How Much Can You Make Working at a Restaurant?
Restaurants are great places to work, whether you are looking for a first-time job or you have experience already, you will find a job that suits your needs–including your income needs–at a restaurant.
There are 2 Categories of Jobs in a restaurant: FOH (Front of House) & BOH (Back of House)
FOH jobs includes positions like cashier, host, food runner, bus boy, and server. These are the people that are involved in servicing the guests of the establishment.
Some restaurants have all of these positions, while others may have only servers and hosts but no cashiers. The type of staff that a restaurant has depends on the service style and volume of that establishment.
How Much Do FOH Positions Pay?
FOH positions tend to have higher starting wages than BOH positions.
As a server, for example, you can expect to earn $2.15 plus tips, for an average hourly pay of between $10 and $20 per hour depending on volume. For high-end restaurants, this number can be much higher.
Some restaurants, like Bep-pa, offer guaranteed pay in lieu of tips, or sometimes combined with tips. At the time of this writing, Bep-pa offers guaranteed $12 and $15 per hour FOH positions–that means you never have to worry about low-volume days or shifts!
BOH jobs include positions like dishwasher, food prep, prep cook, line cook, sushi chef, among others.
Depending on the menu and volume of the restaurant, one person may fill many of these roles or there may be individual people for each role.
How Much Do BOH Positions Pay?
BOH positions have great pay, especially at the higher end of the spectrum.
A seasoned chef or sushi chef might make $70,000 a year or more at a small restaurant. Larger establishments with bigger menus and demands on the lead chefs would pay higher still.
However, it takes years to work your way up to that pay grade because these positions rely on expertise and knowledge.
Still, a line cook can make a decent wage and, often, a person can start as a dishwasher or prep and then move into a cooking role.
What Should I Expect as a FOH Team Member?
As a FOH team member, you should expect to have a lot of interactions with guests.
In fact, one of the MOST important skills that a FOH team member needs to have or learn is the ability to communicate with others.
Understanding the customer’s order and communicating that to the kitchen is a vital function of FOH team members.
Another vital skill is the ability to make people feel good.
After all, people will judge the establishment based on how they feel about their experience.
What Should I Expect as a BOH Team Member?
As a BOH team member, you should expect a fast paced, skill-intensive job.
Whether you’re prepping or cooking or a kitchen assistant, your product knowledge and ability to handle that product is the foundation of your role.
And you’ve got to add to that skillset the ability to do it all under pressure because kitchens are high-intensity environments.
Another big difference you will notice if you are in the BOH is that you will be part of a close-team and largely interact with the same people throughout your shift (the other team members) since you will not (usually) be dealing directly with guests. That makes this role ideal for the technical minded individual.