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U.S. Census Bureau Profile America > National Waitstaff Day

Thursday, May 21st. Today is the day to add a smile to the tip you leave at a restaurant that happens to be open — it’s National Waitstaff Day.

The occasion is one for us to express appreciation to the many dedicated servers who make dining out a pleasurable and recurring experience.

From small diners and bars, up to top-rated five-star restaurants, there are more than 572,000 eating and drinking places nationwide. Every year, some $450 billion are spent in these establishments.

Serving us cheerfully and efficiently are some 2.24 million waitstaff, nearly seven out of 10 of whom are women. They deal daily with separate checks, reciting the establishment’s specials and making sure orders are accurate.

You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau online at

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Key Stats:

Source: 2018 American Community Survey (ACS), 1-Year Estimates.

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Note: We have modified both tables above to focus on food occupations and highlight the rows for male and female waiters and waitresses. Click on the image to see the full table. The tables below median earnings for the full-time, civilian employed population and the number of full-time employed.

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More Stats:

Source: Monthly Retail Trade and Food Services: 1992 to 2020, U.S. Total — Sales - Monthly.

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Source: 2017 Economic Census.

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  • 722: Food services and drinking places
  • 7224: Drinking places (alcoholic beverages) 
  • 7225: Restaurants and other eating places
  • 722511: Full service restaurants  

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