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Waiter And Waitress Career

Career Description

Waiter and Waitress Career

A waiter and waitress career involves more than just serving food and drink to customers. Also, it does not only require a pleasant personality but needs you to be able to multi-task under pressure and ensure a timely delivery of orders while keeping the maximum number of customers happy – which can be a tough task on its own.

Daily Tasks

Waiters and waitresses can work in a number of places where food and drinks are served, for instance, small coffee shops, diners, hotel or motel dining rooms, small family restaurants or even large chain restaurants.
Depending on the size of the establishment, waiters and waitresses can be responsible for a number of things but wherever they work, their job requires them to have a good memory and the ability to think and respond quickly. Though tasks vary with the size and the type of each establishment, the daily tasks of a waiter or waitress can involve:


  • Serving customers with courtesy;
  • Filling and refilling condiment bottles etc.;
  • Laying clean linen, cutlery and glassware before the next customer comes in;
  • Relaying orders to the kitchen or entering orders into computers;
  • Remembering orders and making sure every customer gets what he orders;
  • Checking identification to verify age before serving alcoholic beverages;
  • Suggesting food and drink pairings;
  • Knowing the items on the menu and making recommendations;
  • Remembering names of regular patrons and their preferences;
  • Handling grumpy and unpleasant customers;
  • Remembering orders served at each table and making up the check; and
  • Coordinating with other staff members including other waiters and waitresses as well as kitchen staff to ensure everything runs smoothly.

Educational Requirements

Though there are no specific educational requirements to become a waiter or waitress but most places prefer a high school diploma or a General Education Degree (GED). If you plan to take up a waiter and waitress career after high school, you may take up courses like food service, food and nutrition, hospitality and culinary arts and mathematics to help you secure your first job.

Some large chain restaurants may also require you to take some formal training courses and obtain a license to work with them.


According the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual income in waitressing was $20,890 in May 2011 with the lowest 10% earning $16,070 per annum and highest earning $29,820 per annum. The average annual pay per industry is:
Full-service Restaurants $20,660
Traveler Accommodation $24,680
Limited-service Eating $18,790
Other Amusement and Recreation Industries $22,480
Drinking Places $19,620


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