What Does A Waiters and Waitress Do (including Their Typical Day at Work)

Stan T.Career, OverviewLeave a Comment

Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

Waiters and Waitresses

Waiters and Waitresses take orders and serve food and beverages to patrons at tables in dining establishment.

Salary
$27470
Becoming One
Easy
Education
No degree required
Job Satisfaction
Low
Job Growth

Personality





Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.Confucius

What they do

Waiters and Waitresses take orders and serve food and beverages to patrons at tables in dining establishment.

  • Take orders from patrons for food or beverages.
  • Check with customers to ensure that they are enjoying their meals and take action to correct any problems.
  • Check patrons’ identification to ensure that they meet minimum age requirements for consumption of alcoholic beverages.
  • Collect payments from customers.

Typical day

On a daily basis, Waiters and Waitresses take orders from patrons for food or beverages. They collect payments from customers.

A typical day for a Waiter and Waitress will also include:

  • Check with customers to ensure that they are enjoying their meals and take action to correct any problems.
  • 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.
  • Present menus to patrons and answer questions about menu items, making recommendations upon request.
  • Remove dishes and glasses from tables or counters and take them to the kitchen for cleaning.

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Waiters and Waitresses also escort customers to their tables. They may also provide guests with information about local areas, including giving directions.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Waiters and Waitresses bring wine selections to tables with appropriate glasses and pour the wines for customers. They might also fill salt, pepper, sugar, cream, condiment, and napkin containers.

In addition, they assist hosts or hostesses by answering phones to take reservations or to-go orders, and by greeting, seating, and thanking guests.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them perform food preparation duties such as preparing salads, appetizers, and cold dishes, portioning desserts, and brewing coffee.

To some Waiters and Waitresses, it is also their responsibility to explain how various menu items are prepared, describing ingredients and cooking methods.

Featured Schools


What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Low

Is this job meaningful

Low

56% said they were satisfied with their job and 30% said they found their job meaningful.


Ruaan Nel
Holiday Inn

I had worked as a server in Holiday Inn during the summer while I was a student. My position was food server but we served cold and hot beverages as well.

Working in the Bistro

I sometimes worked in the Bistro, during breakfast and sometimes I worked on the patio, which was an afternoon shift. There were more things to do to prepare for serving breakfast, considering you have to polish the silver, make coffee, set the tables, make the Mimosas and Bloody Marys. We didn’t have a busser at that time so every waiter had to set their own tables up. We also had the buffet, which really helped. I also did some room service in the morning, which I think took most of my time and like I said, cleaning up the tables, especially if there were people with kids.

Working on the Patio

Working on the patio was definitely more stressful in some ways but also more rewarding. You have to clean the tables and that is pretty much it as you go for the prep. It is more stressful because you have more people who are constantly coming and going. Sometimes I would have 7 tables at a time that were all full, so you have to remember what everyone ordered. One tip, if you feel overwhelmed just write things down. You also have to work with barmen who make your drinks, just make sure to tip them well at the end of the shift so they make your drinks first the next day. We’ve had all kinds of different cocktails, types of scotch, beer, wines, vodkas, gins, etc. So for anybody who considers working in food and beverage during the summer, I would recommend learning different types of alcoholic beverages that your restaurant or hotel has. It is more rewarding because you work outside, people are more chill when they’re drunk, and also they tip better.

Pros

The pros were a good salary, I also liked talking with guests, met some really interesting people.

Cons

The cons, well if you went to go to the toilet for a minute, somebody would “steal your table”, or your customers, you really depend on the barmen, if you don’t serve your drinks on the time there goes your tip. Nevertheless, I think that this is a great summer job for younger people.

Ruaan Nel
Ruaan was a food server at Holiday Inn. He now runs Electric-Biking.com.


Pros

Suitable for people who like to help and teach others.

Suitable for people who value relationships between co-workers and customers and want to work in a friendly non-competitive environment.

This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.

It is very easy to get into this career. Little or no previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.

Short working hours (Less than 40 hours per week).

Cons

Not suitable for people who like to solve problems mentally.

One of the lowest paying jobs.

How much do they make

Average salary

$27470 per year

Average hourly wage

$13 per hour

Entry-level Waiters and Waitresses with little to no experience can expect to make anywhere between $17,520 to $19,290 per year or $8 to $9 per hour.

Salary by experience Annual Hourly
Highest (Top 10%) $42,550 $20
Senior (Top 25%) $30,650 $15
Median $23,740 $11
Junior (Bottom 25%) $19,290 $9
No experience (Bottom 10%) $17,520 $8

This table shows the top 10 highest paying industries for Waiters and Waitresses based on their average annual salary.

Salary by industry Annual Hourly
Travel Arrangement and Reservation Services $36250 $17.43
Management of Companies and Enterprises $34450 $16.56
Securities, Commodity Contracts, and Other Financial Investments and Related Activities $33990 $16.34
Clothing Stores $33920 $16.31
Special Food Services $32260 $15.51
Traveler Accommodation $31940 $15.35
Business, Professional, Labor, Political, and Similar Organizations $31740 $15.26
Grantmaking and Giving Services $31510 $15.15
Employment Services $31480 $15.14
Technical and Trade Schools $31240 $15.02

View more salary by industries here.

Where can they work

Where can Waiters and Waitresses work? Here is a table showing the top 10 largest employers of Waiters and Waitresses including the average salary in that industry.

Employers Total Employed Annual Salary Hourly Wages
Restaurants and Other Eating Places 1586420 $27030 $13.00
Traveler Accommodation 108350 $31940 $15.35
Other Amusement and Recreation Industries 53340 $27200 $13.08
Special Food Services 52490 $32260 $15.51
Drinking Places (Alcoholic Beverages) 42960 $26010 $12.50
Employment Services 16210 $31480 $15.14
Continuing Care Retirement Communities and Assisted Living Facilities for the Elderly 13480 $26820 $12.89
Beverage Manufacturing 10680 $27940 $13.43
Gambling Industries 9850 $26960 $12.96
Civic and Social Organizations 7640 $29020 $13.95

What is the work day like

Working hours

Less than 40 hours
79%

40 hours
19%

More than 40 hours
2%

Working schedule

63%

27%

10%

Email

How often do you use email in this job?

Once a week
7%

Every day
0%

Telephone

How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?

Once a week
18%

Every day
49%

Group discussions

How often do you have group discussions in this job?

Once a week
7%

Every day
64%

Public speaking

How often does this job require you to do public speaking?

Never
54%

Once a year
11%

Once a month
9%

Once a week
0%

Every day
26%

Level of competition

How much competitive pressure is in this job?

Not competitive at all
8%

Slightly competitive
24%

Moderately competitive
39%

Highly competitive
18%

Extremely competitive
11%

What is the work environment like

Office-style environment

Indoors in an environmentally controlled condition

Never
13%

Once a year or more
6%

Once a month or more
0%

Once a week or more
7%

Every day
73%

Warehouse-style environment

Indoors in a non-controlled environmental condition such as a warehouse

Never
84%

Once a year or more
9%

Once a month or more
2%

Once a week or more
3%

Every day
2%

Outdoors

Outdoors exposed to all weather conditions

Never
78%

Once a year or more
15%

Once a month or more
2%

Once a week or more
0%

Every day
4%

Outdoors – Under Cover

Outdoors but under cover (e.g. structure with roof but no walls)

Never
67%

Once a year or more
12%

Once a month or more
2%

Once a week or more
3%

Every day
16%

How to become one

Difficulty to become one

Easy
You may need some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience. Most careers in this difficulty category usually don’t require a degree. However, you will need a few months of on-the-job training with experienced employees. Similar careers include Customer Service Representatives, Security Guards, and Bank Tellers.

Required level of education

What level of education do you need to perform the job?

Less than a High School Diploma
28%

High School Diploma or equivalent
57%

Post-Secondary Certificate
0%

Some College Courses
5%

Associate’s Degree or similar
2%

Bachelor’s Degree
7%

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate
0%

Master’s Degree
0%

Post-Master’s Certificate
0%

First Professional Degree
0%

Doctoral Degree
0%

Post-Doctoral Training
0%

Relevant majors

No majors found

Relevant work experience

How much related work experience do you need to get hired for the job?

None
24%

1 month
11%

1 to 3 months
2%

3 to 6 months
9%

6 months to 1 year
12%

1 to 2 years
24%

2 to 4 years
18%

4 to 6 years
0%

6 to 8 years
0%

8 to 10 years
0%

Over 10 years
0%

On The Job Training

How much on the job training do you need to perform the job?

None or short demonstration
7%

1 month
78%

1 to 3 months
7%

3 to 6 months
8%

6 months to 1 year
0%

1 to 2 years
0%

2 to 4 years
0%

4 to 10 years
0%

Over 10 years
0%

Should you become one

Best personality type for this career

The Helper

People with this personality type likes to work with people and in teams. They prefer work that allows them to build relationships with others.

The Builder
62%

People with The Builder personality type likes practical and hands-on work. They prefer working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.


The Thinker
14%

People with The Thinker personality likes to work with ideas that require an extensive amount of thinking. They prefer work that requires them to solve problems mentally.


The Artist
33%

People with The Artist personality likes to work with designs and patterns. They prefer activities that require self-expression and prefer work that can be done without following a clear set of rules.


The Helper
81%

People with The Helper personality type likes to work with people and in teams. They prefer work that allows them to build relationships with others.


The Leader
76%

People with The Leader personality likes to start and work on projects. They also like leading people and making many decisions.


The Organizer
71%

People with The Organizer personality type likes to follow set procedures and routines. They prefer working with data and details more than with ideas.


You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tend to like working with, communicating with, and teaching people. They like helping or providing service to others.

They also like starting up and carrying out projects. They like leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk-taking and often deal with business.

Take this quiz to see if this is the right career for you.

Work Values

Which values are the most important to a person’s satisfaction for this job?

Achievement
33%

You are someone who is results oriented. You prefer work that allows you to utilize your skills and abilities while at the same time giving you a sense of accomplishment.

Working Conditions
29%

You are someone who values job security, steady employment, and good working conditions. You also prefer work that keeps you busy all the time with something different to do every day.

Recognition
29%

You are someone who values job advancement and leadership roles. You prefer work that receives recognition for the work you do and jobs that are looked up to by others in the company and your community.

Relationships
86%

You are someone who likes to provide a service to others. You prefer a work environment where you can work with your co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Support
48%

You are someone who values a company that stands behind their employees. You prefer a work environment where everyone is treated fairly and is being supported by the company.

Independence
33%

You are someone who likes to work on your own and make your own decisions. You prefer work that requires little supervision and are allowed to try out your own ideas.

FAQ


Don’t know which career to pursue?

Take the career quiz to find careers that match your personality type.

Take The Career Quiz


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.