5 of the Best Waiter and Waitress Jobs Near Me.

If waitressing is what you’re looking for, these venues are looking for you

By Mark from Connectzapp

Waiting & Waitressing

When you work as a waiter, waitress or server you mainly work in a cafe, restaurant or bar attending to customers supplying them with food and drink.

Waitressing requires you to follow the rules and instructions of your manager and your duties include:

  • Taking orders from customers
  • Food running (assisting customers with orders, taking feedback and preparing table set-ups)
  • Polishing dishes
  • Helping bus tables (cleaning tables between customers)
  • Restocking working stations with supplies
  • Taking payments from customers

Waitressing is in the service/hospitality industry.

Common Waiter & Waitress Roles

At a small venue you may be the only waitress, or you may be part of a small team. As venues get larger, their waiter & waitress roles become more specialised. Larger venue roles can include:

  • Maitre d’hotel — is responsible for overseeing the dining room and greets guests and diners as they arrive
  • Floor Manager — will oversee the headwaiter the wait staff
  • Headwaiter — is the most senior member of the wait staff
  • Expeditor — also known as an ‘Expo’ you are responsible for the accuracy and completeness of orders. An expo will often prepare the tray for servers so they can have all diner’s plates for that course to the table at the same time
  • Captain — is responsible for a number of tables, interacting with diners and overseeing the wait staff
  • Front Waiter & Waitress — looks after diners and guests as part of the front line of wait staff
  • Back Waiter & Waitress — is responsible for replenishing diner’s and guests water and bread, etc
  • Bar Back — helps the bartender by bussing and restocking glassware and alcohol
  • Runner — takes prepared dishes to diners
  • Busboy or Busser — sets and clears tables
  • Host or Hostess — is responsible for seating diners if there is no Maitre d’hotel

Some specialist roles are:

  • Sommelier — recommends the appropriate wine for diners, based on their dish
  • Maitre Fromager — recommends cheeses for diners after their meal

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Duties

Working as a waiter or waitress involves serving guests or diners, so if you enjoy interacting with people then you will find waiting enjoyable. The role also requires you walking between tables and the kitchen, so you are on your feet most of the time.

Your duties will include:

  • Preparing tables for diners
  • Greeting diners and guests
  • Recommending food and drinks
  • Taking orders — including special orders for guests with food allergies etc
  • A good understanding of each dish on the menu to make recommendations to diners
  • A good understanding of the wine list and the ability to recommend food and wine pairings
  • Taking dishes to diners
  • Clearing tables
  • Taking payments from diners and guests

With training you could work at a high end restaurant as a Silver Service waiter or waitress. Silver service requires following specific service rules and guidelines, so is considered a skilled job. It involves:

  • Memorising the menu to advise diners
  • Understanding how each dish is prepared in detail
  • Wearing black and white, with a long white apron

The head server is in charge of the waiting staff and usually responsible for seating diners and guests.

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The Benefits of Waitressing

You have the flexibility to work full time or part time, and work during business hours, nights and weekends. This gives you work flexibility which is why waiting & waitressing is such a popular job for students, teenagers and people looking for part time work. In addition, most venues offer their waiting staff free or discounted meals.

Waiter & Waitress Uniform

Cafe’s, restaurants and bars often require their waitresses to wear a specific uniform so they project the correct image of the venue. The good news is most uniforms are comfortable and generally look good.

In addition to a uniform, while you’re waiting & waitressing you’ll be expected to keep your hair up or back so it is away from the food you are carrying. Most employers expect their waitresses to present in a professional and tidy manner so they project the image of the venue to patrons and customers.

Qualifications, Experience & Requirements

Apart from venues offering silver service, there are generally no qualifications required to work as a waiter, waitress or server. Training is typically provided on the job which is why waitressing is such a popular role for young people.

Younger workers who are under the age for drinking alcohol are still able to work, however they are not permitted to serve alcoholic drinks. Those who are above the minimum age are required in most states to obtain a certificate for the responsible service of alcohol.

For broader training you have the option of completing a degree in hospitality at university.

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Waiter & Waitress Salary

Salaries vary between countries. In the United States the average pay is:

  • Hourly — $3 to $9
  • Annual — $17,000pa to $32,000pa
  • Average — $22,000pa

For other english speaking countries such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK:

  • Hourly — $12 to $24
  • Annual — $24.960pa to $49,920
  • Average — $36,400pa

Tipping

A tip is paid by the diner at the end of their meal and can range anywhere between 5% to 30% of the value of the bill. The amount of the tip is at the discretion of the diner, which means a lower tip for poorer service and in some cases a substantial tip for exceptional service. Some diners prefer to pay tips in cash, while others make the extra payment by card when they pay the bill.

Depending on the country you’re working in, tips could be a larger or smaller part of your income. The United States for example has a strong tipping culture whereas other countries not so much.

Depending on the venue, waiting staff can earn more from tips than they receive in salary. These venues are usually higher end restaurants.

In the United States waiters, waitresses and servers rely on their tips to supplement their income. In many states they are paid less than the minimum wage with the expectation they will make up the shortfall in tips. Many states require the employer to make up the shortfall when the amount required in tips is not received.

Some restaurants and venues will charge an automatic gratuity, particularly for larger tables of 6 or more diners. This is usually described as a service charge and is included in the bill.

Summary

Waitressing is a flexible job offering plenty of people contact and some very desirable venues to work at. Apart from cafe’s, restaurants and hotels, there is also the opportunity to work internationally, on cruise ships, private islands and any other venue that requires service.

Teenagers can gain valuable work experience and earn an income. Hours are flexible and there is the opportunity to earn extra income through offering great service.

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