Waiters and Waitresses

Take orders and serve food and beverages to patrons at tables in dining establishment.

Median Annual Wage: $18,730

Education: High school diploma or equivalent (50%); Less than high school diploma (37%); Some college, no degree (7%)

Projected Growth: Slower than average (3% to 7%)

Related Job Titles: Server; Food Server; Room Service Server; Waitress; Waiter; Banquet Server; Cocktail Server; Restaurant Server; Food Runner; Waitstaff

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Source: O*NET OnLine information for Waiters and Waitresses.

More Food Preparation and Serving Related Careers

  • Collect payments from customers.
  • Write patrons' food orders on order slips, memorize orders, or enter orders into computers for transmittal to kitchen staff.
  • Prepare checks that itemize and total meal costs and sales taxes.
  • Take orders from patrons for food or beverages.
  • Check patrons' identification to ensure that they meet minimum age requirements for consumption of alcoholic beverages.
  • Serve food or beverages to patrons, and prepare or serve specialty dishes at tables as required.
  • Present menus to patrons and answer questions about menu items, making recommendations upon request.
  • Clean tables or counters after patrons have finished dining.
  • Prepare hot, cold, and mixed drinks for patrons, and chill bottles of wine.
  • Roll silverware, set up food stations or set up dining areas to prepare for the next shift or for large parties.
  • Inform customers of daily specials.
  • Prepare tables for meals, including setting up items such as linens, silverware, and glassware.
  • Explain how various menu items are prepared, describing ingredients and cooking methods.
  • Stock service areas with supplies such as coffee, food, tableware, and linens.
  • Remove dishes and glasses from tables or counters, take them to kitchen for cleaning.
  • Assist host or hostess by answering phones to take reservations or to-go orders, and by greeting, seating, and thanking guests.
  • Perform cleaning duties, such as sweeping and mopping floors, vacuuming carpet, tidying up server station, taking out trash, or checking and cleaning bathroom.
  • Bring wine selections to tables with appropriate glasses, and pour the wines for customers.
  • Perform food preparation duties such as preparing salads, appetizers, and cold dishes, portioning desserts, and brewing coffee.
  • Escort customers to their tables.
  • Garnish and decorate dishes in preparation for serving.
  • Fill salt, pepper, sugar, cream, condiment, and napkin containers.
  • Describe and recommend wines to customers.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Waiters and Waitresses.

  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • 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.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Persuasion - Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Waiters and Waitresses.

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