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Become A Waitress

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Working As A 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

  • $18,783

    Average Salary

What Does A 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 A 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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Waitress jobs

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Real Waitress Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Head Waiter U-Me Sushi Japanese Restaurant Nanuet, NY May 30, 2008 $32,849
Waiter Gizzo Enterprises, DBA Surf Club New Rochelle, NY Sep 14, 2010 $28,404
Waitress E & J Restaurants LLC Oklahoma City, OK Feb 20, 2008 $27,131
Waiter Wycliffe Golf and Country Club, Inc. Wellington, FL Dec 15, 2014 $27,131
Waiter Wycliffe Golf and Country Club, Inc. FL Oct 31, 2014 $27,131
Restaurant Waitress &Kitchen Browndog Investments Inc. MA Jun 01, 2014 $25,044
Head Waiter Winner's Chinatown, Inc. Washington, DC Apr 18, 2012 $25,022
Waiters Best Solutions USA, LLC Shelter Island Heights, NY Apr 01, 2015 $24,794
Waiters Immigration Solutions Group, LLC Boca Raton, FL Jan 01, 1970 $24,794
Waiters Pine Hollow Country Club East Norwich, NY Apr 01, 2015 $24,794

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Top Skills for A Waitress

OutstandingCustomerServiceFoodOrdersCurrentMenuItemsCustomerOrdersFoodPreparationCleanTablesMealCostsDailySpecialsOrderSlipsCommunicationSkillsStockServiceAreasDrinkOrdersMemorizeOrdersAlcoholicBeveragesPresentMenusSalesTaxesCustomerServiceSkillsWaiterPOSMinimumAGERequirements

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Top Waitress Skills

  1. Outstanding Customer Service
  2. Food Orders
  3. Current Menu Items
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Dedicated to outstanding customer service in a fast paced environment.
  • Prioritized time management in placing food orders and checking on up to 5 tables at a time.
  • Memorize and explain to customers the specials that aren't printed on their menus, and describe current menu items.
  • Requested and recorded customer orders and computed bills using cash register, or pencil and paper.
  • Perform food preparation duties such as preparing salads, appetizers, and cold dishes, portioning desserts, and brewing coffee.

Waitress Videos

Career Advice on becoming a Waitress/ Bar Person/ Manager by Kirsty M (Full Version)

How to Serve and Clear Plates Like a Waitress

Career Advice on becoming a Waitress by Joanna V (Full Version)