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Waiter/Waitress Job Description

A well-crafted job description attracts top talent by clearly outlining the role’s responsibilities, aligning with company values and setting expectations. It serves as a guide for both applicants and Hiring Managers, showcasing professionalism and enhancing the company’s reputation.

In a survey by TEKsystems, both employers (92%) and applicants (91%) listed clearly defined duties and responsibilities as essential elements of a job description.

[Source: TEKsystems]
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Waiter/Waitress Job Description Template

Below is the job description template you can copy and optimize for your Waiter/Waitress job ad.

We are hiring a dedicated, customer-focused Waiter/Waitress to join our team at [Company Name].

As a Waiter/Waitress, you will be in charge of providing outstanding experiences for our guests. Your responsibilities will include taking orders, delivering food and beverages and ensuring that guests have everything they need for an enjoyable experience.

If you have a genuine passion for hospitality and enjoy providing top-notch service, [Company Name] offers an exciting opportunity for you to showcase your skills and gain valuable experience.

Salary: $16–$18/hour + tips

Benefits: Health insurance, paid time off, 401(k), employee discount

Schedule: Full-time (40 hours per week)

Waiter/Waitress Duties & Responsibilities

  • Welcome and accompany guests to their designated tables
  • Present the menu and provide details upon inquiry
  • Set the tables
  • Inform customers about the daily specials upon request
  • Take orders for food and beverages
  • Verify customers’ identification to ensure compliance with minimum age requirements for alcohol consumption
  • Effectively communicate order details to the kitchen staff
  • Serve food and drinks promptly
  • Organize table arrangements and uphold a neat dining area
  • Handle payment transactions
  • Clear tables upon customers’ departure
  • Deliver outstanding customer service to all guests

Waiter/Waitress Experience & Skills

  • Demonstrated experience in a server or a similar role
  • Practical familiarity with cash registers and ordering systems
  • Fundamental proficiency in mathematics
  • Attentiveness and patience in customer interactions
  • Exceptional presentation skills
  • Strong organizational and multitasking abilities
  • Great communication skills
  • Collaborative mindset
  • Adaptability to varying work schedules

Waiter/Waitress Education & Qualifications

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Training in food safety is a bonus

Are Waiter/Waitress salaries keeping up with living costs in your area?

How to Write a Job Description

A well-crafted job description not only draws in suitable candidates for appropriate positions but also establishes a solid groundwork for smooth onboarding and fostering company expansion.

how to write a job description

Here are some helpful tips for creating a standout job description:

  • Simplify the language: When describing the job, use terms that everyone can understand. Clarity is key for ensuring everyone grasps the role’s responsibilities.
  • Avoid industry jargon: While it’s tempting to use specialized terms, keep in mind that not everyone will be familiar with them. Stick to plain language to ensure your message resonates with a broader audience.
  • Use action verbs: Bring the job to life by using descriptive verbs that vividly portray the role’s duties. Instead of generic phrases, paint a picture of the responsibilities, such as “Efficiently manage guest seating, take precise orders and deliver attentive service to enhance the dining experience.”
  • Prioritize essential skills: Focus on the most critical skills and qualifications required for the job, avoiding an overwhelming list. Keep it concise to ensure candidates understand what’s truly vital for success.
  • Showcase company culture: Let your company’s values and mission shine through in the job description. Give candidates insight into your unique workplace culture to help them envision themselves as part of your team.
  • Emphasize growth opportunities: Highlight potential avenues for career advancement and professional development within your organization. This attracts ambitious candidates eager to progress in their careers.
  • Foster inclusivity: Use inclusive language that welcomes candidates from all backgrounds and identities. Avoid wording that might inadvertently exclude certain groups, ensuring your job description is open to everyone.
  • Highlight teamwork: Describe how the role collaborates with the rest of the team, offering candidates a glimpse into your company’s collaborative environment. This fosters a sense of belonging and teamwork.
  • Encourage action: Conclude the job description with a clear call-to-action, guiding candidates on the next steps, whether it’s applying for the position or seeking further information. This keeps candidates engaged and motivated to pursue the opportunity.

Check out our comprehensive guide on How To Write a Job Description.

What to Include in Your Waiter/Waitress Job Description

A compelling Waiter/Waitress job description template should have the following components:

job description components

Job Title

Select a clear and concise job title that accurately represents the role. For instance, a straightforward title like “Waiter/Waitress” effectively conveys the position without ambiguity.

Job Purpose

Define the main goal or purpose of the role within the organization. For a Waiter or Waitress, this typically involves delivering outstanding customer service and creating memorable experiences for guests.

Duties and Responsibilities

List the precise duties and responsibilities expected of the Waiter/Waitress role. This may involve tasks such as taking orders accurately, serving food and beverages promptly, ensuring tables are clean and set properly and providing attentive service to guests throughout their dining experience.

Education Requirements

Specify any educational prerequisites necessary for the position. While some roles may require only a high school diploma or equivalent, additional education or training in hospitality or food service could be advantageous.


Emphasize any relevant work experience required for the role. Previous experience in a similar position or familiarity with restaurant operations and customer service may be beneficial.

Skills and Abilities

List the essential skills and abilities needed to excel as a Waiter/Waitress. This may include excellent communication and interpersonal skills, the ability to multitask effectively, attention to detail and a positive attitude.

Compensation and Benefits

Clearly communicate the salary range and benefits associated with the Waiter/Waitress position. Providing this information upfront can attract qualified candidates and maintain transparency throughout the recruitment process.

Compensation is the most crucial aspect of a job description for 61% of job applicants, followed by qualifications and job specifics.

[Source: LinkedIn]
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Working Environment

Offer insight into the working environment linked to the Waiter/Waitress position. This could include extended periods of standing, weekend or holiday shifts and engaging with a diverse range of customers in a dynamic setting.

Step-by-Step Guide to Writing a Waiter/Waitress Job Description

Use these examples as a Waiter/Waitress job description writing guide:


Company: [Your Company Name] Location: [City, State]

About [Company Name]

Share a brief overview of your company, including its values, mission statement and any unique features.

Waiter/Waitress Job Overview

Provide a concise description of the Waiter/Waitress role within your establishment, outlining daily tasks and desired personal attributes.

Salary: [$/hour + tips]

Benefits: [a list of employee benefits]

Schedule: [part-time, full-time, flexible]

Duties and Responsibilities

Outline the key duties and responsibilities expected of a Waiter or Waitress in your establishment.

Experience and Skills

Detail the qualifications and skills you’re looking for in potential candidates, including relevant professional background and experience.

Education and Qualifications

Specify the educational background, certifications and qualifications required or preferred for the role.

Contact Information

Provide contact details for candidates to reach out with inquiries or submit applications.

Contact Person:

Contact Email Address:

Contact Phone Number:

Waiter/Waitress Certifications

While certifications for waitstaff may not be mandatory, investing in additional training or certification can significantly elevate a candidate’s suitability for roles in the hospitality industry.

Here are the reasons why:

  • Immediate asset to your team: Candidates who arrive with certifications already under their belt offer immediate value to your establishment. Their prior training equips them with the skills necessary to seamlessly integrate into their roles, sparing your business the time and expense of extensive training initiatives.
  • Assurance of competence: Certifications serve as a tangible demonstration of an applicant’s commitment to professional development and proficiency in their field. By hiring certified individuals, you can rest assured that they possess the requisite knowledge and expertise to execute their duties effectively, thus mitigating potential performance concerns.
  • Enhanced reputation and credibility: Employing certified staff members elevates the reputation and credibility of your establishment within the industry. Customers perceive businesses with trained and certified employees as being more trustworthy and capable of delivering exceptional service, thereby bolstering your brand’s image and fostering customer loyalty.
  • Risk mitigation and compliance: Trained applicants are well-versed in industry best practices pertaining to food safety, hygiene, and customer service standards. By recruiting certified individuals, you proactively mitigate the risk of foodborne illnesses, regulatory violations, and customer dissatisfaction, thereby safeguarding your business’s interests and compliance obligations.

Given the numerous benefits of bringing on board certified applicants, it’s wise to explore how particular courses can complement your hiring approach:

Course name Description
Universal Class’s Waiter and Waitress Training Course This comprehensive program explores various aspects of waiting, equipping participants with essential skills such as customer service, table management and service techniques. Graduates emerge ready to contribute effectively to your establishment from day one, minimizing the need for extensive training and onboarding processes.
American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute’s Certified Restaurant Server Online Program Designed to prepare individuals for success in the restaurant industry, this course provides comprehensive training in service excellence and restaurant operations. Hiring graduates of this program ensures a level of competence and professionalism that aligns with the high standards of your establishment.
International Open Academy’s Professional Waiter Diploma Program Completing this course equips graduates with the skills to excel as professional waitstaff, improving service quality and customer satisfaction at your establishment.
SafeStuff’s Employee Online Food Handler Training Food safety and hygiene are crucial in the hospitality industry. By hiring individuals who have completed this training, you demonstrate a commitment to compliance and risk mitigation, ensuring the safety and well-being of both your customers and your business.
Professional Server Certification Corporation’s Waiter/Waitress Hospitality Course Covering a range of topics including customer service, communication and professionalism, this course prepares participants for success in the hospitality industry. Graduates bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to your team, enhancing your establishment’s reputation and competitiveness in the market.

Waiter/Waitress Salary

The average salary for a Waiter or Waitress in the United States is $36,530 base plus tips per year or $17.56 base + tips per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Tips are a substantial part of a Waiter’s/Waitress’ earnings. In sit-down restaurants, it’s common for customers to leave a tip ranging from 15 of the total bill.

waiter/waitress tips
Average Waiter/Waitress Base Salary:
What can I earn as a Waiter/Waitress?Your salary is 0 the US national average

Other factors that influence the Waiter/Waitress’ salary include:

  • Skills and expertise: Seasoned Waiters and Waitresses with excellent communication, customer service and multitasking skills often command higher salaries compared to newcomers to the field. Those possessing additional expertise such as wine or cocktail knowledge may also earn more.
  • Type of venue: The nature of the dining establishment greatly influences the salary of Waiters and Waitresses. Upscale or fine dining restaurants typically offer higher wages compared to fast-food chains or casual dining spots.
  • Tipping culture: Tips constitute a significant portion of a Waiter/Waitress’s income. The amount of tips can vary depending on factors like the restaurant’s clientele, service quality and local tipping customs.

factors that affect waiter/waitress salary

  • Shift hours and scheduling: Waiters and Waitresses working during peak hours, weekends or holidays may earn more due to increased customer traffic and higher potential for tips. Flexibility in scheduling or availability for special events can also contribute to higher earnings.
  • Union representation: In certain areas, waitstaff may be represented by a union that negotiates wages and benefits on their behalf. Unionized Waiters and Waitresses often receive better compensation and working conditions compared to their non-unionized counterparts.
  • Economic conditions: The overall economic situation of the region can influence Waiter/Waitress salaries. In areas with robust economies and low unemployment rates, restaurants may offer higher wages to attract and retain staff in a competitive labor market.
  • Cost of living: The cost of living in a specific area directly affects Waiters’ and Waitresses’ salaries. In cities or regions with high living expenses, such as urban centers or tourist destinations, wages tend to be higher to accommodate the elevated costs of housing, transportation and other essentials.
  • Legal requirements and minimum wage laws: National or local minimum wage laws and regulations significantly impact Waiter/Waitress salaries. Employers must comply with these laws, which can vary significantly between jurisdictions.

Should establishments provide bonuses or shared profits with employees?

Waiter/Waitress Salary Across the US

To help you determine a competitive salary for your job advertisement, here’s an overview of Waiter/Waitress salaries across the United States:

[Source: BLS]

This map is interactive. Hover your mouse over different parts of the map to see detailed data.

Similar Job Titles

Waiter/Waitress Job Description FAQ

A job description is a detailed breakdown of the responsibilities of a specific role. It’s an essential part of a job ad, providing information about the tasks, expectations and qualifications for a role within a company. It helps attract candidates by providing them with a clear understanding of what the job entails.

The length of a Waiter/Waitress job description may vary based on the complexity of the position and the preferences of the organization. Typically, the most effective job postings span between 300 and 660 words.

Waiter/Waitress job descriptions are usually composed by HR Recruiters, Hiring Managers or supervisors who have a solid understanding of the role’s requirements and expectations.

However, input from current employees familiar with the job duties and responsibilities can also be valuable in creating accurate and comprehensive job descriptions.

Typical issues with Waiter/Waitress job descriptions include outdated or inaccurate details, a lack of clarity or specificity, overly broad or ambiguous language and unrealistic expectations.

Moreover, job descriptions might not accurately depict the evolving needs of the organization or list the skills and qualifications necessary for the role, resulting in discrepancies between job requirements and candidate capabilities.

Unclear Waiter/Waitress job descriptions can have several negative effects on both employers and employees.

For employers, they may result in difficulty attracting qualified candidates, increased turnover rates and challenges in evaluating employee performance.

For employees, unclear job descriptions can lead to confusion, frustration and dissatisfaction, as they may not fully understand their roles, responsibilities and expectations within the organization.