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Summary Report for:
35-3031.00 - Waiters and Waitresses

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

Sample of reported job titles: Banquet Server, Cocktail Server, Food Runner, Food Server, Restaurant Server, Room Service Server, Server, Waiter, Waitress, Waitstaff

View report: Summary  Details  Custom

Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Detailed Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

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

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

  • Bar code reader equipment — Portable bar code scanners See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Cash registers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Commercial use cutlery — Carving knives See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Magnetic stripe readers and encoders — Credit card processing machines See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Paging controllers — Alphanumeric paging equipment See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Personal digital assistant PDAs or organizers — Personal digital assistants PDA See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Point of sale POS receipt printers — Point of sale POS printers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Point of sale POS terminal — Point of sale POS terminals; Point of service workstations See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Touch screen monitors See more occupations related to this tool.

Technology used in this occupation:

  • Point of sale POS software — Compris Advanced Manager's Workstation; Hospitality Control Solutions Aloha Point-of-Sale software; ICVERIFY software; Intuit QuickBooks Point of Sale (see all 9 examples) See more occupations related to this technology.

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Knowledge

  • Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Food Production — Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar. See more occupations related to this knowledge.

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Skills

  • 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. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one. See more occupations related to this skill.

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Abilities

  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Stamina — The ability to exert yourself physically over long periods of time without getting winded or out of breath. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Trunk Strength — The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without 'giving out' or fatiguing. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Memorization — The ability to remember information such as words, numbers, pictures, and procedures. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted. See more occupations related to this ability.

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Work Activities

  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Selling or Influencing Others — Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients. See more occupations related to this activity.

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Detailed Work Activities

  • Process customer bills or payments. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Enforce rules or regulations. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Assist customers with seating arrangements. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Cook foods. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Present food or beverage information or menus to customers. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Clean food preparation areas, facilities, or equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Prepare foods for cooking or serving. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Take customer orders. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Communicate with customers to resolve complaints or ensure satisfaction. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Stock serving stations or dining areas with food or supplies. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Serve food or beverages. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Prepare hot or cold beverages. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Clean food service areas. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Communicate dining or order details to kitchen personnel. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Arrange tables or dining areas. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Provide customers with general information or assistance. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Collect dirty dishes or other tableware. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Add garnishes to food. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Schedule dining reservations. See more occupations related to this activity.

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Work Context

  • Contact With Others — 95% responded “Constant contact with others.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 88% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Walking and Running — 78% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Standing — 71% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 69% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Physical Proximity — 45% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Telephone — 62% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Deal With External Customers — 48% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 74% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 54% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 34% responded “A lot of freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 55% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 34% responded “Very important results.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 29% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 31% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 32% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 36% responded “Limited freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 30% responded “Very important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 33% responded “Limited responsibility.” See more occupations related to this work context.

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone One: Little or No Preparation Needed
Education Some of these occupations may require a high school diploma or GED certificate.
Related Experience Little or no previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, a person can become a waiter or waitress even if he/she has never worked before.
Job Training Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few days to a few months of training. Usually, an experienced worker could show you how to do the job.
Job Zone Examples These occupations involve following instructions and helping others. Examples include taxi drivers, amusement and recreation attendants, counter and rental clerks, nonfarm animal caretakers, continuous mining machine operators, and waiters/waitresses.
SVP Range (Below 4.0)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
50   High school diploma or equivalent Help
37   Less than high school diploma
7   Some college, no degree

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Credentials

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Interests

Interest code: SEC

  • Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others. See more occupations related to this interest.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this interest.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this interest.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this interest.

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Work Styles

  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges. See more occupations related to this work style.

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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. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this work value.

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Related Occupations

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2014) $9.01 hourly, $18,730 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2012) 2,362,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Slower than average (3% to 7%) Slower than average (3% to 7%)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 1,268,300
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2012)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

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