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, Buffet Server, Cocktail Server, Food Runner, Food Server, Restaurant Server, Server, Waiter, Waitress, Waitstaff
Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Instant messaging software — Blink
- Point of sale POS software — Compris Advanced Manager's Workstation; Hospitality Control Solutions Aloha Point-of-Sale; Intuit QuickBooks Point of Sale; NCR Advanced Checkout Solution (see all 8 examples)
- Web page creation and editing software — Facebook
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
- Bar code reader equipment — Portable bar code scanners
- Cash registers
- Commercial use cutlery — Carving knives
- Magnetic stripe readers and encoders — Credit card processing machines
- Paging controllers — Alphanumeric paging equipment
- Personal digital assistant PDAs or organizers — Personal digital assistants PDA
- Point of sale POS receipt printers — Point of sale POS printers
- Point of sale POS terminal — Point of sale POS terminals; Point of service workstations
- Touch screen monitors
- 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.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Sales and Marketing — Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
- Food Production — Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.
- 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.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Time Sharing — The ability to shift back and forth between two or more activities or sources of information (such as speech, sounds, touch, or other sources).
- 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.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- 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.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Stamina — The ability to exert yourself physically over long periods of time without getting winded or out of breath.
- 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.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- 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.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
- Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- 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.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Selling or Influencing Others — Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Detailed Work Activities
- Take customer orders.
- Communicate with customers to resolve complaints or ensure satisfaction.
- Enforce rules or regulations.
- Process customer bills or payments.
- Communicate dining or order details to kitchen personnel.
- Present food or beverage information or menus to customers.
- Collect dirty dishes or other tableware.
- Serve food or beverages.
- Cook foods.
- Arrange tables or dining areas.
- Clean food service areas.
- Assist customers with seating arrangements.
- Schedule dining reservations.
- Clean food preparation areas, facilities, or equipment.
- Prepare hot or cold beverages.
- Stock serving stations or dining areas with food or supplies.
- Prepare foods for cooking or serving.
- Add garnishes to food.
- Provide customers with general information or assistance.
- Contact With Others — 89% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Spend Time Walking and Running — 82% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Spend Time Standing — 79% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 73% responded “Every day.”
- Physical Proximity — 51% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 64% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 40% responded “Extremely important.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 39% responded “Extremely important.”
- Deal With External Customers — 55% responded “Extremely important.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 39% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 61% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 43% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 43% responded “Extremely important.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 37% responded “Very important results.”
- Telephone — 49% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 32% responded “Important.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 45% responded “Every day.”
- Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 31% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 50% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 30% responded “Less than half the time.”
- Level of Competition — 39% responded “Moderately competitive.”
|Title||Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed|
|Education||These occupations usually require a high school diploma.|
|Related Experience||Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include orderlies, counter and rental clerks, customer service representatives, security guards, upholsterers, and tellers.|
|SVP Range||(4.0 to < 6.0)|
Interest code: SEC Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- 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.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- 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.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- 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.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2020)||$11.42 hourly, $23,740 annual|
|Employment (2019)||2,613,800 employees|
|Projected growth (2019-2029)||Average (3% to 4%)|
|Projected job openings (2019-2029)||475,700|
|Top industries (2019)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data and 2019-2029 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2019-2029). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
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.