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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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Informal Waiter/Waitress jobs

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Informal Waiter/Waitress Typical Career Paths

Informal Waiter/Waitress Demographics

Gender

  • Female

    73.8%
  • Male

    23.1%
  • Unknown

    3.1%

Ethnicity

  • White

    79.7%
  • Hispanic or Latino

    12.6%
  • Asian

    5.9%
  • Unknown

    1.2%
  • Black or African American

    0.6%
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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

    80.0%
  • German

    10.0%
  • Polish

    10.0%

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Informal Waiter/Waitress Education

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Real Informal Waiter/Waitress Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Waiter/Waitress Nantucket Donuts and Diner Nantucket, MA May 10, 2016 $29,114
Waiter/Waitress Trump National Golf Club LLC Briarcliff Manor, NY May 18, 2016 $27,569
Waiter/Waitress Sunningdale Country Club, Inc. Scarsdale, NY May 01, 2016 $27,569
Waiters/Waitresses SBR and C LLC New York, NY May 01, 2016 $27,569
Waiter/Waitress Whippoorwill Club Armonk, NY May 01, 2016 $27,569
Waiter/Waitress Metropolis Country Club, Inc. White Plains, NY May 01, 2016 $27,569
Waiter/Waitress Old Oaks Country Club NY Apr 29, 2016 $27,569
Waiter/Waitress Fenway Golf Club, Inc. Scarsdale, NY May 01, 2016 $27,569
Waiter/Waitress Montammy Golf Club Alpine, NJ May 01, 2016 $27,569
Waiter/Waitress Scarsdale Golf Club, Inc. Hartsdale, NY May 15, 2016 $27,569
Waiters and Waitresses The Westchester Country Club Rye, NY May 15, 2016 $27,569
Waiter/Waitress The Apawamis Club Rye, NY May 01, 2016 $27,569
Waiter/Waitress Wycliffe Golf and Country Club, Inc. Wellington, FL Oct 01, 2016 $27,131
Waiter/Waitress Wycliffe Golf and Country Club, Inc. Wellington, FL Oct 01, 2015 $27,131
Waiters/Waitresses Devon Yacht Club Amagansett, NY Apr 01, 2016 $23,583
Waiter/Waitress Laurel Links Country Club, Inc. Laurel, NY Apr 25, 2016 $23,541
Waiter/Waitress Fishers Island Club, Inc. Fishers Island, NY May 16, 2016 $23,541
Waiter/Waitress The Everglades Club, Inc. Palm Beach, FL Oct 01, 2016 $23,228
Waiter/Waitress Jonathan's Landing Golf Club Jupiter, FL Oct 15, 2016 $23,228
Waiter/Waitress Royal Palm Yacht & Country Club Boca Raton, FL Oct 15, 2016 $23,228
Waiter, Waitress The Breakers Palm Beach, Inc. Palm Beach, FL Oct 01, 2016 $23,228
Waiter/Waitress Jupiter Golf Club, LLC Jupiter, FL Oct 01, 2016 $23,228
Waiter/Waitress Grandfather Golf and Country Club Glenville, NC May 01, 2015 $20,870
Waiter/Waitress Grandfather Golf and Country Club Glenville, NC May 03, 2016 $20,870
Waiters and Waitresses Rancho de Los Caballeros Wickenburg, AZ Oct 15, 2015 $20,787
Waiter/Waitress The Broadmoor Hotel, Inc. CO Apr 01, 2015 $20,745
Waiter/Waitress Boughton Hotel Corporation Kennebunkport, ME May 01, 2016 $20,453
Waiter/Waitress Kennebunkport Resort Collection Kennebunkport, ME May 01, 2016 $20,453
Waiters and Waitresses Florida Hospitality Management LLC Montgomery, TX Apr 01, 2015 $20,307

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Top Skills for An Informal Waiter/Waitress

CustomerServiceIssuesCustomerComplaintsMenuItemsFoodGarnishesRetrieveDataCommunicationTechniquesFoodOrdersBeverageOrdersDailySpecialsCustomerIntoxicationCleanTablesStockServiceAreasOrderSlipsComputerSystemMealCostsCustomerOrdersPresentMenusAlcoholicBeveragesCookingMethodsMemorizeOrders

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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