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What is a waitress?

Learn all about what a waitress does, how much they're paid, and much more!

What is a waitress

What is a waitress?

A waitress is a master of customer service and has fine-tuned interpersonal skills. Catering to the needs of guests in a fast-paced, full-service restaurant environment requires lots of patience and the ability to multitask.

Waitresses also have to be knowledgeable about the menu of the restaurant where they work to answer guests’ questions. They must be aware of any allergens in dishes and know how to handle food safely.

What are a waitress's duties and responsibilities?

A waitress’s duties and responsibilities include:

  • Communication with guests and kitchen staff

  • Knowledge of the restaurant’s menu

  • Knowing and adhering to food safety standards

  • Anticipating guests’ needs

  • Multitasking to accommodate several tables and special requests

  • Taking orders for beverages and meals

  • Adhering to service standards set by management staff

How much are waitresses paid?

Waitresses are paid both hourly wages and tips, and they earn an average of $20,000 to $30,000 annually. Their average hourly wage is $13.95. Waitresses’ wages can vary greatly because of tips and the volume of sales in a restaurant.

What are the qualities that make a good waitress?

Good waitresses are attentive, and patient, and work well with a team. Waitresses should be able to multitask to accommodate the needs of several tables while remembering to execute the proper steps of service. They also need to have a good memory and be knowledgeable about the restaurant’s menu.

Strong interpersonal skill is another quality of a good waitress. Being able to communicate clearly with guests and the rest of a restaurant’s staff is critical to the position. Waitresses should be able to anticipate their customer’s needs and feel comfortable making conversations with guests.

How to become a waitress

Becoming a waitress requires experience and knowledge of the food service industry. Many waitresses begin their careers as hosts, bussers, or food runners and work their way up through the restaurant. That way, they learn the ropes of the industry before becoming responsible for table service.

Managers want to be sure that their waitresses have the experience and skills to do the job. Customer service experience is a good way to prove that you can learn to be a waitress. Many restaurants are willing to train waitresses for the specific qualifications of the role.

Most states require waitresses to have a food handling certification. To streamline the hiring process, take the initiative and enroll in a state-sanctioned food safety certification course.

It’s always good to browse online job ads to find openings for waitresses in your area. Restaurant managers are impressed by candidates that take the initiative to visit the restaurant, introduce themselves, and express genuine interest in the job.

How to hire a waitress?

When looking to hire a waitress, begin by making a list of the skills, qualifications, and experience that you expect of potential candidates. That way, you can imagine the kind of person that is right for the job. If you are willing to train new hires, you will find a larger pool of candidates from which to hire.

Posting job ads online can bring in lots of applications. When choosing which applicants to interview, call candidates that have the combination of experience and availability that match your list.

When interviewing applicants, ask questions about how they work as part of a team and how they handled difficult customers in their last job. Focus on their demeanor during the interview to get an idea of how they will perform when in front of a table of guests

Waitresses provide excellent dining experiences to their guests. Many enjoy getting to meet and interact with different kinds of people.

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