Employee Benefits Summary for the Restaurants and Bars Industry

Learn more about the types of benefits restaurant and bar companies offer across medical, short term disability, long term disability, life, vacation and leave and financial incentives.

Did you know about 35% of restaurant and bar companies offer medical insurance?

Complete Benefits Guide:

  • Medical
  • Disability
  • Life
  • Sick & Vacation
  • Retirement


Restaurants and bars are encompassed by the Food Services and Drinking Places industry. Their focus is on preparing meals, snacks, and beverages for customers to consume immediately, either on- or off-premises. Due to the flexible nature of this definition, establishments vary from full-service restaurants to special food services such as caterers.

Since both bars and restaurants are only ever as good as their staff, companies looking to onboard the best talent available will need to offer comprehensive benefits packages.

Higher employee turnover rates and percentage of part time workers can make benefit offering and administration somewhat more difficult than the average industry. The average employee demographic can range significantly from a high school senior to a retired senior citizen, each with different motivations for working. Disability plans are important as there can be a physical component to the role, from moving heavy items to being near cooking equipment. To create a custom benefit package, every employer needs to know their specific group of employees.

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The Restaurant and Bars Industry Employment Summary

As of January 2021, there were 658,000 restaurant and bar establishments nationwide, employing over 11 million professionals. On average, each business is small, with 18 staff members each. This industry is almost evenly split between male and female employees, and the average employee age is 29 years old.

The Restaurants and Bars Industry Insurance Benefits Comparison

35% Offer Medical Benefits

What percentage of restaurant and bar employers offer medical insurance?

  • 35% offer access to medical insurance. This is well under the national average of 69%.
  • These businesses provide an average monthly employer premium of $1,076 for family coverage. This is below the national average of $1,121.
  • Additionally, they provide an average monthly employer premium of $467 for individual coverage. This is above the national average of $458.
16% Offer Short-Term Long-Term Disability

What percentage of restaurant and bar employers offer short and/or long-term disability insurance?

16% of these employers offer short-term disability coverage, and 4% offer long-term disability insurance. The national average is 42% and 34%, respectively.

19% Offer Life Insurance

What percentage of restaurant and bar employers offer life insurance?

19% offer access to a life insurance plan. Comparatively, the national average is 56%.

9% Offer PaidFamily Leave

Do restaurant and bar employers provide access to paid family leave?

  • 9% provide access to paid family leave. The national average is 20%.
  • 79% provide access to unpaid family leave. The national average is 88%.
  • 35% offer consolidated leave plans. The national average is 44%.

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In my 25 years of benefit experience, I have never seen information like this

– Cassie H, Benefit Manager

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As a whole, the restaurant and bar industry is well below the national standard when it comes to providing comprehensive employee benefits packages. There are many opportunities for employers to increase their benefits offering, including providing more retirement savings options, improving disability coverage, adding in more paid vacation days, and providing more inclusive access to paid family leave.

Once these improvements have been made, employers will be able to better meet their employee’s needs, while attracting and retaining new talent to their teams.