Salary and Outlook
According to the US Department of Labor, there are 2,023,200 people employed as waiters and waitresses in
the United States.
The median annual salary is $23,700.
Entry level employees earn approximately $17,520 per year and senior employees earn approximately $42,550
Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.
- 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.
- Roll silverware, set up food stations, or set up dining areas to prepare for the next shift or for large parties.
- Stock service areas with supplies such as coffee, food, tableware, and linens.
- Bring wine selections to tables with appropriate glasses, and pour the wines for customers.
- Fill salt, pepper, sugar, cream, condiment, and napkin containers.
- Describe and recommend wines to customers.
- Perform food preparation duties such as preparing salads, appetizers, and cold dishes, portioning desserts, and brewing coffee.
- Provide guests with information about local areas, including giving directions.
- Garnish and decorate dishes in preparation for serving.
- 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 kitchen for cleaning.
- Serve food or beverages to patrons, and prepare or serve specialty dishes at tables as required.
- Clean tables or counters after patrons have finished dining.
- Prepare tables for meals, including setting up items such as linens, silverware, and glassware.
- Explain how various menu items are prepared, describing ingredients and cooking methods.
- Assist host or hostess by answering phones to take reservations or to-go orders, and by greeting, seating, and thanking guests.
- Escort customers to their tables.
- Perform cleaning duties, such as sweeping and mopping floors, vacuuming carpet, tidying up server station, taking out trash, or checking and cleaning bathroom.
- Inform customers of daily specials.
- Prepare hot, cold, and mixed drinks for patrons, and chill bottles of wine.