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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

  • $23,924

    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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Server jobs

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Server Demographics

Gender

  • Female

    64.9%
  • Male

    33.3%
  • Unknown

    1.8%

Ethnicity

  • White

    79.1%
  • Hispanic or Latino

    12.1%
  • Asian

    6.8%
  • Unknown

    1.5%
  • Black or African American

    0.5%
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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

    61.1%
  • French

    9.9%
  • German

    3.8%
  • Italian

    2.9%
  • Chinese

    2.7%
  • Portuguese

    2.5%
  • Mandarin

    2.5%
  • Japanese

    2.4%
  • Russian

    2.3%
  • Korean

    1.7%
  • Arabic

    1.7%
  • Vietnamese

    1.2%
  • Cantonese

    1.0%
  • Greek

    0.9%
  • Polish

    0.8%
  • Hindi

    0.6%
  • Thai

    0.6%
  • Tagalog

    0.5%
  • Swedish

    0.5%
  • Hebrew

    0.4%
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Real Server Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Servers New RH, LLC. Friday Harbor, WA May 05, 2016 $37,670
Server The Twineagles Club LLC Naples, FL Oct 15, 2016 $31,305
Server The Twineagles Club LLC Naples, FL Oct 15, 2015 $31,305
Server 2 Hermitage Club LLC Dover, VT Dec 04, 2016 $30,387
Server Hermitage Club LLC Dover, VT Nov 15, 2015 $29,990
Server Steamboat Wharf of Provincetown, Inc. Provincetown, MA May 01, 2016 $29,114
Server Island Holdings LLC Edgartown, MA Apr 07, 2016 $29,114
Server Great Harbor Yacht Club, Inc. Nantucket, MA May 25, 2016 $29,114
Server The Westmoor Club Nantucket, MA May 15, 2016 $29,114
Server Nantucket Hotel Holdings LLC Nantucket, MA Apr 18, 2016 $29,114
Server Pine Brook Country Club Weston, MA May 01, 2016 $28,968
Asian Restaurant Host Alley Pond House, Corp. NY May 13, 2016 $27,997
Server Imperial Golf Club, Inc. Naples, FL Nov 01, 2016 $27,507
Server The Players Club & Spa, LLC Naples, FL Nov 01, 2016 $27,507
Server Hunters Run Property Owners Association, Inc. Boynton Beach, FL Oct 01, 2016 $24,794
Server Sebonack Golf Club LLC Southampton, NY May 01, 2015 $24,794
Server The Muttontown Club East Norwich, NY May 01, 2015 $24,794
Server Glen Oaks Club, Inc. Old Westbury, NY May 01, 2015 $24,794
Server Granlibakken Resort Sunnyside-Tahoe City, CA May 01, 2016 $24,606
Server Sebonack Golf Club LLC Southampton, NY May 01, 2016 $24,001
Servers Wychmere Harbor Functions, LP Harwich Port, MA Jun 01, 2016 $23,813
Servers Eastward Ho! Country Club, Inc. Chatham, MA May 15, 2016 $23,813
Server Ocean Reef Club, Inc. Key Largo, FL Nov 01, 2016 $22,853
Server Sailfish Point Property Owners and Country Club Association, Inc. Stuart, FL Oct 01, 2015 $22,435
Server Sailfish Point Property Owners and Country Club Association, Inc. Stuart, FL Oct 01, 2016 $22,435
Server Green Valley Country Club Lafayette, PA May 01, 2015 $22,373
Server Brothers Property Management Corp Whitefield, NH May 01, 2016 $22,268
Server Northwood Hospitality, LLC Islamorada Village of Islands, FL Dec 29, 2015 $22,247
Server Anglers Club Members Association, Inc. Key Largo, FL Oct 26, 2016 $22,247
Servers Best Solutions USA, LLC Kiawah Island, SC May 13, 2016 $21,914

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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

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

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