Waitress Job Description

waitress job description

Every restaurant is unique.  And so are waitress job descriptions. The one thing that every restaurant needs is a great waiter or waitress.  A great server will guarantee return diners to their restaurant.  Restaurants  are constantly searching for servers that can provide exceptional experiences for their guests.  If you want these restaurants to hire you, you need a well written waiter or waitress resume.  Read through this article as it will help.   It breaks down the career description for waiters or waitresses.

If you’re looking for a waitress resume, this template will give you the advantage in getting hired.

Download the waitress resume package now!

A good waiter or waitress is attentive and responsive.  If you can do that and anticipate the guest’s needs, you are on the right track.  Think of it this way.  A good waiter or waitress brings the guest a refill after they ask.  An excellent server has already refilled the drink before the guest even notices it needed refilling.

Why does this matter? These are details that guests and employers notice.  Guests will tip more for better service.  Which means you will have  more money in your pocket.  If you know the details of a waitress’ job description,  you can decide whether  or not being a server is the job for you!

Waitress Job Description – Minimum Requirements

  • Basic knowledge of beer and wine.
  • Waiters and waitresses must be on their feet for long periods of time.
  • Professional and friendly. (Even in tough situations)
  • Team player.
  • Effective communication skills with guests and staff.
  • Quick thinking.
  • Ability to lift heavy trays filled with glassware/food.
  • Basic math skills.
  • Great attention to detail.

Waitress Job Description – Responsibilities:

  • Great guests and make them feel comfortable.
  • Learn menu items and be able to describe them appropriately to guests.
  • Take beverage and food orders.
  • Deliver beverages and food in a timely manner.
  • Check-in with guests to ensure that everything is going well.
  • Clear dirty dishes from table.
  • Refill beverages throughout the meal.
  • Deliver guest’s bill and thank them for dining at the restaurant.
  • Work with other servers and be a team player.

Waitressing tip
Carry a cheat sheet for beer and wine until you know the common terms for each.

Download this beer pocket guide.

Making guests feel comfortable and welcomed at a restaurant really makes all the difference.  Fine-dining establishments can be very intimidating to guests.  Guests might not ask questions.  They might not have a pleasant experience, which means they probably won’t return.   It is your responsibility to make each guest feel welcomed and comfortable.  Make sure you do the following at each table.

  • Smile.
  • Greet and welcome them.
  • Introduce yourself.
  • Describe and explain the menu.
  • Talk about specials
  • Ask if they have questions.

Waitressing Tip

After you introduce yourself, ask them what they would like to drink.  This is your first opportunity to increase your tips. Instead of just asking what they would like to drink, try suggesting one non-alcoholic drink and one of your restaurant’s featured drinks.
“Can I get you started with an iced tea or one of our famous Flaming Martini’s this evening?”

Why? By suggesting drinks instead of just asking what they would like, you are creating conversation.  You are also  getting them to think about beverages that they might have skipped past.   Remember that with each beverage sold, you are increasing the bill and hopefully increasing your tip as well.

Waitress Job Description – Waitress Duties Throughout Shift:

  •  Clock in for your server shift.
  •  Gather information from lead server/manager.
  •  Set up your waitressing section.
  •  Stock server station.
  •  Take care of your guests and other waiter’s guests when needed.
  •  Clean your server section.
  •  Closing side work after your shift.
  •  Run server report.
  •  Check with closing server/manager.
  •  Clock out of your server shift.

Waitress Job Description -Typical Shift

A typical shift starts with the waiter or waitress clocking in.  After doing so you will then want to check in and talk with the manager and/or lead server.  During this time you will want to find out if there are any large group reservations, specials or menu changes.  You will also want to find out what section you will have.   After this,  make sure that your section is set up.  You will also want to be sure that everything is stocked and ready to go.   Most restaurants have a checklist that is required for employees to complete before and after their shift.

Once your section is  setup, it’s time to start taking tables and serving guests.  Typically a host will seat the guests and then notify the server on duty.  This is the server’s cue to go over to the table, greet them and then explain more about the different menu items and restaurant style. (See paragraph 2).  The server will then take a beverage order from the guests. (See paragraph 3).  Once waiters have taken the guests’ beverage order they will enter it in the POS computer under the correct table number and in the correct order in which the guests are sitting. Once the waiter, waitress or the bartender have the drinks ready, the duties of the waitress include delivering them to their guests.  The server can then ask them if they would like to start with a suggested appetizer and/or take their order.  Once again, the waitress duties include entering the food orders in the same order that the guests are sitting.

While waiting for the table’s food to be ready, the server shouldn’t be sitting around.  Instead, the waiter or waitress will check on their other tables to make sure that they have full beverages, remove any dirty dishes from the table and make sure that they are enjoying their experience.  If all of this is completed, they should check with other waiters and waitresses to see if they need any help with their duties.  Remember, restaurant life is like a big family; hostesses, kitchen staff, waiters and waitresses should all help each other with each other’s duties!

Throughout the shift, waitress responsibilities include making sure that the designated server station is clean and fully stocked.  Those responsibilities include filling napkins, rolling silverware, preparing to-go boxes, refilling the ice bin, polishing glasses and silverware as well as any other duties that come up throughout the shift.

Once the guests have finished up with their main entrees it is the servers responsibility to offer the guest a dessert, coffee, and/or after dinner drink.  Once everyone at the table is finished, the server will ask them how they would like the bill to be split.  Then the server will split it as needed and deliver it to the table.  Good waiters and waitresses resume their other duties and don’t rush the guests.  The server will return shortly to process their credit card or make change. To retain customers for return business, the server should thank the guests for dining at the restaurant and tell them they look forward to seeing them again.

Remember, every restaurant may have a different waitress job description so it’s important to read up on your prospective employers, so that you know exactly what waitress duties and responsibilities are required for the restaurant for which you are applying.  This website is your source for server job descriptions and resumes.  Read more about how to land the perfect restaurant job as a waitress.