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What Do Waiter or Waitress Do?

Job Description & Duties Take orders and serve food and beverages to patrons at tables in dining establishment.

A Day in the Life of a Waiter or Waitress

  • Take orders from patrons for food or beverages.
  • Roll silverware, set up food stations, or set up dining areas to prepare for the next shift or for large parties.
  • Present menus to patrons and answer questions about menu items, making recommendations upon request.
  • Write patrons’ food orders on order slips, memorize orders, or enter orders into computers for transmittal to kitchen staff.
  • Bring wine selections to tables with appropriate glasses, and pour the wines for customers.
  • Explain how various menu items are prepared, describing ingredients and cooking methods.

Waiter or Waitress Skills

These are the skills Waiters and Waitresses say are the most useful in their careers:

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.

  • Sommelier
  • Deck Steward
  • Club Waiter/Waitress
  • Waiter/Waitress
  • Waiter

Is There Job Demand 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. There will be an estimated 522,700 positions for Waiter or Waitress per year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Waiters and Waitresses in U.S.

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.

How Much Does a Waiter or Waitress Make?

The typical yearly salary for Waiters and Waitresses is somewhere between $17,330 and $40,780.

Salary Ranges for Waiters and Waitresses

Waiters and Waitresses who work in Hawaii, Vermont, or District of Columbia, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Waiters and Waitresses in different U.S. states.

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $19,750
Alaska $25,610
Arizona $30,220
Arkansas $20,040
California $30,250
Colorado $25,510
Connecticut $26,350
Delaware $23,690
District of Columbia $48,120
Florida $26,120
Georgia $20,280
Hawaii $52,110
Idaho $20,780
Illinois $22,900
Indiana $22,300
Iowa $21,850
Kansas $20,140
Kentucky $19,450
Louisiana $18,630
Maine $27,550
Maryland $24,160
Massachusetts $31,920
Michigan $23,920
Minnesota $25,540
Mississippi $20,560
Missouri $21,420
Montana $20,990
Nebraska $25,610
Nevada $24,980
New Hampshire $24,850
New Jersey $27,530
New Mexico $20,770
New York $34,460
North Carolina $22,400
North Dakota $21,140
Ohio $22,650
Oklahoma $20,060
Oregon $28,640
Pennsylvania $24,850
Rhode Island $27,380
South Carolina $20,290
South Dakota $21,930
Tennessee $19,870
Texas $23,520
Utah $24,000
Vermont $34,560
Virginia $24,070
Washington $35,930
West Virginia $23,140
Wisconsin $23,330
Wyoming $23,670

Tools & Technologies Used by Waiters and Waitresses

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Waiters and Waitresses may use on a daily basis:

  • Facebook
  • 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

How do I Become a Waiter or Waitress?

Are there Waiters and Waitresses education requirements?

Waiter or Waitress Degree Level

How Long Does it Take to Become a Waiter or Waitress?

Waiter or Waitress Work Experience

Who Employs Waiters and Waitresses?

Waiter or Waitress Sectors

Waiters and Waitresses work in the following industries:

Waiter or Waitress Industries

Other Jobs You May be Interested In

Those thinking about becoming a Waiter or Waitress might also be interested in the following careers:

Career changers with experience as a Waiter or Waitress sometimes find work in one of the following fields:

References:

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More about our data sources and methodologies.

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