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What Are Current Restaurant Hourly Wage Trends?

What 5,000 applicants told us.

As the restaurant industry continues to evolve, restaurateurs are taking a closer look at how to create a fair and meaningful working environment for their employees. Anthony Bourdain said it best: "Tipping isn't enough to pay restaurant workers." It's no surprise then that many establishments are doing away with tips-plus-low-hourly-wage, instead paying a more attractive hourly rate to better reflect a worker's true value.

80% of the hourly employee applicants we saw last year wanted full-time work, including seasonal workers.

Clock’d, the only dedicated recruiter in the food and hospitality business, has watched these trends since pre-pandemic times, and coached our clients through every transition. We’ve seen it all, and data from over 5,000 applications, so we can shed light on hiring trends for you too.

In the past few years, hourly wages have increased by $3-$5 an hour in the restaurant industry, providing a much-needed boost to many hourly workers. Additionally, many employers are now offering bonuses and other incentives to their hourly employees, such as additional vacation days, free meals, gift cards, and other perks. This shows appreciation to the staff and also helps ensure that employees are willing to remain motivated and committed to their job.

80% of the hourly employee applicants we saw last year wanted full-time work, including seasonal workers. More and more restaurant owners are exploring ways to give hourly employees freedom and flexibility in their scheduled work hours. These are all important steps to creating a fair and equitable working environment, which can help restaurant employers attract and retain dedicated and loyal employees.

At Clock’d, we understand the importance of staying up to date with the latest trends in the food and hospitality industry. We have data from over 5,000 applicants to help our clients make informed decisions when it comes to their hiring process. If you need help staying up to date and could use our guidance, we invite you to schedule a free consultation today!

If you want to see more trends, access our 2023 Hiring Report.


Marc LaPierre is a 10-year veteran of the food and hospitality industry, Certified Staffing Professional, and CEO/Founder of Clock’d + SEEN. From cooking in James Beard award-winning kitchens to opening and managing a nightclub in Mexico, he worked every job in the industry. Today he connects professionals looking to advance their careers with clients eager to find an all-star team.


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