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Become A Server

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Working As A 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

  • $22,268

    Average Salary

What Does A Server Do

A server is someone who works at a restaurant or a bar, and sometimes in private homes, attending customers—supplying them with food and drink as requested.

How To Become A 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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16,449 Server jobs

Pridestaff
Birmingham, AL
Event Server

$21,005 Estimated

Oleana
Cambridge, MA
Server

$26,233 Estimated

The Cheesecake Factory
Cambridge, MA
Server

$26,233 Estimated

The Cheesecake Factory
Towson, MD
Server

$21,825 Estimated

The Cheesecake Factory
Braintree Town, MA
Server

$26,233 Estimated

The Cheesecake Factory
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Server

$23,004 Estimated

The Cheesecake Factory
West Hartford, CT
Server

$22,564 Estimated

The Cheesecake Factory
Henderson, NV
Server

$26,157 Estimated

The Cheesecake Factory
Salt Lake City, UT
Server

$23,729 Estimated

The Cheesecake Factory
Alpharetta, GA
Server

$20,821 Estimated

The Cheesecake Factory
North Miami Beach, FL
Server

$22,861 Estimated

The Cheesecake Factory
Schaumburg, IL
Server

$22,598 Estimated

The Cheesecake Factory
San Diego, CA
Server

$20,800 Estimated

The Cheesecake Factory
Willow Grove, PA
Server

$22,010 Estimated

The Cheesecake Factory
Jacksonville, FL
Server

$22,957 Estimated

The Cheesecake Factory
Chicago, IL
Server

$22,598 Estimated

The Cheesecake Factory
Middletown, OH
Server

$22,268 Estimated

The Cheesecake Factory
Woodbridge, VA
Server

$23,924 Estimated

The Cheesecake Factory
Memphis, TN
Server

$22,268 Estimated

The Cheesecake Factory
Atlanta, GA
Server

$20,821 Estimated

Add To My Jobs

Real Server Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Server The Twineagles Club LLC FL Oct 15, 2014 $31,305
Server The Twineagles Club LLC FL Oct 15, 2013 $31,305
Server The Twineagles Club LLC Naples, FL Oct 15, 2015 $31,305
Asian Restaurant Host Alley Pond House, Corp. NY May 13, 2016 $27,997
Server Nantucket Hotel Holdings LLC MA Apr 15, 2014 $27,507
Server Island Holdings LLC MA Apr 13, 2014 $27,507
Servers Eastward Ho! Country Club, Inc. MA May 12, 2014 $27,027
Servers Ocean Edge Resort Limited Partnership MA May 01, 2014 $27,027
Servers Wianno Club MA May 05, 2015 $26,234
Servers Hyannisport Club MA May 05, 2015 $26,234
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Top Skills for A Server

OutstandingCustomerServiceCurrentMenuItemsFoodOrdersPOSFoodPreparationDrinkOrdersCommunicationSkillsCustomerOrdersCustomerServiceSkillsDailySpecialsAlcoholicBeveragesGuestSatisfactionCleanTablesHighVolumeFoodItemsQualityCustomerServiceLargePartiesBeverageOrdersTo-GoOrdersPositiveAttitude

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Top Server Skills

  1. Outstanding Customer Service
  2. Current Menu Items
  3. Food Orders
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provided outstanding customer service to patrons Organized and executed service to large groups, such as weddings and business meetings
  • Maintained knowledge of current menu items, garnishes, ingredients, and preparation methods to run food out correctly.
  • Promoted to Manager - Responsible for overseeing schedule, food orders, and greeting and conversing with guests
  • Possessed full knowledge of merchandise and price specials effectively assisting customers with product selection/inquiries.
  • Perform food preparation duties such as preparing salads, appetizers, and cold dishes, portioning desserts, and brewing coffee.

Top Server Employers

What Kind Of Companies Hire a Server

  1. Olive Garden
  2. Buffalo Wild Wings
  3. Applebee's
  4. Red Lobster
  5. Outback Steakhouse
  6. Texas Roadhouse
  7. Cracker Barrel
  8. IHOP
  9. TGI Fridays
  10. The Cheesecake Factory
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Server Videos

A day in the life of a server

How To Be A More Successful Server (Pt. 1)

Server (fine dining), Career Video from drkit.org