What Does it Take to Be a Waiter or Waitress?
Occupation 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?
- Perform food preparation duties such as preparing salads, appetizers, and cold dishes, portioning desserts, and brewing coffee.
- Prepare hot, cold, and mixed drinks for patrons, and chill bottles of wine.
- Clean tables or counters after patrons have finished dining.
- Stock service areas with supplies such as coffee, food, tableware, and linens.
- Garnish and decorate dishes in preparation for serving.
- Bring wine selections to tables with appropriate glasses, and pour the wines for customers.
What a Waiter or Waitress Should Know
Below is a list of the skills most Waiters and Waitresses say are important on the job.
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.
Types of Waiter or Waitress
- Cocktail Server
- Restaurant Server
- Banquet Waiter/Waitress
- Deck Steward
Job Opportunities for Waiters and Waitresses
There were about 2,600,500 jobs for Waiter or Waitress in 2016 (in the United States). 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.
Waiter or Waitress Average 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.
Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Waiters and Waitresses in different U.S. states.
|State||Annual Mean Salary|
|District of Columbia||$48,120|
Tools & Technologies Used by Waiters and Waitresses
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?
Where Waiters and Waitresses Are Employed
The table below shows the approximate number of Waiters and Waitresses employed by various industries.
Those interested in being a Waiter or Waitress may also be interested in:
Career changers with experience as a Waiter or Waitress sometimes find work in one of the following fields:
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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