Waiters and Waitresses

Description

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

Tasks

  • Check with customers to ensure that they are enjoying their meals and take action to correct any problems.
  • Collect payments from customers.
  • 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.
  • Take orders from patrons for food or beverages.
  • Check patrons' identification to ensure that they meet minimum age requirements for consumption of alcoholic beverages.
  • Serve food or beverages to patrons, and prepare or serve specialty dishes at tables as required.
  • Present menus to patrons and answer questions about menu items, making recommendations upon request.
  • Clean tables or counters after patrons have finished dining.
  • Prepare hot, cold, and mixed drinks for patrons, and chill bottles of wine.
  • Roll silverware, set up food stations or set up dining areas to prepare for the next shift or for large parties.
  • Inform customers of daily specials.
  • Stock service areas with supplies such as coffee, food, tableware, and linens.
  • Explain how various menu items are prepared, describing ingredients and cooking methods.
  • Prepare tables for meals, including setting up items such as linens, silverware, and glassware.
  • Remove dishes and glasses from tables or counters, take them to kitchen for cleaning.
  • Assist host or hostess by answering phones to take reservations or to-go orders, and by greeting, seating, and thanking guests.
  • Perform cleaning duties, such as sweeping and mopping floors, vacuuming carpet, tidying up server station, taking out trash, or checking and cleaning bathroom.
  • Bring wine selections to tables with appropriate glasses, and pour the wines for customers.
  • Perform food preparation duties such as preparing salads, appetizers, and cold dishes, portioning desserts, and brewing coffee.
  • Escort customers to their tables.
  • Garnish and decorate dishes in preparation for serving.
  • Fill salt, pepper, sugar, cream, condiment, and napkin containers.
  • Describe and recommend wines to customers.
  • Provide guests with information about local areas, including giving directions.

Knowledge

Geography
Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
Engineering and Technology
Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Design
Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Therapy and Counseling
Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
Physics
Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
Fine Arts
Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.

Skills

Operation and Control
Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Operations Analysis
Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
Management of Financial Resources
Determining how money will be spent to get the work done, and accounting for these expenditures.
Equipment Selection
Determining the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
Installation
Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.
Technology Design
Generating or adapting equipment and technology to serve user needs.
Equipment Maintenance
Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
Troubleshooting
Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
Repairing
Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
Science
Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

Abilities

Depth Perception
The ability to judge which of several objects is closer or farther away from you, or to judge the distance between you and an object.
Peripheral Vision
The ability to see objects or movement of objects to one's side when the eyes are looking ahead.
Dynamic Flexibility
The ability to quickly and repeatedly bend, stretch, twist, or reach out with your body, arms, and/or legs.
Sound Localization
The ability to tell the direction from which a sound originated.
Night Vision
The ability to see under low light conditions.
Wrist-Finger Speed
The ability to make fast, simple, repeated movements of the fingers, hands, and wrists.
Response Orientation
The ability to choose quickly between two or more movements in response to two or more different signals (lights, sounds, pictures). It includes the speed with which the correct response is started with the hand, foot, or other body part.
Explosive Strength
The ability to use short bursts of muscle force to propel oneself (as in jumping or sprinting), or to throw an object.
Rate Control
The ability to time your movements or the movement of a piece of equipment in anticipation of changes in the speed and/or direction of a moving object or scene.
Glare Sensitivity
The ability to see objects in the presence of glare or bright lighting.

Work Activities

Staffing Organizational Units
Recruiting, interviewing, selecting, hiring, and promoting employees in an organization.
Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment
Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment
Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.

Interests

Social
Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
Enterprising
Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
Conventional
Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Realistic
Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
Artistic
Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
Investigative
Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Work Style

Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Self Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Stress Tolerance
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
Concern for Others
Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Adaptability/Flexibility
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Social Orientation
Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
Independence
Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.

Work Values

Relationships
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Support
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
Achievement
Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Independence
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Working Conditions
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Recognition
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

Lay Titles

Banquet Captain
Banquet Server
Banquet Waiter/Waitress
Bar Waiter/Waitress
Buffet Waiter/Waitress
Captain Waiter
Car Hop
Cashier and Waiter/Waitress
Club Waiter/Waitress
Cocktail Server
Cocktail Waitress
Deck Steward
Dining Car Waiter/Waitress
Dining Room Captain
Food and Beverage Server
Food Expeditor
Food Server
Formal Waiter/Waitress
Head Banquet Waiter/Waitress
Headwaiter
Headwaitress
Informal Waiter/Waitress
Mess Attendant
Restaurant Server
Room Service Server
Room Service Waiter
Server
Singing Waiter or Waitress
Sommelier
Waiter
Waiter and Cashier
Waitress
Waitstaff
Waitstaff Captain
Wine Steward/Stewardess

National Wages and Employment Info

Median Wages (2008):
$8.92 hourly, $18,540 annual.
Employment (2008):
2,332,020 employees