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Occupation Information

Waiters and Waitresses
SOC Code: 35-3031.00

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

  • 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.

Technology Skills

  • 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

Tools Used

  • 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

Knowledge

  • 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.

Skills

  • 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.

Abilities

  • 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.

Interests

  • Interest code: SEC
    • 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.

Work Context

  • 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.”

Education

Percentage of RespondentsEducation Level Required
57%High school diploma or equivalent
28%Less than high school diploma
7%Bachelor's degree

Work Styles

  • 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.

Work Values

  • 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 & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $10.01 hourly, $20,820 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 2,601,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Average (5% to 9%)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 522,700

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