The average salary of a restaurant owner

Written by graham brown | 13/05/2017
The average salary of a restaurant owner
Restaurant owners must be adequately compensated to keep the operation sustainable. (restaurant image by Dmitry Nikolaev from

The job of owning a restaurant is so exciting, unpredictable and fast-paced that a number of television shows profiling those in the profession have intrigued audiences across the country. The largest consideration when contemplating becoming a restaurant owner is financial sustainability, and the owner's salary plays a key role in this. Checking out normal compensation levels of restaurateurs can give curious entrepreneurs a starting point from which to develop financial projections.

National Averages

PayScale's survey of restaurant owners and operators finds a range of annual pay from £26,320 to £64,328 as of 2010. This range includes profit sharing income, which can span from £3,177 to £18,203 for owners. PayScale derived its results from data from 115 restaurant owners.


As is often the case with entrepreneurs, PayScale's data supports the fact that more experience as a restaurant owner means more take-home pay. With one to four years in the business, salaries range from £23,400 to £47,069. After five to nine years owning and operating, the range's high end stretches to £57,662. Top average salaries grow to above £65,000 for those who have owned restaurants for 10 to 19 years.


PayScale's state-by-state breakdown shows significant variation between the salaries of restaurant owners. Respondents from Florida report a wide range from £9,100 to £105,300. Indiana also has impressive salaries at the top end of the range, reaching up to £92,950. Texas, New York and California also have top average salaries above £65,000, as of 2010.


Because restaurant owners are most frequently self-employed, they are less likely to receive health benefits from their employers than those in other careers. According to PayScale, only 42 per cent of owners receive medical coverage. Furthermore, only 23 per cent have dental care and 14 per cent receive vision care.

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