What does a Lead Server do?

Servers work in restaurants as the point person between their customers and the establishment. They take orders and answer questions about menu items or food and prices. They also describe any specials and prepare non-kitchen food items including drinks, desserts, and salads.

Servers greet customers and seat them. When taking orders, they help customers with any dietary concerns or issues, including food allergies. They also ensure they have noted the customer’s preferred method of cooking some items like steak or eggs. Servers work alongside kitchen staff to execute customer orders, and they handle any customer issues that may arise, including incorrectly prepared food or dissatisfaction with a meal. Servers ensure customers have a satisfying dining experience, and they follow-up by removing any dirty or used items from their tables while the customers are still there. Servers also verify a bill or check has the correct items and amount due at the end of the transaction, and collect payments from the customers. They clean the tables once the customers have departed, and refill condiments and stock service stations. While there is no formal education requirement for a server, some states require a food handler card.

EducationBachelor's Degree
Work/Life Balance
3.4 ★
Salary Range--
Career Opportunity
3.1 ★
Avg. Experience8+ years

Lead Server Salaries

Average Base Pay

$26,103 /yr
Same as national average
Not including cash compensation
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Not enough salaries reported to show distribution
$19K
Median: $26K
$35K
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Glassdoor Estimated Salary

Lead Server Career Path

Learn how to become a Lead Server, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

L4
Lead Server
$26,103/yr
L5
See Career Path

Lead Server Insights

Read what Lead Server professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Cinepolis Luxury Cinemas
Waiter
Aug. 10, 2021

“Money can be really good and consistent (if you know what you're doing).”

Aruba Beach CafeAruba Beach Cafe
Waitress
Sep. 9, 2021

“I really enjoyed working here because everyone was so friendly and I was able to make great money.”

Olive Garden Italian RestaurantsOlive Garden Italian Restaurants
Server
Mar. 15, 2021

“It was my first serving job and everyone was so kind and helpful to me from the start.”

IHOPIHOP
Server
Sep. 6, 2021

“Loved being a server the tips where great and I love the customers I have great customer service.”

The Glass KnifeThe Glass Knife
Server/Waiter
Jan. 8, 2021

“Great team to work with and salary is not bad for how simple the job is.”

True Food KitchenTrue Food Kitchen
Server
Jan. 12, 2022

“It was nice to work with professional and responsible people that cared for each and every guest.”

Thumbs UP Diner
Server/Waitress
Jun. 19, 2021

“everyone is nice and the French toast is the best to get and my favorite.”

Olive Garden Italian RestaurantsOlive Garden Italian Restaurants
To Go Specialist
Jun. 25, 2021

“Tip money is great and we make it on top of a decent hourly unlike servers”

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Lead Server Interviews

Related Careers

Food Service Manager
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Lead Server jobs

Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of a lead server

The most similar professions to lead server are:
  • Food Service Manager
  • Food And Beverage Manager
  • Bartender
  • Catering Coordinator

The most common qualifications to become a lead server is a minimum of a Bachelor's Degree and an average of 0 - 1 of experience not including years spent in education and/or training.