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Become A Waitstaff

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Working As A Waitstaff

  • 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

  • $23,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Waitstaff 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 Waitstaff

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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Average Yearly Salary
$23,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$14,000
Min 10%
$23,000
Median 50%
$23,000
Median 50%
$23,000
Median 50%
$23,000
Median 50%
$23,000
Median 50%
$23,000
Median 50%
$23,000
Median 50%
$38,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Del Frisco's Restaurant Group
Highest Paying City
Barnstable Town, MA
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
2.2 years
How much does a Waitstaff make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Waitstaff in the United States is $23,860 per year or $11 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $14,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $38,000.

Real Waitstaff Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Waitstaff Wianno Club MA May 05, 2015 $34,143
Waitstaff Nantucket Golf Club, Inc. Siasconset, MA May 09, 2016 $29,114
Waitstaff The Westmoor Club MA May 31, 2014 $27,507
Waitstaff The Wianno Club MA May 05, 2014 $27,027
Waitstaff The Wianno Club MA May 14, 2013 $26,630
Waitstaff Scout Sea Crest Management, LLC North Falmouth, MA May 01, 2015 $26,234
Waitstaff Nantucket Island Management, LLC Nantucket, MA Apr 10, 2015 $25,983
Waitstaff Nantucket Golf Club, Inc. Siasconset, MA May 11, 2015 $25,983
Waitstaff Wianno Club, Inc. MA May 07, 2016 $23,813
Waitstaff 512 Main Street, Inc. Chatham, MA Apr 07, 2016 $23,813
Waitstaff The Bayberry Group, Inc. Glen Arbor, MI Apr 01, 2015 $23,166
Waitstaff The Bayberry Group, Inc. MI Apr 01, 2014 $22,268
Waitstaff Caffe Prego, LLC Ogunquit, ME May 04, 2016 $21,580
Waitstaff The Bayberry Group, Inc. Glen Arbor, MI Apr 01, 2016 $21,517
Waitstaff Boughton Hotel Corporation ME May 01, 2013 $21,058
Waitstaff Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation ND Apr 01, 2014 $20,953
Waistaff Nantucket Golf Club MA May 01, 2013 $20,849
Waitstaff Nantucket Island Management, LLC MA Apr 01, 2013 $20,849
Waitstaff Prego, LLC. ME May 01, 2015 $20,119
Waitstaff Prego, LLC. ME May 01, 2014 $20,077
Waitstaff Sagacious, Inc. SD May 17, 2013 $19,701
Waitstaff Prego, LLC ME May 15, 2013 $19,680
Waitstaff Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation Medora, ND Apr 12, 2016 $19,534
Waitstaff Camino Real, LLC NC Mar 01, 2015 $17,969

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How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Waitstaff?

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Top Skills for A Waitstaff

  1. Customer Service
  2. Kitchen Areas
  3. Food Preparation
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Maintain quality control/satisfaction, constantly seeking new ways to improve customer service.
  • Cleaned and organized eating, service, and kitchen areas.
  • Assisted with food preparation and display onto each table, ensuring the presentation is of the highest standards for our customers.
  • Clean tables and rest of assigned section after every customer dining.
  • Developed ingredient and preparation knowledge of all menu items.

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Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Waitstaffs

  1. Hawaii
  2. Nevada
  3. Arizona
  4. Maine
  5. Massachusetts
  6. West Virginia
  7. Rhode Island
  8. Vermont
  9. North Dakota
  10. Minnesota
  • (80 jobs)
  • (233 jobs)
  • (485 jobs)
  • (93 jobs)
  • (467 jobs)
  • (140 jobs)
  • (65 jobs)
  • (33 jobs)
  • (53 jobs)
  • (456 jobs)

Waitstaff Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 3,182 Waitstaff resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Waitstaff Resume

View Resume Examples

Waitstaff Demographics

Gender

Female

64.4%

Male

24.6%

Unknown

11.1%
Ethnicity

White

65.1%

Hispanic or Latino

15.3%

Black or African American

9.8%

Asian

6.5%

Unknown

3.3%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

55.0%

French

8.6%

Russian

5.7%

Italian

5.7%

Portuguese

3.6%

Japanese

3.6%

Arabic

2.9%

German

2.1%

Swedish

1.4%

Hebrew

1.4%

Filipino

1.4%

Cantonese

1.4%

Tagalog

1.4%

Chinese

1.4%

Swahili

0.7%

Turkish

0.7%

Mandarin

0.7%

Dutch

0.7%

Hmong

0.7%

Danish

0.7%
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Waitstaff Education

Schools

University of Massachusetts Amherst

7.7%

Boston College

7.1%

University of Phoenix

7.1%

Michigan State University

6.0%

University of Connecticut

5.5%

Community College of Rhode Island

5.5%

The Academy

4.9%

Guam Community College

4.9%

University of Maine

4.9%

Boston University

4.9%

Pennsylvania State University

4.4%

Hudson Valley Community College

4.4%

Chemeketa Community College

4.4%

California State University - Sacramento

4.4%

University of Houston

4.4%

University of Rhode Island

3.8%

Macomb Community College

3.8%

Rhode Island College

3.8%

Grand Rapids Community College

3.8%

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

3.8%
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Majors

Business

18.2%

Nursing

8.7%

Psychology

8.2%

Criminal Justice

6.3%

General Studies

5.5%

Medical Assisting Services

5.1%

Health Care Administration

5.0%

Communication

4.5%

Liberal Arts

4.4%

Hospitality Management

4.1%

Biology

3.9%

English

3.8%

Graphic Design

3.7%

Cosmetology

3.1%

Accounting

3.0%

Marketing

2.9%

Culinary Arts

2.7%

Management

2.6%

Sociology

2.3%

Fine Arts

2.1%
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Degrees

Bachelors

39.4%

Other

35.8%

Associate

13.0%

Certificate

5.4%

Masters

3.4%

Diploma

1.7%

License

0.8%

Doctorate

0.7%
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