How Much Does Olive Garden Pay? - (The Full Guide) (2023)

Got a craving for breadsticks and pasta?

Then Olive Garden is your friend.

It’s well-known all across America as the best place in town for reasonably priced American-Italian cuisine. And it’s also a pretty awesome place to work. You can make a decent amount of cash with a position at Olive Garden. Depending on the role, there’s a good chance to get some serious moolah here.

But how much does Olive Garden pay?

Well, that’s what we’re here to find out!

Different Positions At Olive Garden

The question ofhow much the salary is at Olive Gardenisn’t that straightforward. It depends on the particular job you are performing. And, of course, the amount you get will also vary due to whether it’s a full or part-time position.

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Restaurant servers are in a unique position. They get their basic rate of pay, but that is always topped up by tips. It’s common courtesy to leave a tip of 20% of the bill, so in busy locations, servers can grab a lot of dough!

How much do servers make an hour?

Theaverage rate for Olive Garden serversworks out to around $14.70 per hour. However, this can go up or down depending on tips. If you’re working in a store with a lot of traffic, then that pay will rise dramatically.

What does a server do?

Servers spend the most time with the guests. They’re responsible for greeting tables, taking orders, and delivering food. They also need to advise on food choices and take payment promptly. To be a server, it’s important to be a people person. Servers should have a sunny disposition and be friendly and approachable. They also need great organizational skills and be adept at handling money.

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Hosts at the Olive Garden are the first line of defense. They stand at the front of the restaurant, welcoming guests in and finding them a table. A host is responsible for the first impression the customer gets of the store.

How much do hosts make an hour?

Olive Garden hosts get around $11.85 per hour on average. They don’t usually receive tips, though some locations may have a tip-out scheme. This is at the discretion of the restaurant manager, though, and should not be expected as standard.

What are the duties of a host?

Olive Garden hosts welcome customers to the restaurant and find a suitable table for them. They also provide menus, taking note of if any kid’s menus or high chairs are required. They need to follow the rotation, ensuring the servers aren’t overwhelmed by too many tables at once.

A host should be patient, calm, and collected. They need an organized mind and a cool head and heart. And it goes without saying that they must be a friendly face for hungry guests!


Hosts greet customers, servers deliver the food, and now we need someone to keep the drinks flowing! And that’s where a bartender comes in. This role takes care of wines, beers, and spirits, as well as soft drinks for those who don’t imbibe.

How much do bartenders make?

Bartenders make a little more than most front-of-house employees. They’re looking at an average of $15.85 per hour. Like servers, however, this can go up or down depending on tips.

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What does a bartender do?

Bartenders have two jobs to perform. Firstly, they fulfill the drink orders requested by servers in the restaurant. But they are also responsible for the customers who choose to sit at the bar rather than at a table.

Bartending is harder than it seems. You have to know how to make a wide range of cocktails, so a good memory is required. Plus, you should have a well-organized mind to be able to take care of both the servers and your guests at the bar.


Of all the front-of-house roles at Olive Garden, bussers get the lowest rate of pay. That doesn’t mean it’s an easy job, though. Bussers are crucial to the smooth running of a restaurant.

How much do bussers make?

Bussers at Olive Garden get an average of $11.40 per hour. Most bussers are expected to work a 30-hour week. That works out at $342 per week, or $17,784 a year.

What does a busser do?

The busser’s role is to keep tables clean and free of debris. When a customer has finished eating, it’s up to the busser to clear their plates. Bussers also wipe down tables to ensure top-notch hygiene standards at all times.

OK, it’s not the most glamorous job in the world. But it is an important one. And a position as a busser is a great way to get started in the restaurant industry if you don’t have any previous experience.

Restaurant Managers

So, you want to be the big cheese, the head honcho, the dude in charge? Sound like you’d make an awesome restaurant manager! The manager is the captain and is ultimately responsible for everything that happens in the restaurant.

How much do managers make?

Most jobs at Olive Garden pay hourly. But that is not the case for a manager. This is a salaried role that usually earns about $53,527 a year. And on top of that,managers at Olive Garden get yearly bonuses. This can be anything from $3000 to $500. The amount you get relies on how well your store is performing, though, so make sure you run a tight ship!

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What does a manager do?

A better question would be: what doesn’t a manager do? They take care of everything, from schedules to serving to payroll. They even have to jump into the kitchen at times when an extra pair of hands is needed.

A manager needs fantastic leadership skills. They also have to be level-headed and keep a sense of calm at all times. And, of course, they need excellent people-handling abilities to deal with difficult customers.

To-go Specialists

It may come as a surprise, but to-go orders aren’t handled by the servers. Olive Garden hires people whose only job is to deal with takeout. And the pay for this isn’t too shabby.

How much do to-go specialists make?

To-go specialists can expect to make around $12.15 an hour. That works out at $25,272 a year if it’s a full-time job working 40 hours a week. They do have the opportunity to make a little more with tips, but unfortunately, some customers do not believe they need to tip on takeout.

What does a to-go specialist do?

To-go specialists take orders either over the phone or in person. They then arrange and pack the food with the appropriate silverware and napkins. Finally, they need to make sure the order is given to the correct person. A tidy mind is required for this role. Plus, awesome customer service and listening skills. They must also think on their feet and have the ability to keep a cool head during busy periods.


So, we’ve looked at all the front-of-house roles at Olive Garden. But what about those backstage? How much do Olive Garden kitchen workers make?

Dishwasher hourly pay

Dishwashers at Olive Garden make more than you might think. They make roughly $14.43 per hour. Assuming you work 35 hours a week, that rounds out to $26,262 every year.

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What does a dishwasher do?

Well, the clue is in the name! They wash dishes. Not just plates and bowls used in the dining room, but pots and pans used by the cooks too. It’s a monotonous job. But it’s crucial to achieve a smooth-running service. And it’s a good entry-level job for getting started in the food industry.

Line Cooks

Line cooks are the ones making those delicious pasta, soups, and salads. Each restaurant usually employs a few people in this role working in a team. During a busy dinner time, things can get crazy, so this isn’t an easy job.

How much does a line cook make?

$14.85 an hour is the average for an Olive Garden line cook. They’re usually expected to work around 35 hours a week, so that works out to $27,027 per year. It’s a tough job that requires a lot of hard work in difficult conditions. Some restaurants expect servers to tip out the kitchen workers. But this isn’t official Olive Garden policy. That means line cooks shouldn’t rely on extra cash from the front-of-house employees.

Prep Cooks

There are two types of cooks at Olive Garden – line and prep. While line cooks have the hectic job of cooking during service, the prep cook makes sure everything is ready to go. They chop vegetables, set up the mise en place, and generally prepare everything before the lunch rush begins.

How much does a prep cook make?

Prep cooks usually make a little less than line cooks, but not by much. They average $14.45 an hour. Assuming they work 35 hours a week, that’s $26,299 a year. Again, at most Olive Gardens, the servers do not have to tip out the prep cooks. So, there isn’t much opportunity to make more money. Prep cooks need to settle for the hourly rate offered by the company.

Starting Salary

As you may already know, the minimum wage varies from state to state. And in some states, it’s pretty low. These days, the federal minimum wage is just $7.25. Happily though, Olive Garden pays a much higher rate than this, even for staff members who’ve just joined the company.No employee at Olive Garden earns less than $11 an hour.

Want to know more?

If you’d like to find out the minimum wage for your state, you can check the department of laborhere. It has a table of the various minimum wages throughout the United States. There’s also a search function to make things easier.

How Often Does Olive Garden Pay?

Olive Garden is a great place to work to keep your cash flow moving. Most stores pay their employees weekly. Others pay the kitchen staff biweekly, but still pay servers and bartenders every week. The Olive Garden pay period begins on a Monday. It then ends on Sunday after the restaurant closes. Payment is made to staff on Friday, the week after the pay period ends.

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Olive Garden doesn’t give very large raises, but they’re not too bad, either. They usually happen once a year, after a full year’s service. They’re generally between 1% – 3% of your previous pay. What does that mean? Let’s assume you’re a busser making $11.40 an hour. A 2% raise equals 0.228. Therefore, you’d be earning a couple of extra cents every hour.

Are you ready to start your career at Olive Garden?

You can search andapply for jobs at Olive Gardenrighthere. You can find roles by either location or job title and start the application process straight away. And if you don’t think Olive Garden is for you, then no problem! Why not check out positions atApplebee’sorChili’sinstead?

So, You’ve Decided To Apply?

We can help! Let’s start with our in-depth guide to theOlive Garden Application, as well as the most commonOlive Garden Interview QuestionsandOlive Garden Hostess Interview Questions. But before you apply, find outHow Old Do You Have To Be To Work At Olive GardenandDoes Olive Garden Hire Felonsif you have a criminal record.

In addition, we have some great alternatives for you to look at, so check out our guides to theNoodles And Company Application, theP F Changs Application, theTim Hortons Application, and theMarcos Pizza Application, or how about theLong John Silvers Applicationand theQdoba Applicationfor 2023.

For applications including interview guides, check out our guide to theArbys Applicationand most commonArbys Interview Questions, followed by theChilis Applicationand most frequently askedChilis Interview Questionsto help you prepare for the big day!

Final Thoughts

Olive Garden can be a fantastic place to work. Depending on the job, there’s potential here to make some seriously good money. And that’s not to mention the free breadsticks!

So, why not give it a go? It’s easy to apply and quick to get started. Who knows? You could be on your route to a career as a store manager in no time!

All the best with yournew job at Olive Garden!

5/5 - (48 votes)



What position at Olive Garden pays the most? ›

Olive Garden Restaurants employees with the job title Line Cook make the most with an average hourly rate of $13.91, while employees with the title Waiter/Waitress make the least with an average hourly rate of $6.30.

How Does Olive Garden pay tips? ›

Olive garden calculates a percentage of the sales of each server then divides that between everyone on tip share for the hours an individual worked.

Do Olive Garden servers make good money? ›

The chart shows the average total hourly cash compensation for the OLIVE GARDEN Server in the United States, which includes base, and annual incentives can vary anywhere from $10 to $13 with an average total hourly cash compensation of $11.

Do you get paid for training at Olive Garden? ›

Yes orientation is paid hourly.

What is the highest paid position in a restaurant? ›

High Paying Restaurant Jobs
  • Fermentation Engineer. Salary range: $91,000-$143,000 per year. ...
  • Director of Restaurant Operations. Salary range: $84,500-$118,000 per year. ...
  • Culinary Director. Salary range: $70,000-$109,500 per year. ...
  • Corporate Executive Chef. ...
  • Winemaker. ...
  • Restaurant Area Director. ...
  • Research Chef. ...
  • Restaurant Area Manager.

What is the dress code for Olive Garden? ›

No, they do not. There's no enforced dress code for guests, and they generally show up dressed between casual and business casual.

Does Olive Garden hold first paycheck? ›

No they do not hold your first check.

Do Olive Garden employees get free food? ›

Enjoy a 25% discount on food and non-alcoholic drinks at all our restaurants for you and up to seven guests, plus 100,000 discount offers from brands you love.

How long is Olive Garden server training? ›

Training last for 5 days, generally for 5 hours a day. It is a combination of book work and hands on following with another staff member. Training is 3-5 days a week with set days of food running to learn the food, and following current employees. Also three of those days include the book work/teaching.

Do Olive Garden to go Specialists make tips? ›

Yes, the To Go Specialist can receive tips. However, most guests do not usually realize that you are supposed to tip the to go person.

Do hostess make tips at Olive Garden? ›

No tips as a host. One free pasta dish a work day. Coworkers are pretty easy going for the most part. They're good about getting breaks done.

How often do Olive Garden employees get paid? ›

You receive your pay every Friday.

How much does Olive Garden pay per hour in Arizona? ›

The estimated hourly pay at Olive Garden ranges from approximately $7.25 per hour for Food Runner to $18.52 per hour for Loan Officer.


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