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Become An Informal Waiter/Waitress

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Working As An Informal Waiter/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

  • $17,160

    Average Salary

What Does An Informal Waiter/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 An Informal Waiter/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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11 Informal Waiter/Waitress jobs

Old Ebbitt Grill
Washington, DC
Waiter / Waitress

$17,160 Estimated

Compass Group, North America
Manassas, VA
WAITER / WAITRESS (PART TIME) - 5 openings

$17,160 Estimated

Compass Group Holdings PLC
McLean, VA
WAITER / WAITRESS (FULL AND PART TIME)

$17,160 Estimated

Compass Group, North America
Dulles Town Center, VA
WAITER / WAITRESS (FULL TIME)

$17,160 Estimated

Compass Group, North America
Washington, DC
WAITER / WAITRESS (PART-TIME) Several Openings

$17,160 Estimated

Compass Group Holdings PLC
Washington, DC
WAITER / WAITRESS (PART-TIME) Several Openings

$17,160 Estimated

Compass Group, North America
Washington, DC
WAITER / WAITRESS (PART-TIME)

$17,160 Estimated

Compass Group Holdings PLC
Washington, DC
WAITER / WAITRESS (PART-TIME)

$17,160 Estimated

Mikaku
Herndon, VA
Waiter / Waitress

$17,160 Estimated

Aramark
Washington, DC
Waiter / Waitress - F.D.I.C. Washington

$17,160 Estimated

Compass Group, North America
Washington, DC
WAITER / WAITRESS (FULL & PART-TIME) Several Openings

$17,160 Estimated

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Real Informal Waiter/Waitress Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Waiters and Waitresses Nantucket Golf Club MA May 12, 2014 $27,507
Waiters and Waitresses Nantucket Island Management, LLC MA Apr 15, 2014 $27,507
Waiter/Waitress 698 Commercial Street Realty Ll MA Jun 01, 2014 $27,507
Waiters and Waitresses The Westmoor Club MA Jun 01, 2013 $27,152
Waiter/Waitress Harbour Ridge Yacht & Country Club FL Oct 21, 2013 $27,131
Waiter/Waitress Lamington Farm Club LLC NJ May 01, 2014 $27,131
Waiter/Waitress Wycliffe Golf and Country Club, Inc. Wellington, FL Oct 01, 2015 $27,131
Waiters/Waitresses Harbour Ridge Yacht and Country Club FL Oct 27, 2014 $27,131
Waiters/Waitresses Harbour Ridge Yacht and Country Club Palm City, FL Oct 20, 2015 $27,131
Waiter/Waitress Lamington Farm Club LLC NJ May 01, 2013 $27,131
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Top Skills for An Informal Waiter/Waitress

CustomerServiceIssuesCustomerComplaintsMenuItemsFoodGarnishesRetrieveDataCommunicationTechniquesFoodOrdersBeverageOrdersDailySpecialsCustomerIntoxicationCleanTablesStockServiceAreasOrderSlipsComputerSystemPresentMenusMealCostsCustomerOrdersAlcoholicBeveragesCookingMethodsMemorizeOrders

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Top Informal Waiter/Waitress Skills

  1. Customer Service Issues
  2. Customer Complaints
  3. Menu Items
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Resolved any customer complaints and fixed any errors in their orders.
  • Learn menu items and be able to describe them appropriately to guests.
  • Take beverage and food orders.
  • Greet customers, seat customers, take customers food and beverage order, deliver food and beverage orders, cash out customers
  • Inform customers of daily specials.

Top Informal Waiter/Waitress Employers

What Kind Of Companies Hire an Informal Waiter/Waitress

  1. McAuley Assisted Living
  2. Imperial Cleaning Concepts
  3. Moriches Bay Diner
  4. Freedom Inn at Ventana Canyon
  5. Texas Roadhouse
  6. Wah Wong
  7. Showtime Networks
  8. Neyow's Creole Caf
  9. Uno Chicago Grill
  10. Lafettas
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