What does a Waiter/Waitress do?
Waiter/Waitresss typically work for restaurants and other food establishments to interact with diners and provide them with their meals in a timely manner. They work closely with other Waiter/Waitresss and restaurant staff to take orders, give diners menu recommendations and check on them throughout service. Their job is to use a notepad or tablet device to record orders and communicate those orders to the kitchen. They may also be responsible for cleaning tables after diners leave and communicating with the kitchen about diner requests.
Waiter/Waitress skills and qualifications
Successful Waiter/Waitresses should have a skill set that allows them to work quickly, pay attention to details and attend to multiple responsibilities at a time. Some of the most important skills and qualifications for a Waiter/Waitress include the following:
- Minimum age requirements: In some states, Waiter/Waitresses must meet a minimum age requirement to serve alcohol in an eating establishment.
- Customer service skills: Before anything else, Waiter/Waitresses are customer service professionals. People entering this field should develop skills that help them work with the public.
- Physical ability: Due to the demands of the job, Waiter/Waitresses should have the physical ability to stand for long periods of time and lift trays of food, racks of cups and other objects that might be a part of daily duties.
- Critical thinking and time management: Waiter/Waitresses have to work well under pressure. For instance, when the restaurant is very busy and the sous chefs are backed up on tickets, servers may need to use their critical thinking and time management skills to assist with quality assurance in the kitchen while keeping guests happy and refreshed.
Waiter/Waitress Salary Expectations
A Waiter/Waitress makes an average of $11.71 per hour. Pay rate may depend on level of experience, education and the geographical location.
Waiter/Waitress education and training requirements
There are usually no education and training requirements specified to be a Waiter/Waitress, although some employers may require a high school diploma or equivalent. Some websites and states offer Safe Food Handling certification that people in the service industry can take to be more of an attractive candidate in a competitive market. As they gain more experience in the field, Waiter/Waitresses can move up to leadership or managerial positions.
Waiter/Waitress experience requirements
Often, the career path for a Waiter/Waitress with no experience is to start as a Host or Hostess and work their way into the server position. Beyond that, there are no specific experience requirements to become a Waiter/Waitress. Anyone going into the service profession should expand on skills such as customer service, attention to detail, multitasking and basic math. In general, this type of experience and skill set is gained after spending some time in the food service industry.
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