Waiter Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Waiter, or Server, is an employee who serves customers in a cafe or restaurant. Their duties include welcoming customers, answering questions related to the menu, delivering orders and processing payments.


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Waiter duties and responsibilities

A Waiter’s main responsibility is to ensure that customers have an enjoyable dining experience. A Waiter should have excellent customer service skills, they should greet customers in a polite and friendly manner, provide them with menus and suggest seasonal specials. They also are to the point of contact for bills and return of any funds. Depending on the restaurant, Waiters also perform several front-of-the-house duties such as cleaning the tables after customers.

Some of the main duties and responsibilities of a Waiter include:

  • Greeting customers as they settle down at the cafe or restaurant tables and introducing them to the menus
  • Taking the customers’ orders and delivering them to the kitchen staff for preparation
  • Confirming that the food items match the orders and delivering them at the tables
  • Inquiring if the customers are satisfied, giving bills and processing payments
  • Operating the drink fountain and coffee station 
  • Attending regular meetings with restaurant and kitchen managers to find out about menu changes and menu specials


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What does a Waiter do?

Depending on the restaurant, a Waiter awaits customers at the door and escorts them to their seats. They give the customers the menu, introduce them to the seasonal specials and answer any questions about the menu. The Waiter passes on the customer’s selections to the kitchen staff, then delivers the orders once it is prepared. Often, Waiters also process payments from customers in cash or credit.

Most Waiters work in shifts depending on the restaurant’s operating and rush hours. 


Waiter skills and qualifications

At times Waiters may be required to wait for customers and welcome them into the restaurant from outside. They  therefore need to have good stamina, physical strength and determination to work for an entire shift. They often need to work quickly under fast-paced demands and remain well-mannered and polite. A waiter needs to have perseverance, patience and communication. A successful Waiter candidate will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications, they include:

  • Great communication skills both verbal and written
  • Attention to details and the ability to work fast under pressure
  • Honesty and ability to handle transactions in a trustworthy manner
  • being over the age of 18 and having familiarity with local alcohol restrictions and laws
  • Great stamina, physical strength and endurance
  • Excellent customer service skills


Waiter experience requirements

Waiters should have experience working with cash registers and credit card payment processors. They should also show previous experience working as a server in a restaurant, cafe or hotel. Those who worked in the kitchen or in other roles such as cleaners may also be considered. However, they should also have experience working in a customer-oriented business.


Waiter education and training requirements

Typically, there are no education requirements for Waiters. Students with a diploma from a higher education institution may qualify, but graduates with previous working experience in the kitchen are preferred. They should also be licensed and have certifications from local health departments and alcoholic beverage commission institutes.


Waiter salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Waiter is £9.23 per hour. However, this can vary depending on factors like experience, education, location and company.


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Waiter job description FAQs


What are the things every Waiter should know?

To improve their serving skills, Waiters should know how to satisfy customers. Every customer’s concerns should be listened to and acknowledged without discrimination. 


What skills do Waiters need?

The waiter should be able to take the customer orders, safely handle food and offer exceptional customer service. Waiters should have skills such as handling point-of-sale systems, food safety, knowledge of local regulations regarding alcohol and excellent communication skills.


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