Many entry-level or inexperienced workers earn the federal minimum wage.However, many others earn more per hour because they work in states that set minimum wages higher than the federal minimum.
The profitability of individual companies depends on the ability to drive traffic and develop a loyal clientèle.
Large companies can offer a wide variety of food, drinks, and entertainment, and have scale advantages in purchasing, financing, and marketing.
Also, various exceptions to the minimum wage apply under specific circumstances to disabled workers, full-time students, youths under age 20 in their first 90 days of employment, tipped employees, and student learners.
Tipped employees are those who customarily and regularly receive more than $30 a month in tips.
The US bar and nightclub industry includes about 45,000 establishments (single-location companies and branches of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of about $20 billion.
No major companies dominate; varying state liquor laws complicate the ability to form large chains.However, the growing popularity of take-out food and the growing number and variety of places that offer self-service or carryout options, including many full-service restaurants, will limit employment growth.The median hourly wage for food and beverage serving and related workers was .72 in May 2010.Earnings vary greatly, depending on the type of establishment.For example, in many full-service restaurants, tips are higher than wages.The lowest 10 percent earned less than .60 per hour, and the top 10 percent earned more than .14 per hour.Bartenders’ earnings often come from a combination of hourly wages and customers’ tips.According to the Fair Labor Standards Act, the employer may consider tips as part of wages, but the employer must pay at least .13 an hour in direct wages.In 2010, about half of all food and beverage serving and related workers worked part time.Although some workers in this occupation earn tips, the majority get their earnings from hourly wages.Many entry-level or inexperienced workers earn the federal minimum wage (.25 per hour as of July 24, 2009).