How much do waiters/waitresses at WDW make?

ADisneyQueen

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
I know their per hour wage is probably pretty low, but how much do you think they make in tips? At the buffets, a family of 4 might have a bill of $140 and leave a $20 tip. If 4 tables left per hour, that's $80! That's a lot more than I made at Ponderosa during high school
What do you think?
 

tiggger1

<font color=green>I put vicks on my feet<br><font
Joined
Feb 2, 2002
It might be $ 80 total but remember you need to share tips with the wait staff, bartenders, captains and busing employees, has also included in that definition typical front-of-the-house employees such as hostesses, captains, short order cooks and sushi chefs - employees who “render service” and have contact with the guests )else so your $ 80 might be less than $40 after all is done!
 


ryanshana

DIS Veteran
Joined
Nov 14, 2008
true...but i'd be really happy w/ $40/hr and getting to work at the happiest place on earth :thumbsup2 :cool1:
 
  • pixiedustaholic

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 29, 2008
    Not overestimating if guests are on the Dining Plan. I know that not everyone is, but IMO they rack up on the DDP. One server at Liberty Tree Tavern really tried to rack up on my tip. I asked that the tip be added to my KTTW card and he did my normal tip that went along with the meal(we had 11 in our party) and then added another $20 on top of that. Thankfully, I checked my account the next morning at the resort and caught it. They were able to refund his "padded" tip. I digress... I certainly don't think the servers are hurting at WDW. Probably slowed down with the economy if attendance is lower.
     

    NeverlandClub23

    AKV DVC Member
    Joined
    Jan 20, 2005
    When we ate at Yachtsman Steakhouse we had a horrible server but were on the dining plan at the time and she ended up making $50 off of us. It definitely made me think twice about going to WDW to be a server!

    **The DDP doesn't include tip anymore though

    During our last trip our most expensive meal (we weren't on the DDP) was at Tutto Italia. We had great service and a great meal and we tipped our server $60. I imagine they make out pretty good at the nicer places. Being a server myself for a few years when I was younger, making that kind of money makes the not so pleasant job a little bit better :) (and I use "not so pleasant" to be the most pleasant way of saying what a horrible job waiting tables was)
     

    LSchrow

    life without the BWVs is <null and void>
    Joined
    May 11, 2000
    I suspect you are over estimating how much the average WDW guest at a buffet tips.
    also, the turnover rate (from what we've witnessed, would guess it's closer to 2 hrs from set-up, ordering drinks, food selection & consumption of foods from multiple trips to the buffets, clean-up).

    & unfortunately, many people don't tip at buffets:sad2:

    if a restaurant could guarantee that i would only serve people who tip like we do, i would be a waitress in a heartbeat ;)
     
  • Shmily1

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 23, 2007
    It might be $ 80 total but remember you need to share tips with the wait staff, bartenders, captains and busing employees, has also included in that definition typical front-of-the-house employees such as hostesses, captains, short order cooks and sushi chefs - employees who “render service” and have contact with the guests )else so your $ 80 might be less than $40 after all is done!
    When I spent my 7 years waitressing (not at WDW), we didn't have to share with all of those. Most of them got paid a wage and didn't have to hope we did good and shared our tips.
     

    XYSRUS

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 2, 2006
    Also remember wait staff usually only report x amount of tips as income, and keep the rest tax free. Back in my day- a long time ago- I got paid 2.01/hr plus tips. Had to claim 7% of my tips as income. Average tip 20% even back then. You do the math...I put myself through college easy. The work wasn't that easy but then they wouldn't call it work!
     

    luckey-lasvegas

    All our $$ is in IRA's - Ice Rink Activities
    Joined
    Dec 23, 2004
    If you think you would like to do it go for it. I know servers in Vegas that make $400 a night in tips (not in a buffet though), on the other hand there are nights when you only make $100. The money serving can be great but there are down sides to the job too.
     
  • XYSRUS

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 2, 2006
    I tell all my kids if they want a job that makes good money for kids then wait tables or caddy. Any job involving tips can be decent if you hustle and put customers first.
     

    kaytieeldr

    Post hoc, ergo propter hoc
    Joined
    Jun 11, 2005
    I know their per hour wage is probably pretty low, but how much do you think they make in tips?
    Not being argumentative, but I think how much ANY person whose income does not directly affect my living expenses is not my business.

    If a server makes $400 a night (as in post # 11), good for them. I wouldn't want to do that work.

    If anyone thinks Disney (or any) server earns too much money, feel free not to tip, - or at Disney at least, assuming there are five or fewer people in your party and you're not using the Tables in Wonderland discount card (each of which involves a mandatory gratuity) - don't tip, or tip at whatever percentage YOU consider fair.

    But to answer the OP's question - either $3.75 or $3.87 an hour, at least to start. A server at the higher rate who worked 40 hours, 52 weeks a year with no tips would gross (before taxes) a grand total of $8,049.60/
     

    Inigo

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 24, 2008
    Also remember wait staff usually only report x amount of tips as income, and keep the rest tax free. Back in my day- a long time ago- I got paid 2.01/hr plus tips. Had to claim 7% of my tips as income. Average tip 20% even back then. You do the math...I put myself through college easy. The work wasn't that easy but then they wouldn't call it work!
    But, legally, aren't you supposed to pay taxes on the full amount of tips you receive?
     

    kaytieeldr

    Post hoc, ergo propter hoc
    Joined
    Jun 11, 2005
    Yes, legally, any person in a typically tipped position is supposed to claim all earnings.

    The 7%, or 8% from my restaurant bookkeeping experience, is the percentage of each server's checks the restaurant has to withhold and report to the IRS; the server, on the other hand, at tax time IS expected to report every penny of earnings.

    Underreporting has a severe negative effect on one's Social Security earnings. I don't know how old the poster being quoted is, but it's likely Social Security will still exist when that person reaches retirement age.
     

    Shmily1

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 23, 2007
    Not being argumentative, but I think how much ANY person whose income does not directly affect my living expenses is not my business.

    If a server makes $400 a night (as in post # 11), good for them. I wouldn't want to do that work.

    If anyone thinks Disney (or any) server earns too much money, feel free not to tip, - or at Disney at least, assuming there are five or fewer people in your party and you're not using the Tables in Wonderland discount card (each of which involves a mandatory gratuity) - don't tip, or tip at whatever percentage YOU consider fair.

    But to answer the OP's question - either $3.75 or $3.87 an hour, at least to start. A server at the higher rate who worked 40 hours, 52 weeks a year with no tips would gross (before taxes) a grand total of $8,049.60/
    I really don't think anyone was meaning this in a negative way, trying to pry into someone's exact money affairs, or meaning they didn't think it was earned, but more trying to get an idea if this would be something they would like to do as a job. I'm sure no one meant to offend you.
     

    ADisneyQueen

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 21, 2005
    I'm the OP and I was not trying to "pry" into someone else's money affairs. My dd (I know, she's only 12) was talking about going into the college program at WDW someday and I had heard the wages were low. We were wondering if being a waitress there would help her earn more money for school.
    So, before you get argumentative, you should ask why the person wants to know an answer to a question.
     

    Darcy03231

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 1, 2006
    I worked my way through college as a waitress and can tell you that people tip all over the map. Some tip 20%, most tip 15%, some tip 10% and others don't tip at all. Where I worked we had 4-5 tables. Lunch shift was typically 11-4 (or 5) and dinner was 5-10. On a typical Friday night, Saturday or Sunday (busiest days) I would make $40-$60 on a lunch shift and $75-$100 on a dinner shift. During the week it would be more like $25-$40 on a lunch shift (most were just there for the "lunch hour" and the rest of the time it was slow) and $40-$60 on a dinner shift (again, slow nights on Mon-Wed). Also, we were required to be there an hour before the restaurant opened for lunch to make salads, set up, etc. which is an hour of no tips. Dinner staff were there an hour after for clean up, refill ketchup, etc. which is another hour without tips. You can make good money, but its really hard work.
     

    dijid

    American Expat in France for a while
    Joined
    Feb 15, 2002
    Yes, legally, any person in a typically tipped position is supposed to claim all earnings.

    Underreporting has a severe negative effect on one's Social Security earnings. I don't know how old the poster being quoted is, but it's likely Social Security will still exist when that person reaches retirement age.
    It can also bite you in the behind if something happens and you have to go on disability. My sister learned the hard way to claim all her tips when she was waitressing/bartending (not at WDW). Lots of things are calculated on your reported earnings.
     

    PatriciaH

    I want to be an Imagineer!
    Joined
    Feb 24, 2002
    I would think at the nicer signature restaurants you would make pretty good money. You have to have a lot of experience waiting tables to be placed in one of those though. Wine knowledge, etc. Victoria and Alberts is invitation only.
     



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