Summary: A waitress is the person who handles orders in hotels, restaurants, food joints and other establishments that involve food service. The responsibilities of a waitress may change depending on the establishments they work for, but the basic duties stays the same in every restaurant. Most restaurants assign each waitress their own table to serve where they must escort their customers, provide menu, take orders and serve their food. Waitresses should always monitor their table and must be able to read their customers body language to provide assistance before they ask for it.
Duties: Waitresses are responsible for taking food orders and delivering the filled orders to the customer as quickly and courteously as possible. Other tasks include setting up tables, answering inquiries regarding price, introducing items from the menu and how the food is prepared. Waitresses also ensure that the customer is of right age for consuming alcoholic beverages, as well as checking their customers from time to time to know if they are enjoying their meal and service. There are some establishments where waitresses also answer phone calls regarding reservations. For senior waitresses, the training of new employees regarding the restaurant’s practices and etiquettes is also included in the list of responsibilities.
Education and Training Requirements: Restaurants normally look for waitresses who finished at least high school. There are no specific educations or special trainings necessary to become a waitress. However, there are more prominent restaurants and establishments who prefer their waitresses with a degree in studies related with Hotel and Management. Previous experience with food service is also another quality employer look for.
Knowledge and Skills Requirements: To be successful in the field, one must have the ability to read customers body language to determine if they are ready to order. Being a good listener will also help. The knowledge about the items on the menu of the restaurant is a must to be an effective waitress. A waitress should also be upbeat and personable along with a pleasing personality for they are an image of what they serve.
Working Conditions: Generally, most restaurant and other food establishments are cozy and pleasant. However, the presence of stress is inevitable especially if there are multiple orders coming from the customers. Waitresses work 8 hours a day and may work overtime, but there are employers allowing their waitresses to work less than the standard working hours.
Salary: Waitress’ salary varies from the restaurant and the location of their establishment. Normally, most of their income comes from the accumulated tips from their customers. The average annual compensation of a waitress is about $20,000 – $30,000.