A Day in the Life of Wait Staff

becoming a waiter/waitressHave you ever considered becoming a waiter/waitress? If you have, you’d be joining an industry where you work for tips and rely on the generosity for your customers to earn a living. However, if you are good with people and don’t mind dealing with unruly customers, then maybe waiting tables is for you. Waiting tables is a blend of many different skill sets, including multitasking, sales, customer service, and physical stamina. You are on your feet walking around for your entire shift, which can be exhausting. However, if you work for the right restaurant, you can earn a lot of money. Many places will hire wait staff with little or no experience, as long as you appear to fit the mold. So, read on if you’d like to learn more about waiting tables.

How to land a job waiting tables

Many restaurants hire employees with limited experience assuming you have the proper skills to get the job done. You need to be personable and friendly. Dealing with customers all day can be difficult, because you are a direct representative of the restaurant and your service dictates whether or not they will return at a later date. If you have never held a job before you apply to become a waiter/waitress, it might help to get your foot in the door doing another job so you can work your way up to being part of the wait staff. Consider working at a takeout window, or perhaps in the kitchen washing dishes. Also, many restaurants hire bussers regularly, and this does not require previous experience. You clear dishes from tables and wipe them down for the next guests. Typically you work for very low wages, but the wait staff will tip you a certain percentage of their overall sales at the end of the night. It’s always good to leave a job with cash in your pocket, and if you prove your worth you can ask to become part of the wait staff. However, if you only want to wait tables, apply to multiple restaurants in your area and prove your value to the hiring manager.

Average Workday of Wait Staff

Most restaurants are very similar, so wait staff around the United States have a nearly identical workday. Usually when you show up for your shift, you help with prep work in the kitchen. Whether it’s cutting lemons, filling salad dressings, getting ice for the cooler, etc., you usually spend at least thirty minutes helping prep for the dinner rush. You’ll probably have some sort of short meeting to go over the specials and different promotions, and after that you are assigned a section. Once you get your section, you can start waiting tables and earning tips. After your shift is over, you will probably have to roll some silverware in napkins before you can leave. The normal length for a shift is about 5 hours, and most wait staff works the dinner shift. However, there is also the potential for breakfast and lunch, depending on the restaurant. Many people find themselves working double shifts, but you usually get a nice break in between.

If you are good with customers and don’t mind working on your feet all day, then you should consider becoming part of a restaurant wait staff. Not only will you enjoy making customers happy and representing your restaurant favorably, but you will also enjoy making good money in tips and leaving your workplace with cash in your pocket every night. Just make sure that you make a trip to the bank a few times a week so you don’t spend your whole salary! It’s easier to spend your money when you have cash in your pocket. Making a few hundred dollar in one night isn’t out of the question depending on the establishment you are serving for. So get out there and apply for some jobs if this interests you! Waiting tables can be a fun job. 

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Matthew Welch

Matthew Welch is an SEO strategist, content marketer, blog manager, and sports enthusiast from Boston, MA with a collegiate background in Natural Resources and Environmental Studies from the University of Connecticut.

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