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What does a Wait Staff do?

Learn all about Wait Staff duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Wait Staff.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 3 min read

A wait staff is responsible for providing food and drink to customers in a restaurant or other food service establishment. They take orders from customers, prepare the food and drinks, and then serve them to the customers. In some cases, they may also be responsible for cleaning up after the customers have finished their meal.

Wait Staff job duties include:

  • Greeting customers and escorting them to their seats
  • Presenting menus and helping customers select food and drinks
  • Taking orders and relaying them to the kitchen staff
  • Serving food and drinks
  • Checking customers’ IDs to ensure they meet the legal drinking age
  • Handling customer complaints in a professional manner
  • Clearing away dishes and glasses after customers have finished their meals
  • Resetting tables for the next group of customers
  • Answering questions about menu items and making recommendations
  • Processing payments

Wait Staff Job Requirements

Most wait staff positions only require a high school diploma or equivalent, although some restaurants may prefer applicants with postsecondary education, such as a degree in hospitality. Wait staff must have excellent customer service skills and be able to work in a fast-paced environment. Many positions also require certification in food safety. Previous experience working as a wait staff is often preferred, but not always required.

Wait Staff Skills

  • Communication
  • Organization
  • Multi-tasking
  • Customer service
  • Listening
  • Patience
  • Attention to detail
  • Adaptability
  • Teamwork
  • Speed
  • Physical stamina

Related: Top Wait Staff Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Wait Staff

The first step to becoming a wait staff is to have the proper qualifications. Most restaurants will require that you have at least a high school diploma or equivalent, although some may require post-secondary education or certification from a culinary program. Many restaurants also prefer that you have prior experience working in a customer service role. Once you have the necessary qualifications, the next step is to find an open position at a restaurant that interests you.

When applying for a waitstaff position, be sure to emphasize your customer service skills and any relevant experience you may have. Once you have been hired, the next step is to complete any necessary training. This may include learning about the menu, how to take orders, and how to properly serve customers. After completing training, you will be ready to start working as a waitstaff member.

As a waitstaff member, it is important to always provide excellent customer service. This means being polite and attentive to customers, taking their orders accurately, and providing them with their food and drinks in a timely manner. It is also important to keep the dining area clean and organized, as well as help with any other tasks that may be assigned by the manager or head chef. By following these tips, you can be sure to provide excellent service and become a successful waitstaff member.

Related: Wait Staff Resume Example

Related: Wait Staff Interview Questions (With Example Answers)