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Become A Bartender, Cook, And Waitress

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Working As A Bartender, Cook, And Waitress

  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • Getting Information
  • Selling or Influencing Others
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Deal with People

  • Outdoors/walking/standing

  • $17,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Bartender, Cook, And Waitress Do

Waiters and waitresses take orders and serve food and beverages to customers in dining establishments.

Duties

Waiters and waitresses typically do the following:

  • Greet customers, present menus, and explain daily specials to customers
  • Answer questions related to menu
  • Take food and beverage orders from customers
  • Relay food and beverage orders to the kitchen staff
  • Prepare drinks and food garnishes
  • Carry trays of food or drinks from the kitchen to the dining tables
  • Remove dirty dishes and glasses, and clean tables after customers finish meals
  • Prepare itemized checks and take payments from customers
  • Set up dining areas, refill condiments, and stock service areas

Waiters and waitresses, also called servers, are responsible for ensuring that customers have a satisfying dining experience. The specific duties of servers vary with the establishment in which they work.

In casual-dining restaurants that offer simple menu items, such as salads, soups, and sandwiches, servers provide fast, efficient, and courteous service. In fine-dining restaurants, where more complicated meals are prepared and are often served over several courses, waiters and waitresses emphasize personal, attentive treatment at a more leisurely pace. For example, they may suggest a beverage choice such as a wine recommendation with certain foods.

Waiters and waitresses may meet with managers and chefs before each shift to discuss the menu or specials, review ingredients for potential food allergies, or talk about any food safety concerns. They also discuss coordination between the kitchen and the dining room and review any customer service issues from the previous day or shift.

In establishments where alcohol is served, waiters and waitresses verify the age of customers and ensure that they meet legal requirements for the purchase of alcohol.

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How To Become A Bartender, Cook, And Waitress

Most waiter and waitress jobs are entry level, and workers learn through short-term on-the-job training. No formal education or previous work experience is required to enter the occupation.

Most states require workers who serve alcoholic beverages to be at least 18 years of age, but some states require servers to be older. Waiters and waitresses who serve alcohol must be familiar with state and local laws concerning the sale of alcoholic beverages.

Education

No formal education is required to become a waiter or waitress.

Training

Most waiters and waitresses learn their skills through short-term on-the-job-training, usually lasting a few weeks. Trainees typically work with an experienced waiter or waitress, who teaches them basic serving techniques.

Some full-service restaurants provide new employees with some form of classroom training that alternates with periods of on-the-job work experience. These training programs communicate the operating philosophy of the restaurant, help new servers establish a rapport with other staff, teach serving techniques, and instill a desire to work as a team. They also discuss customer service situations and the proper ways to handle unpleasant circumstances or unruly customers.

Training for waiters and waitresses in establishments that serve alcohol typically involves learning state and local laws concerning the sale of alcoholic beverages. Some states, counties, and cities mandate the training, which typically lasts a few hours and can be taken online or in-house.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Waiters and waitresses must listen carefully to customers’ specific requests, ask questions, and relay the information to the kitchen staff, so that orders are prepared to the customers’ satisfaction.

Customer-service skills. Waiters and waitresses spend most of their work time serving customers. They should be friendly and polite and be able to develop a rapport with customers.

Detail oriented. Waiters and waitresses must record customers’ orders accurately. They need be able to recall the details of each order and match the food or drink orders to the correct customers.

Interpersonal skills. Waiters and waitresses should be courteous, tactful, and attentive as they deal with customers in all circumstances to resolve any issues that arise.

Physical stamina. Waiters and waitresses spend hours on their feet carrying heavy trays, dishes, and drinks.

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Average Length of Employment
Head Waitress 3.3 years
Cook/Bartender 2.8 years
Waitstaff 2.2 years
Cocktail Waitress 1.9 years
Host/Waiter 1.9 years
Busboy/Waiter 1.9 years
Waitress 1.9 years
Server 1.9 years
Server And Hostess 1.9 years
Take Out Waitress 1.9 years
Cook/Server 1.7 years
Waiter And Cashier 1.7 years
Pizza Cook 1.4 years
Top Careers Before Bartender, Cook, And Waitress
Cashier 19.8%
Waitress 13.3%
Server 7.1%
Cook 5.1%
Manager 4.2%
Bartender 2.6%
Secretary 2.2%
Internship 2.1%
Volunteer 2.0%
Top Careers After Bartender, Cook, And Waitress
Cashier 16.2%
Waitress 10.6%
Server 7.5%
Cook 6.3%
Manager 4.6%
Bartender 3.5%
Internship 2.2%
Secretary 1.7%

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Top Skills for A Bartender, Cook, And Waitress

  1. Food Safety
  2. Kitchen Equipment
  3. Customer Service
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provided Excellent Customer Service- Adhered to Food Safety Preparation Standards- Waited Tables- Opening and Closing Procedures
  • Conducted daily inspections and maintained food sanitation and kitchen equipment safety reports.
  • Executed great customer service skills while working in various climate controls due to being outside majority of work tour.
  • Prepared menu items to customer liking and follow proper regulations.
  • Prepare customer orders quickly and accurately.

Bartender, Cook, And Waitress Demographics

Gender

Female

85.2%

Unknown

7.9%

Male

6.9%
Ethnicity

White

70.9%

Hispanic or Latino

10.4%

Black or African American

10.0%

Asian

5.8%

Unknown

3.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

64.7%

French

9.4%

German

7.1%

Russian

3.5%

Italian

3.5%

Polish

2.4%

Portuguese

1.2%

Irish

1.2%

Ukrainian

1.2%

Greek

1.2%

Cherokee

1.2%

Mandarin

1.2%

Danish

1.2%

Thai

1.2%
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Bartender, Cook, And Waitress Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

23.5%

Kaplan University

9.7%

Ashford University

6.4%

Baker College

4.4%

University of Montana

4.0%

Chippewa Valley Technical College

4.0%

Ultimate Medical Academy - Clearwater

4.0%

Pennsylvania State University

4.0%

Clarion University of Pennsylvania

4.0%

The Academy

3.7%

Lansing Community College

3.7%

Big Bend Community College

3.4%

Northeast Iowa Community College

3.4%

Everest Institute

3.4%

Kirkwood Community College

3.4%

Central State University

3.4%

Winona State University

3.0%

Moraine Park Technical College

3.0%

University of Central Missouri

3.0%

Moberly Area Community College

2.7%
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Majors

Business

18.4%

Nursing

12.4%

Medical Assisting Services

8.1%

Health Care Administration

7.6%

Accounting

6.6%

Criminal Justice

6.2%

General Studies

5.9%

Psychology

5.5%

Culinary Arts

4.3%

Cosmetology

4.1%

Education

2.5%

Social Work

2.2%

Liberal Arts

2.2%

Human Services

2.2%

Medical Technician

2.1%

English

2.0%

Nursing Assistants

2.0%

Communication

2.0%

Management

1.9%

Biology

1.9%
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Degrees

Other

44.0%

Bachelors

22.3%

Associate

20.6%

Certificate

6.2%

Diploma

3.2%

Masters

2.5%

License

1.0%

Doctorate

0.2%
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