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Become A Server And Hostess

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Working As A Server And Hostess

  • 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

  • $22,292

    Average Salary

What Does A Server And Hostess 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 Server And Hostess

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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A day in the life of a server

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Server And Hostess Demographics

Gender

Female

81.0%

Male

17.1%

Unknown

1.9%
Ethnicity

White

60.1%

Hispanic or Latino

18.0%

Black or African American

11.5%

Asian

7.0%

Unknown

3.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

63.1%

French

8.8%

Italian

3.0%

Chinese

2.9%

Mandarin

2.7%

German

2.5%

Korean

2.2%

Japanese

2.0%

Portuguese

1.9%

Russian

1.9%

Vietnamese

1.6%

Cantonese

1.5%

Arabic

1.4%

Greek

0.8%

Polish

0.8%

Tagalog

0.7%

Hindi

0.7%

Thai

0.5%

Hmong

0.5%

Swedish

0.4%
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Server And Hostess Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

11.2%

University of Central Florida

8.2%

Valencia College

5.7%

Florida State University

5.3%

Georgia State University

5.0%

Northern Virginia Community College

4.8%

Liberty University

4.7%

Palm Beach State College

4.7%

Temple University

4.6%

Texas State University

4.6%

Southern New Hampshire University

4.5%

University of Alabama

4.5%

Middle Tennessee State University

4.2%

Ashford University

4.1%

Kaplan University

4.1%

Miami Dade College

4.1%

Arizona State University

3.9%

University of North Texas

3.9%

University of South Florida

3.9%

Delgado Community College

3.8%
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Majors

Business

17.6%

Psychology

10.7%

Nursing

9.2%

Criminal Justice

7.4%

Communication

5.6%

General Studies

5.4%

Medical Assisting Services

5.3%

Health Care Administration

4.8%

Biology

4.0%

Accounting

3.4%

Liberal Arts

3.3%

Cosmetology

3.2%

English

3.0%

Marketing

2.9%

Education

2.6%

Hospitality Management

2.5%

Kinesiology

2.4%

Management

2.2%

Sociology

2.2%

Nursing Assistants

2.2%
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Degrees

Other

39.0%

Bachelors

35.9%

Associate

14.5%

Certificate

4.5%

Masters

3.4%

Diploma

1.6%

License

0.7%

Doctorate

0.4%
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Server And Hostess Videos

A day in the life of a server

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Top Skills for A Server And Hostess

  1. Customer Service
  2. Menu Items
  3. Food Safety
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Cited for excellence in interpersonal communications, teamwork, customer service, flexibility and reliability.
  • Collaborated with kitchen staff on menu items and development of food offerings, gaining feedback from clientele and recommending changes.
  • Followed food safety procedures according to company policies and health and sanitation regulations.
  • Managed multiple food orders while ensuring accuracy and quality control standards.
  • Greet and seat customers * Serve customers * Cleaning tables and dining area * Processing payment * Customer Service

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Server And Hostess Videos

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