The Average Salary of Carrabba's Waitress


The salary of a server working in Carrabba's Italian Grill or other restaurant across the country largely depends on the guest. A server works chiefly for tips and earns a low hourly wage. The customer has great power to influence a server's take-home pay by choosing to tip poorly despite good service or to tip generously to encourage exemplary service. This makes a server's average salary a very relative figure.

Server Hourly Wages

The hourly wage for a server working at Carrabba's or another restaurant is much lower than the federal minimum wage in most states. This is because the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) permits an employer to claim a tip credit against a server's tips received from customers as long as the server brings in at least $30 a week in tips. The maximum tip credit under the FLSA is $5.12 per hour, making a server's hourly wage $2.13 in many states. A notable exception is California where state laws requires a server to earn at least the state minimum wage of $8 per hour.

Paying Taxes

In the long run, a server rarely sees her hourly wage, because the pay usually goes directly to the government as taxes on received tips. A server at Carrabba's or other restaurants across the country must claim 100 percent of tips received, though this can cause some tax problems if the server is receiving a high number of tips each week. The lack of a higher wage to pay taxes can leave a server owing money at the end of the year because she didn't pay enough to the government.

National Salary Figures

As of May 2010, there were 2,244,480 servers across the country, working in Carrabba's and other restaurants, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The mean annual wage for servers was $20,790 as of the same year. The mean hourly wage was $9.99, factoring in received tips. Subtracting the usual $2.13 hourly wage for servers, this would leave a mean hourly wage just north of the federal minimum at $7.86 per hour. These financial figures show a 0.4 percent increase in mean annual pay from the previous reporting year in 2009.

Salary at Carrabba's

The salary of a Carrabba's server depends on a variety of factors from total hours working in the restaurant, number of tables in any particular shift and even the food that guests order. The value of each guest check plays a large role in determine a server's tip for each particular table. As a sever tends to earn 15 to 20 percent of each guest in tips, the more guests order the more a server can make.

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