10. Santa Fe, NM
Annual mean wage: $25,700
Waiter wage exceeds national average: 23.1%
Waiter jobs per 1,000 jobs: 30.5 (20th highest)
Waiters in Santa Fe earned an average of nearly $26,000 in 2013, or 23% more than the average annual salary for waiters nationally. The high annualized wage is likely due to high tip rates. On average, patrons in New Mexico tipped more than 16% of their meal’s value, the fourth highest percentage in the country.
9. Napa, CA
Annual mean wage: $26,300
Waiter wage exceeds national average: 26.0%
Waiter jobs per 1,000 jobs: 36.2 (10th highest)
Waiters represented 36 out of every 1,000 jobs in Napa in 2013, the 10th highest concentration in the country. With the cost of living nearly 18% higher than the national average, high menu prices may attract waiters looking for higher tips. In fact, 24/7 Wall St. estimates that waiters earned more than $4,000 in tips last year on average, one of the higher amounts in the country.
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8. Olympia, WA
Annual mean wage: $26,530
Waiter wage exceeds national average: 27.1%
Waiter jobs per 1,000 jobs: 14.6 (64th lowest)
More than six out of 10 visitors to establishments in Washington that customarily accept tips left one last year, one of the higher rates in the country. Also, the area’s median household income was $59,785 in 2013, the 36th highest among more than 350 metro areas. These factors have likely contributed to waiters in Olympia earning roughly 27% more than waiters nationally.
7. Worcester, MA-CT
Annual mean wage: $26,570
Waiter wage exceeds national average: 27.3%
Waiter jobs per 1,000 jobs: 15.5 (98th lowest)
Massachusetts residents left an average tip of 15.7% in 2013, just below the national average of 16.1%. Despite leaving a smaller percent tip, waiters see higher dollar tips because area residents are actually quite wealthy. Median household incomes in the area were $61,789 in 2013, nearly $10,000 above the median income nationwide.
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6. Honolulu, HI
Annual mean wage: $26,900
Waiter wage exceeds national average: 28.8%
Waiter jobs per 1,000 jobs: 18.6 (178th highest)
Waiters in Honolulu earned more than 53% of the average income in Honolulu in 2013, among the higher rates in the country. With more than 1,500 people per square mile of land, waiters in Honolulu may benefit from the high volume of people using their services. A higher cost of living also likely increases total wages.
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