly Server Minimum Wage: $15,080.00 (based on being paid 52 weeks per year).
Average Server Salary in Texas (2023)
We have covered the minimum cash wage that an employer must pay a Texas server of $2.13 per hour, and we have also detailed the safety net for the server should they not make at least $7.25 per hour with tips by receiving tipped credit of $5.12 per hour. What we have not discussed is the average that servers get paid in Texas.
If you are a server or are looking to work as a server in a restaurant or similar service-related business in Texas, knowing the hourly wage for servers is important, but knowing what you can expect to earn is even more important.
Most Texas 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. Certain cities in Texas, whilst having the same minimum wage, have very different average wages, with Austin paying more on average for servers than most.
What are servers paid in Texas?
The average server hourly wage in Texas (according to the job website Indeed.com) is $15.20 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 $121.60 (8 hrs x $15.20). If you worked five days per week and rounded your daily pay to $122, then you could earn about $610 per week.
If you took just two weeks off a year and worked for 50 weeks you could earn $30,500. 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 would earn 49 x $610 = $29,890 for the year. The good news is that there is no income tax in Texas 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 Texas 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 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.
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 Texas
According to Indeed.com, the highest-paid server job in Texas currently is at Lupe Tortilla. This establishment, on average, pay its servers $29.74 per hour, which is an extremely good wage for this line of work – just under double the average hourly rate in Texas, and almost four times the server minimum wage in Texas!
So, here is what you can make if you were on the highest-paid server wage in Texas:
- $237.92 per day ($29.74 x 8 hours).
- $1,189.60 per week ($237.92 x 5 days).
- $4,758.40 per month ($1,189.69 x 4 weeks).
- $61,859.20 per year ($29.74 x 2080 hours).
Perhaps the most important takeaway from this is that, as a Texas employer, it is your responsibility to pay your servers a minimum hourly rate + tip credit that equals or surpasses the Texas 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 Texas, 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 Texas Workforce Commission. Additionally, if you are an employee who isn’t being paid what you legally should be, you can file a complaint with them too.