Although every restaurant is unique and may have a different waitress job description, they are all searching for servers that can provide exceptional dining experiences for their guests. A well-written server resume will help the restaurant find qualified waiters and waitresses.
Sometimes it’s hard to think of how to describe server duties on a resume; this article will break down the career description for a waiter or waitress.
In order to be a good waiter or waitress you need to be attentive and responsive. Being able to anticipate the guest’s needs is something that truly is the difference between a good server and an excellent server. An average server gets more water after the guest asks while an excellent server has refilled their beverage before the guest even notices it needed refilling.
These are details that guests and employers will notice and will ultimately put more money in your pocket. Be sure to know the details of a waitress’ job description, it can help you ascertain whether or not being a server is the job for you!
Waitress Job Description – Minimum Requirements
- Waiters and waitresses must be on their feet for long periods of time.
- Professional and friendly service. (Even in tough situations)
- Team player with other waiters and waitresses.
- Effective communication skills with servers and kitchen staff.
- Quick thinking on your feet.
- Servers are required to lift heavy trays filled with glassware/food.
- Basic math skills.
- Great attention to detail.
Waitress Job Description – Responsibilities:
- Welcome guests and make them feel comfortable while you’re serving them.
- 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.
A major component of a waitress’ job description is making guests feel comfortable and welcomed at a restaurant really makes all the difference. When first approaching a table make sure to greet them with a genuine smile and introduce yourself as their waiter or waitress. Ask them if they have dined there before, explain the menu, specials and/or point out any unique qualities about the restaurant.
If you are a working at a fine-dining establishment it can be very intimidating to guests. Often guests won’t ask questions and in turn may not have a pleasant experience which means they probably won’t return or refer others to your restaurant. It is your responsibility to make each guest feel welcomed and comfortable.
After you have introduced yourself as their server, hand the menu to your guests. Next, ask them what they would like to drink. This is your first opportunity to increase your tips. So 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?”
By suggesting drinks right away, instead of just asking what they would like, you are not only creating conversation, but you are getting them to think about beverages that they might have otherwise skipped past. Remember that with each beverage sold, you are raising the bill and hopefully 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.
A typical shift at a restaurant 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, menu changes and what section you will be working and any specific shift waitress duties. Once you have had this conversation it is time for you to make sure that your section is set up correctly and that the designated server station is stocked and ready to go. Often times there will be a checklist that is required for each employee to complete at the beginning and end of their shift.
After you have everything setup for the shift it is 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.