Although every restaurant is unique and may have a different waitress job description, they are all searching for individuals that can provide exceptional dining experiences for their guests.
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 it’s the right job for you.
Waitress Job Description – Minimum Requirements
- Ability to be on feet for long periods of time
- Professional and friendly (Even in tough situations)
- Team player
- Effective communication skills
- Quick thinking
- Ability 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.
- 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 taking 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. 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 and the menu to the guests, it is then time to get a beverage order. 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?”
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 – Duties Throughout Shift:
- Clock in
- Gather information from lead server/manager
- Set up section
- Stock server station
- Take care of guests
- Clean section
- Do closing sidework
- Run server report
- Check with closing server/manager
- Clock out
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 for that shift. 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 you of the number of guests and which table they are sitting at. This is then your cue to go over to the table, greet them and then explain more about the different menu items and restaurant style. (See paragraph 2). You will then want to get a beverage order from the guests. (See paragraph 3). Once you have the guests’ beverage order you will likely enter it in the POS computer under the correct table number and in the correct order in which the guests are sitting. Once you or the bartender have the drinks ready, deliver them to the table in seat numbered order. You can then ask them if they would like to start with a suggested appetizer and/or take their order. Once again, you will enter their food orders in the same order.
While waiting for the table’s food to be ready, don’t just stand around. Check on your other tables to make sure that they have full beverage glasses, remove any dirty dishes from the table and make sure that they are enjoying their experience. If all of this is completed, you will then want to check with other servers to see if they need any help, remember you are a team!
Throughout your shift, as a waitress you will also be responsible for making sure that the designated server station is clean and fully stocked. You will want to make sure that there are napkins, rolled silverware, to-go boxes, the ice bin is full, glasses and silverware are polished as well as any other items that might be used throughout the shift.
Once your tables have finished up with their main entrees make sure to suggest and offer them a dessert, coffee, and/or after dinner drink. When everyone at the table is finished with all meals, ask them how they would like the bill to be split. When you know how they would like the bill separated, you can print the bill and present it to the table. Remember to let them know that there is no rush and that you will return shortly to process their credit card or make change. Always thank the guests for dining at the restaurant and tell them you look forward to seeing them again.
Remember, every restaurant may have a different waitress job description so it’s important read your prospective employers, so that you know exactly what your waitress job will entail. Read more about how to land your perfect restaurant job as a waitress.