What is a Waiter or Waitress?
Career Description Take orders and serve food and beverages to patrons at tables in dining establishment.
What Do Waiters and Waitresses Do On a Daily Basis?
- Serve food or beverages to patrons, and prepare or serve specialty dishes at tables as required.
- Perform cleaning duties, such as sweeping and mopping floors, vacuuming carpet, tidying up server station, taking out trash, or checking and cleaning bathroom.
- Check with customers to ensure that they are enjoying their meals and take action to correct any problems.
- Inform customers of daily specials.
- Prepare hot, cold, and mixed drinks for patrons, and chill bottles of wine.
- Explain how various menu items are prepared, describing ingredients and cooking methods.
Skills Needed to be a Waiter or Waitress
Waiters and Waitresses state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.
Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.
Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Other Waiter or Waitress Job Titles
- Food Runner
- Banquet Server
Are There Job Opportunities for Waiters and Waitresses?
In 2016, there was an estimated number of 2,600,500 jobs in the United States for Waiter or Waitress. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 7% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 182,500 new jobs for Waiter or Waitress by 2026. The BLS estimates 522,700 yearly job openings in this field.
The states with the most job growth for Waiter or Waitress are Utah, Washington, and Arizona. Watch out if you plan on working in Ohio, West Virginia, or Maine. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.
Average Waiters and Waitresses Salary
Waiters and Waitresses make between $17,330 and $40,780 a year.
Waiters and Waitresses who work in Hawaii, Vermont, or District of Columbia, make the highest salaries.
How much do Waiters and Waitresses make in each U.S. state?
|State||Annual Mean Salary|
|District of Columbia||$48,120|
What Tools do Waiters and Waitresses Use?
Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Waiters and Waitresses:
- Point of sale POS software
- The General Store
- Intuit QuickBooks Point of Sale
- NCR NeighborhoodPOS
- MICROS Systems HSI Profits Series
- NCR Advanced Checkout Solution
- Compris software
- Compris Advanced Manager’s Workstation
- Hospitality Control Solutions Aloha Point-of-Sale
Becoming a Waiter or Waitress
What education is needed to be a Waiter or Waitress?
How many years of work experience do I need?
Who Employs Waiters and Waitresses?
The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.
Other Jobs You May be Interested In
Those interested in being a Waiter or Waitress may also be interested in:
Are you already one of the many Waiter or Waitress in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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