If you're the kind of people-person who can manage a customer service job and are willing to go above and beyond for customers, you might consider yourself for the role of lead server. Whether you're new or a veteran of the game, a career as a lead server brings you new ways to hone in on your serving skills. Moreover, a role as a lead server may offer you strong wages, flexible hours, the ability to move around, a chance to earn fine tips, and appreciation for your services.

As a lead server, you may act as an integral member of the restaurant team, creating distinctively different and authentic experiences for your guests. Typically, your day consists of greeting guests, taking orders, checking on guest satisfaction, coordinating the service staff activities, and ensuring a better service flow. Another great advantage of becoming a lead server is that you can pretty much work anywhere as a server. You may work in hotels, cruises, fast food restaurants, banquet facilities, casinos, and other food and beverage service establishments.

There are no formal education requirements to become a lead server. You may be able to get this role with only a high school diploma or GED. However, earning an associate degree in hospitality management and previous experience working in a fast-paced food and beverage service establishment may help you become an ideal candidate for the role of lead server. Being the head of restaurant service, you may earn an average annual salary of 108,000 along with perks of free food or drinks. Not only that, but the employment outlook for restaurant servers expect to increase 6 percent by 2026, which means more jobs are foreseeable for you as a lead server.

What Does a Lead Server Do

There are certain skills that many lead servers have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed detail oriented, physical strength and communication skills.

Learn more about what a Lead Server does

How To Become a Lead Server

If you're interested in becoming a lead server, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 49.3% of lead servers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 2.9% of lead servers have master's degrees. Even though most lead servers have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Learn More About How To Become a Lead Server

Lead Server Career Paths

Average Salary for a Lead Server

Lead Servers in America make an average salary of $28,677 per year or $14 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $70,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $11,000 per year.
Average Lead Server Salary
$28,677 Yearly
$13.79 hourly

What Am I Worth?


States With The Most Lead Server Jobs

Mouse over a state to see the number of active lead server jobs in each state. The darker areas on the map show where lead servers earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of Lead Server Jobs By State

RankStateNumber of JobsAverage Salary
9North Carolina986$26,860
10New York966$50,966
16New Jersey767$46,566
25South Carolina540$26,039
32New Hampshire412$37,715
35New Mexico333$24,715
40Rhode Island232$43,151
41West Virginia216$27,965
45South Dakota133$23,471
50North Dakota37$25,670

Lead Server Education

Lead Server Majors

23.0 %

Lead Server Degrees


49.3 %


22.6 %

High School Diploma

18.6 %

Top Skills For a Lead Server

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 21.5% of lead servers listed customer service on their resume, but soft skills such as detail oriented and physical strength are important as well.

  • Customer Service, 21.5%
  • New Servers, 11.3%
  • Fine Dining, 9.0%
  • POS, 7.3%
  • Food Service, 5.9%
  • Other Skills, 45.0%

Choose From 10+ Customizable Lead Server Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Lead Server templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Lead Server resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Lead Server Demographics

Lead Server Gender Distribution


After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among lead servers, 62.5% of them are women, while 37.5% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among lead servers is White, which makes up 53.7% of all lead servers.

  • The most common foreign language among lead servers is Spanish at 65.3%.

Online Courses For Lead Server That You May Like

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1. Leading Healthcare Quality and Safety


Ensuring patient safety and healthcare quality is critical and should be a key focus of everyone in healthcare practice. This course provides healthcare practitioners and others with an introduction to the knowledge and skills needed to lead patient safety and quality improvement initiatives at the micro and macro levels. Participants will explore the foundations of health care quality and the science underlying patient safety and quality improvement, design and select effective health care...

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2. Setting the Stage for Success: An Eye on Safety Culture and Teamwork (Patient Safety II)


Safety culture is a facet of organizational culture that captures attitudes, beliefs, perceptions, and values about safety. A culture of safety is essential in high reliability organizations and is a critical mechanism for the delivery of safe and high-quality care. It requires a strong commitment from leadership and staff. In this course, a safe culture is promoted through the use of identifying and reporting patient safety hazards, accountability and transparency, involvement with patients...

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3. Patient Safety and Quality Improvement: Developing a Systems View (Patient Safety I)


In this course, you will be able develop a systems view for patient safety and quality improvement in healthcare. By then end of this course, you will be able to: 1) Describe a minimum of four key events in the history of patient safety and quality improvement, 2) define the key characteristics of high reliability organizations, and 3) explain the benefits of having strategies for both proactive and reactive systems thinking...

See More on Coursera
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Best States For a Lead Server

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a lead server. The best states for people in this position are Hawaii, Alaska, New York, and Massachusetts. Lead servers make the most in Hawaii with an average salary of $61,013. Whereas in Alaska and New York, they would average $57,898 and $50,966, respectively. While lead servers would only make an average of $50,420 in Massachusetts, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Alaska

Total Lead Server Jobs: 140
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

2. Hawaii

Total Lead Server Jobs: 158
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

3. Rhode Island

Total Lead Server Jobs: 232
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Full List Of Best States For Lead Servers

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Top Lead Server Employers

Most Common Employers For Lead Server

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
1Darden Restaurants$83,028$39.92165
2Texas Roadhouse$73,920$35.5452
3Chili's Grill & Bar$61,554$29.5963
4Logan's Roadhouse$58,284$28.0254
5The Cheesecake Factory$47,538$22.8585
6Cracker Barrel$38,982$18.7464
7Pizza Hut$29,669$14.2659
8Buffalo Wild Wings$29,283$14.0877
9Applebee's Canada$28,930$13.91174
10Outback Steakhouse$28,887$13.8994