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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

  • $20,000

    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 Demographics

Gender

Female

70.6%

Male

18.7%

Unknown

10.7%
Ethnicity

White

62.0%

Hispanic or Latino

16.8%

Black or African American

11.4%

Asian

6.6%

Unknown

3.2%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

62.0%

French

7.0%

Chinese

4.2%

Mandarin

3.6%

Italian

2.7%

German

2.5%

Russian

2.3%

Japanese

2.3%

Portuguese

2.2%

Cantonese

2.0%

Korean

1.8%

Vietnamese

1.7%

Arabic

1.7%

Polish

1.1%

Hmong

0.6%

Thai

0.5%

Greek

0.5%

Tagalog

0.5%

Swedish

0.5%

Hindi

0.4%
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Waitress Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

16.2%

The Academy

10.0%

Kaplan University

6.2%

Pennsylvania State University

5.1%

Ashford University

4.7%

Texas State University

4.5%

Miami Dade College

4.4%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

4.4%

University of Houston

4.3%

Texas A&M University

4.2%

Liberty University

4.0%

Houston Community College

3.9%

Everest Institute

3.8%

Southern New Hampshire University

3.7%

Michigan State University

3.6%

University of North Texas

3.5%

West Virginia University

3.5%

Temple University

3.4%

University of Connecticut

3.4%

Northern Virginia Community College

3.2%
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Majors

Business

17.5%

Nursing

11.4%

Psychology

8.8%

Criminal Justice

7.3%

Medical Assisting Services

6.7%

Health Care Administration

5.1%

General Studies

5.0%

Accounting

4.6%

Communication

4.1%

Biology

3.8%

Cosmetology

3.8%

Liberal Arts

3.1%

Marketing

2.8%

Education

2.7%

English

2.5%

Management

2.3%

Kinesiology

2.2%

Hospitality Management

2.2%

Medical Technician

2.1%

Graphic Design

2.1%
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Degrees

Other

38.5%

Bachelors

34.6%

Associate

15.2%

Certificate

4.9%

Masters

3.3%

Diploma

2.3%

License

0.9%

Doctorate

0.3%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$20,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$14,000
Min 10%
$20,000
Median 50%
$20,000
Median 50%
$20,000
Median 50%
$20,000
Median 50%
$20,000
Median 50%
$20,000
Median 50%
$20,000
Median 50%
$28,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Chemical Transportation
Highest Paying City
Newport, RI
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
1.9 years
How much does a Waitress make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Waitress in the United States is $20,026 per year or $10 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $14,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $28,000.

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 Sankaty Head Golf Club Inc. Siasconset, MA Jun 06, 2016 $29,114
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 Pine Hollow Country Club East Norwich, NY Apr 01, 2015 $24,794
Waiters Frenchie's Bar & Grill Inc. Pembroke Park, FL Dec 05, 2016 $24,627
Waiters Pine Hollow Country Club East Norwich, NY Apr 01, 2016 $23,541
Waiters Frenchie's Bar & Grill Inc. Pembroke Park, FL Nov 01, 2016 $23,458
Waiter Tartufo Restaurant Newton, MA Dec 20, 2007 $22,978
Waiters Immigration Solutions Group, LLC FL Oct 01, 2013 $21,058
Waiters Best Solutions USA, LLC FL May 20, 2013 $21,058
Waitress La Rana Restauraunt Lake Forest, CA Aug 24, 2010 $20,536
Waitress Chodang Tofu, Inc. Cerritos, CA Jun 02, 2015 $20,426
Waiter Retolistllc Fort Myers Beach, FL Dec 09, 2014 $20,181
Waiter Tartufo Restaurant Newton, MA May 15, 2008 $19,993
Waiters Nosh LLC Dba Nosh Eatery & Creative Catering Hudson, OH Jan 23, 2015 $19,367
Waiter Panthal Inc. Orange, CT Oct 30, 2009 $19,326
Waitress Jump Tokyo San Diego, CA Aug 30, 2012 $18,013
Waitress Suwon. Inc. Logan, UT Sep 29, 2015 $17,992
Waitress KOCA, Inc. San Diego, CA Jun 29, 2015 $17,763
Waitress GUMO, Inc. Glendale, AZ Oct 14, 2015 $17,534
Waiters Pine Hollow Country Club NY Apr 01, 2013 $16,821
Waiter Dong Bang Corporation Fort Lee, NJ Jun 08, 2015 $16,806
Waitress Shogun HS, Inc. Lincoln, NE Sep 10, 2015 $16,765

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Top Skills for A Waitress

  1. Food Safety
  2. Menu Items
  3. Customer Service
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Followed food safety procedures according to company policies and health and sanitation regulations.
  • Memorized and presented menu items to customers and asked inquisitive questions to suggestively sell suitable menu items.
  • Utilized my experience to improve customer service management resulting in improved customer satisfaction.
  • Perform leaning duties such as sweeping, mopping, clean tables, take out garbage, clean bathrooms and wash dishes.
  • Entered customer orders into computerized cash register.

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Top 10 Best States for Waitresses

  1. Hawaii
  2. Arizona
  3. Nevada
  4. New York
  5. Vermont
  6. West Virginia
  7. Maine
  8. New Jersey
  9. Pennsylvania
  10. Washington
  • (105 jobs)
  • (562 jobs)
  • (326 jobs)
  • (806 jobs)
  • (31 jobs)
  • (148 jobs)
  • (105 jobs)
  • (573 jobs)
  • (952 jobs)
  • (424 jobs)

Top Waitress Employers

Jobs From Top Waitress Employers

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)

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