How to Get a Job as a Waiter & Server

How to Get a Job as a Waiter & Server

It’s easy to take servers for granted when you’re at a restaurant, but waiters and servers have a challenging task. Their jobs involve plenty of multitasking, advanced interpersonal skills, and grace under pressure in a high-stress, fast-paced environment. Getting a job as a waiter means that you’re the link between customers and the chef, and that’s not always the easiest place to be when the restaurant is busy, the chef is stressed, and the customers want their food as fast as possible.

Learn the Tricks of The Trade

It doesn’t matter whether a server works in a family diner or in a high-class restaurant. Everyone wants his or her food as fast as possible–as if it were as easy to create beef bourguignon as it were a Big Mac. Often, the level of satisfaction a customer enjoys rests on the shoulders of the server. Was the food hot? Did the meal arrive in a timely fashion? Did the server remember special requests and refill the drinks?

1. Charm the patrons. Concise communication and a friendly, approachable demeanor are incredibly important for servers. Customers don’t want a “Chatty Cathy,” but they do need someone who’s cordial and attentive. An essential skill for a successful server is the ability to be a “people person.”

2. Hone your multitasking skills. Table 4 wants an extra ramekin of ketchup, table 7 needs a refill on a happy hour beer, and someone at table 2 said the food was cold. Servers must prioritize all those requests as well as interacting with customers to ensure a pleasant experience. You must rise above the chaos and handle many tasks at the same time.

3. Practice that penmanship. Some restaurants have transitioned to a fully digital order-taking system. However, most servers don’t yet have the opportunity to take orders with an iPad, which immediately blasts the order right into the kitchen. Don’t make it tough for the kitchen to read the order. Practice writing clearly and legibly.

Write a Resume and Practice the Interview

Different restaurants will have different methods of interviewing staff. Some restaurants may want to set up an appointment and talk for several minutes about your goals and experience. Other establishments might approach the hiring process informally and offer you a temporary position that will turn into a permanent job after initial training is complete.

Finding Restaurants That Fit Your Experience Level

It might seem easy to get a job as a waiter, but certain establishments won’t train you and will expect that you already have experience as a server. Expensive establishments that sell more liquor than food often require a certain caliber of wait staff, and will only hire people who have worked with wealthy clientele.

Places where you’ll have the easiest time getting into the restaurant business might include large nationwide chains, restaurants with limited serving requirements, and new establishments looking to build their staff. Start with these types of restaurants and you’ll have a better chance of getting hired faster.

Becoming a waiter or server is a good stepping-stone to careers that require multitasking, friendliness, and efficiency. Waiting tables is also a terrific way to prepare to own a business or manage a restaurant. To get started on your waiter, waitress, or server career, you’ll need a professional resume–and LiveCareer has the tools to help you c

Ready to build a strong resume? Create My Resume

Advertisement

Job Finding Tips
Read more

What Recruiters Can Do For Your Job Search

Job Search
Read More

Find a Job. We've got all the jobs.YES, ALL OF THEM.

Jobs Search Tips
Read more

Think Like an Insider

customerservice@livecareer.com
800-652-8430 Mon- Fri 8am - 8pm CST
Sat 8am - 5pm CST, Sun 10am - 6pm CST