How Much Does Applebee’S Pay Their Servers? A Detailed Look

Looking for a serving job at Applebee’s but want to know how much you can expect to make in tips and hourly wages? You’ve come to the right place.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Applebee’s servers typically make between $10-$22 per hour including tips. Base pay is usually around $5 per hour, with the rest made up in tips.

In this detailed guide, we’ll break down exactly how Applebee’s server pay works, including info on hourly wages, tipping, and how you can maximize your income as an Applebee’s server.

Applebee’s Server Hourly Wages

When it comes to working as a server at Applebee’s, understanding the hourly wages is crucial. Servers at Applebee’s are primarily paid through a combination of tips and a base pay. Let’s take a detailed look at how much Applebee’s pays their servers.

Federal Minimum Wage for Tipped Employees

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the federal minimum wage for tipped employees is $2.13 per hour. However, it’s important to note that this is the minimum requirement, and employers are required to ensure that the employee’s tips combined with the base pay meet the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

State Minimum Wages for Tipped Employees

The minimum wage for tipped employees can vary from state to state. Some states, like California and Washington, have higher minimum wages for tipped employees compared to the federal requirement. In these states, Applebee’s servers can expect to earn at least the state minimum wage in addition to their tips.

It’s always a good idea to check the specific minimum wage laws in your state to understand what you should be earning as a server at Applebee’s.

How Base Pay Works at Applebee’s

At Applebee’s, servers receive a base pay that is usually lower than the standard minimum wage. The exact base pay amount can vary depending on factors such as location and experience. However, it’s important to note that the majority of a server’s income at Applebee’s comes from tips.

Pro tip: While the base pay may be lower, working as a server at Applebee’s can be financially rewarding due to the potential for high tips. Providing excellent service and building strong relationships with customers can greatly increase your earning potential.

It’s worth noting that Applebee’s, like many other restaurants, operates on a tip-sharing or pooling system. This means that servers may have to share a portion of their tips with other restaurant staff, such as bussers and bartenders.

However, this can also lead to a more cohesive team dynamic and a more efficient working environment.

How Much Applebee’s Servers Make in Tips

One of the key factors that determine the earnings of Applebee’s servers is the tips they receive from customers. Tips are a significant part of a server’s income and can greatly influence their overall pay.

In this section, we will take a detailed look at how much Applebee’s servers make in tips and the various factors that can affect their earnings.

Average Tip Percentages at Applebee’s

The average tip percentage at Applebee’s can vary depending on several factors such as the location of the restaurant, the time of day, and the type of customers. On average, servers at Applebee’s can expect to receive tips ranging from 15% to 20% of the total bill.

However, it’s important to note that this is just an average and actual tip percentages can vary.

According to a survey conducted by Restaurant Business Online, the average tip percentage for casual dining restaurants like Applebee’s is around 18%. This means that if a server serves a table with a bill of $100, they can expect to receive an average tip of $18.

Tip Sharing and Tip Pools at Applebee’s

At Applebee’s, some restaurants have a tip sharing or tip pooling policy in place. This means that servers are required to share a portion of their tips with other staff members such as bussers, hosts, and bartenders.

The percentage of tips shared and the distribution method can vary depending on the restaurant.

Tip sharing can have both positive and negative impacts on a server’s earnings. On one hand, it allows for a fair distribution of tips among all the staff members who contribute to the dining experience.

On the other hand, it can sometimes result in servers receiving a lower percentage of the tips they earn.

Factors That Can Influence Tips

Several factors can influence the amount of tips that servers receive at Applebee’s. One of the main factors is the level of service provided. Servers who provide exceptional service, go above and beyond to meet customer needs, and create a positive dining experience are more likely to receive higher tips.

Another factor that can influence tips is the size of the party. Larger groups tend to leave higher tips compared to smaller parties. Additionally, the overall satisfaction of the customers, the quality of the food, and the ambiance of the restaurant can also play a role in determining the amount of tips received.

It’s important to note that while tips are an important part of a server’s income, they are not guaranteed. Servers rely on the generosity of customers to earn tips, and their earnings can vary from shift to shift.

Nonetheless, providing excellent service and creating a memorable dining experience can greatly increase the likelihood of receiving higher tips at Applebee’s.

Applebee’s Server Pay: Putting It All Together

When it comes to the pay scale for Applebee’s servers, there are a few key factors to consider. These include the average hourly pay ranges and annual salaries. Let’s take a closer look at the numbers and what they mean for those working in this position.

Average Hourly Pay Ranges for Applebee’s Servers

The average hourly pay for Applebee’s servers can vary based on a number of factors such as location, experience, and job performance. On average, Applebee’s servers earn between $2.13 and $12.00 per hour, with tips playing a significant role in their overall earnings.

It’s important to note that the federal minimum wage for tipped employees is set at $2.13 per hour. However, Applebee’s servers may earn a higher base wage depending on state laws and local regulations.

Some states have a higher minimum wage requirement for tipped employees, ensuring that servers earn a fair wage even before tips are factored in.

Keep in mind that tips are a major part of a server’s income at Applebee’s. Customers’ generosity and satisfaction with the service provided can greatly impact a server’s earnings. It’s not uncommon for servers to make a significant portion of their income through tips, sometimes even surpassing their base wage.

Annual Salaries for Applebee’s Servers

When it comes to annual salaries, Applebee’s servers can expect to earn an average of around $20,000 to $30,000 per year. Again, this can vary based on several factors such as location and job performance.

While the annual salary range may not seem particularly high, it’s important to remember that serving at Applebee’s is often a part-time or flexible job. Many servers work part-time in addition to pursuing other interests or commitments.

The flexibility of the job allows individuals to earn income while accommodating their other responsibilities.

It’s worth noting that Applebee’s also offers additional benefits and perks to its servers, such as discounted meals, flexible scheduling, and opportunities for growth within the company. These benefits can add value to the overall compensation package for Applebee’s servers.

For more information on Applebee’s server pay and compensation, you can visit the official Applebee’s website at or consult reputable sources such as the Bureau of Labor Statistics at

How to Maximize Your Income as an Applebee’s Server

Provide Excellent Customer Service

One of the most effective ways to maximize your income as an Applebee’s server is to provide excellent customer service. This means going above and beyond to ensure that each guest has a positive dining experience.

Remember to greet customers with a smile, be attentive to their needs, and handle any issues or concerns promptly and professionally. By providing exceptional service, you can increase the likelihood of receiving higher tips from satisfied customers.

Learn the Menu Thoroughly

Another key to maximizing your income as an Applebee’s server is to learn the menu thoroughly. This includes familiarizing yourself with all the dishes, ingredients, and preparation methods. By having extensive knowledge of the menu, you can confidently make recommendations to customers and answer any questions they may have.

This not only enhances the dining experience for guests but also increases the chances of them ordering additional items or upgrading their meals, resulting in higher sales and potentially higher tips for you.

Build Relationships with Regulars

Building relationships with regular customers can have a significant impact on your income as an Applebee’s server. Regulars often become loyal customers who frequent the restaurant and may even request your section.

Taking the time to get to know them, remembering their preferences, and providing personalized service can make them feel valued and appreciated. This can result in larger tips and repeat business, ultimately increasing your overall income.

Pick Up Extra Shifts When Available

If you’re looking to maximize your income as an Applebee’s server, consider picking up extra shifts when they become available. By being flexible with your schedule and taking on additional shifts, you can increase your earning potential.

This is especially beneficial during busy periods or holidays when the restaurant is likely to be busier and the potential for higher tips is greater.

Remember, maximizing your income as an Applebee’s server requires a combination of excellent customer service, menu knowledge, building relationships with regulars, and being flexible with your schedule.

By implementing these strategies, you can increase your earning potential and make the most out of your experience as an Applebee’s server.


Working as a server at Applebee’s can be a rewarding job, especially if you have the skills to provide great customer service and maximize your tips. While hourly wages start low, tip income can boost Applebee’s servers’ hourly pay to $10-$22 per hour.

With the right strategies, you can excel as an Applebee’s server and earn a stable income. Best of luck with your serving job search!

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