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Become A Caterer/Server

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Working As A Caterer/Server

  • 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

  • $22,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Caterer/Server 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 Caterer/Server

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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Caterer/Server Career Paths

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Do you work as a Caterer/Server?

Average Yearly Salary
$22,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$12,000
Min 10%
$22,000
Median 50%
$22,000
Median 50%
$22,000
Median 50%
$22,000
Median 50%
$22,000
Median 50%
$22,000
Median 50%
$22,000
Median 50%
$38,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Spherion
Highest Paying City
Bellingham, WA
Highest Paying State
Hawaii
Avg Experience Level
2.1 years
How much does a Caterer/Server make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Caterer/Server in the United States is $22,354 per year or $11 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $13,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $38,000.

How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Caterer/Server?

Have you worked as a Caterer/Server? Help other job seekers by rating your experience as a Caterer/Server.

Top Skills for A Caterer/Server

  1. Customer Service
  2. Banquet Facility
  3. Food Preparation
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Helped in preparing great food and atmosphere while exemplifying exceptional customer service.
  • Performed food preparation catering and direct customer service for corporate and family picnic events.
  • Serve customer food and beverage orders quickly, in proper portions, with a courteous demeanor.
  • Drink Service, Food Service, Setting up and cleaning up special events, Improvise, learning on the job.
  • Cater, prep food for events, set up events

Caterer/Server Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 5,524 Caterer/Server resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Caterer/Server Resume

View Resume Examples

Caterer/Server Demographics

Gender

Female

56.0%

Male

32.3%

Unknown

11.7%
Ethnicity

White

62.9%

Hispanic or Latino

16.7%

Black or African American

11.0%

Asian

6.1%

Unknown

3.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

62.8%

French

12.4%

Russian

3.0%

Italian

2.7%

Mandarin

2.3%

Chinese

2.3%

German

2.3%

Portuguese

2.0%

Japanese

2.0%

Ukrainian

1.3%

Tagalog

1.3%

Arabic

1.3%

Dutch

0.7%

Thai

0.7%

Greek

0.7%

Croatian

0.7%

Swedish

0.3%

Vietnamese

0.3%

Romanian

0.3%

Cantonese

0.3%
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Caterer/Server Education

Schools

University of Central Florida

7.3%

Temple University

6.9%

Arizona State University

5.9%

Johnson & Wales University

5.9%

University of Phoenix

5.6%

University of Delaware

5.6%

Oregon State University

5.3%

Eastern Michigan University

5.0%

Florida State University

5.0%

Purdue University

5.0%

Grand Valley State University

4.6%

Indiana University of Pennsylvania

4.6%

Ohio State University

4.6%

Utah State University

4.3%

University of South Florida

4.3%

Pennsylvania State University

4.3%

San Francisco State University

4.0%

Washington State University

4.0%

Culinary Institute of America

4.0%

Ohio University -

4.0%
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Majors

Business

19.3%

Psychology

9.8%

Communication

6.3%

Hospitality Management

5.5%

Criminal Justice

4.9%

Health Care Administration

4.8%

Nursing

4.5%

Culinary Arts

4.4%

Liberal Arts

4.2%

General Studies

4.1%

Marketing

4.0%

Biology

3.9%

Fine Arts

3.4%

English

3.3%

Medical Assisting Services

3.3%

Accounting

3.1%

Sociology

3.0%

Kinesiology

2.8%

Management

2.7%

Political Science

2.6%
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Degrees

Bachelors

47.0%

Other

29.5%

Associate

13.5%

Masters

4.1%

Certificate

3.7%

Diploma

1.3%

Doctorate

0.5%

License

0.4%
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