Waiters and Waitresses

Want help with your hiring? It's easy. Enter your information below, and we'll quickly reach out to discuss your hiring needs.
Loading

Recruiter.com helps professionals in waiter or waitress careers find better opportunities across all specialties and locations. Sign up in our career community today!

Also known as:
Cocktail Server, Cocktail Waitress, Dining Car Server, Restaurant Server, Wine Steward

ABOUT WAITER OR WAITRESS CAREERS
Video transcript

Waiters and waitresses take orders and serve food in restaurants, coffee shops, and other establishments. The quality of service they deliver helps determine whether or not the patron will return. That's because "service sells." The food may be completely ordinary, but if the waiters and waitresses are friendly and attentive, customers will come back again and again.

Job opportunities can range from local diners to national chains to expensive restaurants in major cities and resort areas. The key to success is always the same: put yourself in the customer's shoes.

Tips are a major share of the take-home pay of a waiter or waitress, and the ones who receive the biggest tips are the ones who make their customers feel "special" by anticipating their wants and needs before they have to ask for anything.

In addition, depending on the type of restaurant, waiters and waitresses may perform additional duties that are generally associated with other food and beverage occupations, such as escorting guests to tables, setting up or clearing tables, or operating the cash register. Waiting tables isn't just about serving food, it's about serving people.

SNAPSHOT
Take orders and serve food and beverages to patrons at tables in dining establishment.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
LOW
Level of responsibilities
LOW
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
LOW
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
MED
Communication with others
LOW
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
HIGH
Daily tasks

Perform food preparation duties such as preparing salads, appetizers, and cold dishes, portioning desserts, and brewing coffee.

Bring wine selections to tables with appropriate glasses, and pour the wines for customers.

Present menus to patrons and answer questions about menu items, making recommendations upon request.

Perform cleaning duties, such as sweeping and mopping floors, vacuuming carpet, tidying up server station, taking out trash, or checking and cleaning bathroom.

Check patrons' identification to ensure that they meet minimum age requirements for consumption of alcoholic beverages.

Inform customers of daily specials.

Describe and recommend wines to customers.

Provide guests with information about local areas, including giving directions.

Prepare checks that itemize and total meal costs and sales taxes.

Serve food or beverages to patrons, and prepare or serve specialty dishes at tables as required.

Assist host or hostess by answering phones to take reservations or to-go orders, and by greeting, seating, and thanking guests.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Performing for or Working Directly with the Public Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Handling and Moving Objects Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Sales and Marketing Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
Food Production Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Personnel and Human Resources Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
Psychology Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
TOP SKILLS
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Service Orientation Actively looking for ways to help people.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Social Perceptiveness Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Coordination Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.