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National Waitstaff Day: May 21, 2022

Press Release Number CB22-SFS.72

From U.S. Census Bureau > Library > Profile America > National Waitstaff Day (2021):

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

The occasion is one for expressing appreciation for the many dedicated servers who make dining out a pleasurable and recurring experience, when available. From small diners and bars, up to fancy five-star restaurants, before the pandemic there were more than 579,000 eating and drinking places operating nationwide.

Until recently, almost $600 billion was spent in these establishments, which employed more than 11 million workers. Prior to the pandemic, our orders were taken, and food and beverages served, by some 2.1 million waitstaff, nearly seven out of 10 of whom were women.

Note: On April 30, the U.S. Census Bureau's daily podcast Profile America Audio ended its 25-year run. In its place, we have launched By the Numbers, a new monthly spotlight on notable observances, anniversaries, and historical events.

Key Stats

Source: 2019 American Community Survey (ACS) 1-Year Estimates.

Note: We modified the table above to focus on food occupations and highlighted the rows for male and female waiters and waitresses. Click on the image for the full table. 

The tables below show median earnings for the full-time, civilian employed population and the number of full-time employed.

More Stats

Source: Monthly Retail Trade and Food Services: 1992 to 2022, U.S. Total — Sales - Monthly.

  • NAICS 722, Food Services and Drinking Places
  • NAICS 7224, Drinking Places (Alcoholic Beverages)
  • NAICS 7225, Restaurants and Other Eating Places
  • NAICS 722511, Full-Service Restaurants

Source: 2020 Service Annual Survey (SAS) and administrative data.  

Source: 2017 Economic Census.

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