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Waiters and Waitresses

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Life As a Waiter or Waitress

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

Waiter or Waitress Responsibilities

  • Inform customers of daily specials.
  • Assist host or hostess by answering phones to take reservations or to-go orders, and by greeting, seating, and thanking guests.
  • Prepare checks that itemize and total meal costs and sales taxes.
  • Serve food or beverages to patrons, and prepare or serve specialty dishes at tables as required.
  • Prepare tables for meals, including setting up items such as linens, silverware, and glassware.
  • Check patrons’ identification to ensure that they meet minimum age requirements for consumption of alcoholic beverages.

What Every Waiter or Waitress Should Know

Below is a list of the skills most Waiters and Waitresses say are important on the job.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.

Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.

  • Banquet Server
  • Waitress
  • Buffet Waiter/Waitress
  • Cocktail Server
  • Bar Waiter/Waitress

Is There Going to be Demand for Waiters and Waitresses?

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 2,600,500 jobs in the United States for Waiters and Waitresses.

New jobs are being produced at a rate of 7% which is lower than average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 182,500 new jobs for Waiters and Waitresses by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 522,700 job openings in this field each year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Waiters and Waitresses in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Waiters and Waitresses are Texas, California, and Florida.

Watch out if you plan on working in Ohio, West Virginia, or Maine. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

How Much Does a Waiter or Waitress Make?

The typical yearly salary for Waiters and Waitresses is somewhere between $17,330 and $40,780. The median salary for this occupation is $21,780.

Salary Ranges for Waiters and Waitresses

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for jobs of this type in different U.S. states.

Annual Mean Salary by State
State Annual Mean Salary

Hawaii

$52,110

District of Columbia

$48,120

Washington

$35,930

Vermont

$34,560

New York

$34,460

Massachusetts

$31,920

California

$30,250

Arizona

$30,220

Oregon

$28,640

Maine

$27,550

New Jersey

$27,530

Rhode Island

$27,380

Connecticut

$26,350

Florida

$26,120

Nebraska

$25,610

Alaska

$25,610

Minnesota

$25,540

Colorado

$25,510

Nevada

$24,980

Pennsylvania

$24,850

New Hampshire

$24,850

Maryland

$24,160

Virginia

$24,070

Utah

$24,000

Michigan

$23,920

Delaware

$23,690

Wyoming

$23,670

Texas

$23,520

Wisconsin

$23,330

West Virginia

$23,140

Illinois

$22,900

Ohio

$22,650

North Carolina

$22,400

Indiana

$22,300

South Dakota

$21,930

Iowa

$21,850

Missouri

$21,420

North Dakota

$21,140

Montana

$20,990

Idaho

$20,780

New Mexico

$20,770

Mississippi

$20,560

South Carolina

$20,290

Georgia

$20,280

Kansas

$20,140

Oklahoma

$20,060

Arkansas

$20,040

Tennessee

$19,870

Alabama

$19,750

Kentucky

$19,450

Louisiana

$18,630

What Tools & Technology do Waiters and Waitresses Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Waiters and Waitresses may use on a daily basis:

  • Facebook

How do I Become a Waiter or Waitress?

Education needed to be a Waiter or Waitress:

Waiter or Waitress Degree Level

How many years of work experience do I need?

Waiter or Waitress Work Experience

Who Employs Waiters and Waitresses?

Waiter or Waitress Sectors

Those interested in being a Waiter or Waitress may also be interested in:

  • Food Servers, Nonrestaurant
  • Locker Room, Coatroom, and Dressing Room Attendants

Those who work as Waiters and Waitresses sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:

  • Counter and Rental Clerks
  • Stock Clerks- Stockroom, Warehouse, or Storage Yard

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics

College Factual

O*NET Online

Image Credit: Via Wikimedia Commons

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