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Top 10 Restaurant Jobs No Experience in New York City, NY – July 2024 Salaries

We curated some of the best restaurant jobs in New York City (NYC) that require no experience.

With 5.7 million job openings projected every year, below are the annual average job openings for some occupations that do not require formal education and work experience.

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[Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)]
This graph is interactive. Hover your mouse over different parts of the graph to see detailed data.


Although occupations like Cashier and Waiter/Waitress have little to no projected growth in employment, hundreds of thousands of jobs should still be available following current employees leaving their positions, getting promoted or retiring.

Best Restaurant Jobs No Experience in NYC (Hiring Now!)

Check out some of the best restaurant jobs that require no experience available in NYC right now.

1. Raising Cane’s | $17–$19 per hour

Raising Cane's logo[Source: Raising Cane’s]

  • Position: Restaurant Crewmember
  • About: Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers is a fast-casual chain with more than 700 locations in 5 countries.
  • Requirements: At least 16 years of age
  • Salary: $35,360–$39,520 base plus tips per year
  • Job type: Full-time
  • Benefits: Dental, vision, supplemental life and pet insurance, 401(k) with employer match, PTO, medical and pharmacy benefits, dependent care flexible spending account (FSA), health-care FSA, flexible schedule, education resources and assistance programs, employee assistance programs, casual work attire, employee discounts, benefits concierge service, performance-based bonuses, training
  • Where to apply: View Raising Cane’s career page

2. Panera Bread | $16–$18 per hour

Panera Bread logo[Source: Panera Bread]

  • Position: Salad and Sandwich Maker
  • About: Panera Bread is a bakery-café fast-food restaurant chain growing to more than 2,000 locations in the United States (U.S.) and Canada.
  • Requirements: At least 16 years of age
  • Salary: $33,280–$37,440 base plus tips per year
  • Job type: Full-time
  • Benefits: Medical, life, dental and vision insurance, 401(k) with match, performance-based bonuses, PTO, career growth opportunities, free meals on shifts
  • Where to apply: View Panera Bread’s career page

3. McDonald’s | $15–$16 per hour

McDonald's logo[Source: McDonald’s]

  • Position: Crew Team Member
  • About: McDonald’s is a world-leading fast-food chain with more than 36,000 locations worldwide and about 150,000 employees.
  • Requirements: At least 16 years of age
  • Salary: $31,200–$33,280 base per year (no tips)
  • Job type: Part-time and full-time
  • Benefits: PTO, parental leave, health care and retirement benefits, education assistance, accident and critical illness insurance, childcare and adoption assistance, emergency relief, employee discounts, prescription drug discounts, urgent care
  • Where to apply: View McDonald’s career page

Are restaurant work keeping up with living costs in your area?

4. Noreetuh  | $18–$24 per hour

Noreetuh logo[Source: Noreetuh]

  • Position: Line Cook
  • About: Noreetuh is a Hawaiian restaurant with a modern twist that has been recognized by the New York Times, Michelin Guide and others.
  • Requirements: At least 16 years of age
  • Salary: $37,440–$49,920 base per year
  • Job type: Full-time
  • Benefits: Commuter benefits, employee discounts
  • Where to apply: View Noreetuh’s career page

5. Golden Corral | $15–$18 per hour

Golden Corral logo[Source: Golden Corral]

  • Position: Food Prep Person
  • About: Golden Corral is an all-you-can-eat grill chain with restaurants in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
  • Requirements: At least 16 years of age
  • Salary: $31,200–$37,440 base per year
  • Job type: Full-time
  • Benefits: PTO, flexible schedule, career growth opportunities, medical and hospital insurance, prescription drug program, dental plan, short- and long-term disability insurance, employee assistance, education assistance, adoption assistance, retirement plans
  • Where to apply: View Golden Corral’s career page

6. The Cheesecake Factory | $16–$20 per hour

The Cheesecake Factory logo[Source: The Cheesecake Factory]

  • Position: Prep Cook
  • About: The Cheesecake Factory is a cheesecake distributor and restaurant chain with more than 300 locations worldwide.
  • Requirements: At least 18 years of age, able to lift up to 50 lbs
  • Salary: $33,280–$41,600 base per year
  • Job type: Full-time and part-time
  • Benefits: PTO and sick time, medical, dental and vision coverage, flexible schedule, career growth opportunities, employee discounts, free shift meals, no-cost education (associates degree, culinary and GED) programs
  • Where to apply: View The Cheesecake Factory’s career page

7. The Halal Guys | $16.50 per hour

The Halal Guys logo[Source: The Halal Guys]

  • Position: Food Service Worker (Cart)
  • About: The Halal Guys is a fast-casual restaurant franchise known for serving halal food in carts in Manhattan.
  • Requirements: High school diploma, GED or equivalent or higher, basic math skills
  • Salary: $34,320 base per year
  • Job type: Full-time and part-time
  • Benefits: Career growth opportunities, $500 bonus, paid breaks, free shift meals, compensation opportunities, Food Vendor License fee reimbursement
  • Where to apply: View The Halal Guys’ career page

8. Din Tai Fung | $16.78 per hour

Din Tai Fung logo[Source: Din Tai Fung]

  • Position: Busser
  • About: Din Tai Fung is a Taiwanese restaurant chain serving Chinese cuisine, including dumplings and steamed buns, in countries all over the world.
  • Requirements: Schedule flexibility, ability to stand for long periods
  • Salary: Up to $34,902 base plus tips per year (estimated tips at $32–$78 per shift)
  • Job type: Part-time
  • Benefits: 401(k) with company match, dental, vision and life insurance, employer contribution for medical insurance (employee and dependents), employee assistance programs, career growth opportunities, employee meal discounts, commuter spending accounts, health savings account
  • Where to apply: View Din Tai Fung’s career page

9. Chama Mama  | $16 per hour

Chama Mama logo[Source: Chama Mama]

  • Position: Food Runner
  • About: Chama Mama serves traditional Georgian cuisine in New York with a modern twist.
  • Requirements: Written and spoken English fluency, ability to lift up to 50 lbs
  • Salary: $33,280 base plus tips per year
  • Job type: Full-time
  • Benefits: PTO, employee discounts, career growth opportunities
  • Where to apply: View Chama Mama’s career page

10. The Capital Grille | $15–$22 per hour

The Capital Grille logo[Source: The Capital Grille]

  • Position: Cold Station Cook
  • About: The Capital Grille is an upscale steakhouse restaurant chain with locations in 25 states, including the District of Columbia.
  • Requirements: No minimum qualifications
  • Salary: $31,200–$45,760 base per year
  • Job type: Full-time
  • Benefits: 401(k) with match, employee discounts, medical, dental and vision coverage, paid sick leave, anniversary pay, weekly pay, insurance benefits, flexible spending accounts
  • Where to apply: View The Capital Grille’s career page

How To Get a Restaurant Job With No Experience

Many restaurant jobs require no work experience. Improve your chances of getting into the restaurant industry by taking the following steps.

Steps on how to get a restaurant job with zero experience

1. Make a Well-Written Resume

Employers take an average of 60 seconds to browse through a resume. One study even claimed just six. Make yours stand out.

Write a simple yet clear resume that highlights your skills, education and any experience that supports your ability to be effective in your desired role.

List down the most relevant skills in your resume, such as customer service and communication. Also, add your highest-attained education level (e.g., high school diploma, bachelor’s degree, associate’s degree, etc.).

Although a degree is not often required for most restaurant jobs, some employers may include this as a requirement.

Lastly, add your updated contact info and keep everything short and simple. If possible, keep it to one page.

2. Apply for Entry-Level Roles

Before applying, make sure the job description advertises an entry-level role. If you have zero experience, then apply for a job that doesn’t require any. You’ll often find these phrases for entry-level job ads.

  • Experience preferred but not required
  • No experience needed
  • This is an entry-level role

Positions like Server, Dishwasher, Busser and Waiter/Waitress often require little to no experience. However, they can be excellent entry points into the industry by teaching you the basics of restaurant work.

Although these jobs can be more physically demanding, they can be a good stepping-stone for higher-level restaurant jobs.

3. Ask Around and Take Advantage of Your Network

Friends and family can also help you get your first restaurant job. If you know anyone who works in a restaurant, ask if they have any openings. Better yet, ask if they can refer you.

You can also ask about the role and what happens behind the scenes — beyond what’s listed in the job description. Some good questions to ask would be about flexibility, tips, the work culture and more.

4. Prepare for the Interview

On average, it takes six applications to get a hold of one interview. So, if you ever get invited for one, make sure you do well by practicing for it.

Make sure you research the role and the company you’re applying for. Also, read the job description thoroughly. Most interview questions will be about the responsibilities and expectations already listed in the job ad.

Check out our interview guides for restaurant jobs that require no experience below. These are designed to guide both job seekers and employers in interviews.

Average Salaries for Restaurant Jobs in NYC

NYC has unique wage laws for restaurant and hospitality employees. Although the minimum wage for all employees in the city is $16.00 per hour, the state of New York allows employers to satisfy this minimum wage by combining cash wage with tip credit.

For example, food service workers in NYC should be paid at least a minimum wage of $16.00 per hour. The employer can give them a cash wage of $10.65 per hour as long as the tip allowance is no more than $5.35 per hour.

Type of Employee New York City Long Island and Westchester County Remainder of New York State
Service Employees $13.35 Cash Wage
$2.65 Tip Credit
$13.35 Cash Wage
$2.65 Tip Credit
$12.50 Cash Wage
$2.50 Tip Credit
Food Service Workers $10.65 Cash Wage
$5.35 Tip Credit
$10.65 Cash Wage
$5.35 Tip Credit
$10 Cash Wage
$5 Tip Credit

[Source: New York Department of Labor]

Keep in mind that restaurant job wages can increase the more experience an employee has. Check the chart below to see the difference between wages for entry-level fast-food workers versus experienced ones for both full-time and part-time positions.

[Source: BLS]
This graph is interactive. Hover your mouse over different parts of the graph to see detailed data.


Below are the average salaries for food preparation and serving–related workers in NYC, as well as in other major cities like Miami, Chicago and Los Angeles.


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Salaries for Restaurant Jobs No Experience in NYC

Below are the average salaries for restaurant jobs in NYC that are available to job seekers with no experience.

Should establishments provide bonuses or shared profits with employees?

Restaurant Job Career Outlook

NYC’s restaurant industry provides 1 in 12 private sector jobs in the city, which makes it a major employer in the city.

In the New York metropolitan area, there are about 700,430 food preparation and serving–related employees.

The number of job openings for food preparation and serving–related workers is expected to grow nationwide by 2% between 2022 and 2032, suggesting the continued demand for restaurant workers in the country.

Legal Requirements for Restaurant Jobs No Experience in NYC

Whether you’re already a restaurant employee in NYC or applying to be one, the following legal considerations apply.

Food Handler’s License

All restaurant employees who serve food must get a Food Handler’s License upon 30 days of hiring. This is relevant to positions like Servers, Baristas, Waiters/Waitress, Bartenders, etc.

On the other hand, this may not be required for positions like Dishwashers and Bussers.

Food Handler's License requirement for NYC food service employees

Both online and in-person courses are available for this license. Upon finishing the program, you can get your Food Handler’s License.

Frequently Asked Questions

Because of the fast-paced nature of restaurant work, you’re sure to learn multitasking and time management.

Most restaurant positions also require you to interact with different customers, which can improve your communication and customer service skills.

Lastly, teamwork is essential in the restaurant and hospitality industry.

The three levels of hierarchy in the food service industry are entry-level, mid-level and management positions. Below are some examples of positions per level.

  • Entry-level: Dishwasher, Host/Hostess, Server, Waiter/Waitress
  • Mid-level: Sous Chef, Assistant Restaurant Manager, Kitchen Manager
  • Management: Restaurant Manager, Food and Beverage Director, Head Chef

Not all restaurant jobs are tipped. Some establishments may also prohibit tipping altogether.

In most cases, front-of-house staff who directly interact with customers, such as Hosts/Hostesses, Servers and Waiters/Waitresses, typically receive tips. In contrast, back-of-house staff who usually stay in the kitchen, such as Prep Cooks and Dishwashers, do not.

However, tip pooling is allowed and can even be required by employers. It’s best to discuss this with your employee or employer to avoid any confusion.

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