What Are the Best Restaurants to Work For?

Last Updated on February 12, 2023 by Lauren Beck

Working in the restaurant industry can be both fulfilling and challenging, with a variety of job opportunities available, from server to chef. But, which restaurants offer the best working conditions, salaries, and benefits? 

In this article, we’ll explore what are the best restaurants to work for, the highest paying restaurant jobs, and what to expect in terms of pay and working conditions in the industry.

20 Best Restaurants to Work For and Why:

  1. Starbucks
  2. Panera Bread
  3. The Cheesecake Factory
  4. Chipotle
  5. Dunkin’ Donuts
  6. Subway
  7. McDonald’s
  8. Olive Garden
  9. Red Lobster
  10. Taco Bell
  11. Outback Steakhouse
  12. IHOP
  13. LongHorn Steakhouse
  14. Applebee’s
  15. Chili’s
  16. Arby’s
  17. Denny’s
  18. Buffalo Wild Wings
  19. Jack in the Box
  20. KFC

These restaurants are known for offering good pay, benefits, and job security to their employees. Additionally, they invest in training and development programs, flexible schedules, and opportunities for advancement. Starbucks, for example, provides its employees with free college tuition, while Panera Bread offers paid time off and health insurance.

What Is the Highest Paying Restaurant Job?

The highest paying restaurant job is typically that of a head chef or executive chef. These individuals are responsible for overseeing the kitchen, managing the menu, and training kitchen staff. They can earn an average salary of $60,000 to $100,000 per year, depending on the size and type of restaurant.

What Restaurants Pays the Most?

Fine dining restaurants tend to pay the most, followed by casual dining establishments. Some of the top-paying restaurants include:

  • The French Laundry (California)
  • Per Se (New York)
  • Alinea (Illinois)
  • Eleven Madison Park (New York)
  • Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare (New York)

Where Do Servers Make the Most Money?

Servers can make the most money in high-end restaurants, such as fine dining establishments, where they often earn a combination of hourly pay and tips. In these restaurants, servers can earn upwards of $50,000 per year.

What Kind of Waitresses Make the Most Money?

Waitresses who work in fine dining restaurants or upscale bars tend to make the most money, as they receive both an hourly wage and a generous amount of tips from customers.

What’s the Easiest Fast Food Place to Work For?

dunkin donuts with customers

The easiest fast food restaurant to work for can vary depending on personal preferences, but some popular choices among employees include:

  • Subway
  • Dunkin’ Donuts
  • Taco Bell
  • McDonald’s
  • Starbucks

These restaurants are known for offering flexible schedules, benefits, and a positive work environment.

Why Do Restaurant Workers Get Paid So Little?

The restaurant industry is notorious for low pay and few benefits, with many workers earning minimum wage or just slightly above it. This is partly because the industry operates on thin margins, meaning that employers have limited resources to invest in higher pay and benefits for their employees. Additionally, many workers in the industry are classified as tipped employees, which means that their base pay is lower and they rely on tips to make a living wage.

Is Working in a Restaurant Stressful?

Working in a restaurant can be stressful, particularly during busy shifts. Servers must manage multiple tables at once, keep track of orders and special requests, and maintain a positive attitude and attention to detail under pressure. Kitchen staff must work quickly and efficiently to prepare meals, often in hot and cramped conditions. However, for many individuals, the fast-paced nature of the work and the opportunity to interact with customers and be part of a team can be a source of excitement and fulfillment.

What Is the Hardest Job in the Restaurant Industry?

The hardest job in the restaurant industry can vary depending on the individual, but some of the most challenging positions include:

  • Line cook: responsible for preparing food to order and keeping up with the pace of the kitchen
  • Dishwasher: must clean large amounts of dishes and kitchen equipment quickly and efficiently
  • Sous chef: must manage the kitchen and assist the head chef, often under high-pressure and fast-paced conditions

What Are the Best Days to Work as a Server?

The best days to work as a server vary depending on the restaurant, but weekends and evenings are typically the busiest times, leading to the most potential for high tips [1]. Additionally, holidays such as Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day can also be busy and lucrative days to work.


The restaurant industry offers a wide range of job opportunities, from fast food to fine dining. The 20 best restaurants to work for offer good pay, benefits, and job security, and the highest paying restaurant jobs tend to be in the fine dining sector. However, working in a restaurant can also be stressful, and low pay and limited benefits are common issues in the industry. Ultimately, the best restaurant to work for will vary depending on individual preferences, but it is important to consider factors such as pay, work environment, and job security when making a decision.


Lauren Beck
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