Hospitality & Tourism

Waiter/Waitress

Waiters and waitresses take and serve food and beverage orders, clear and prepare tables and organise payments in dining establishments.

  • Entry-level education

    Junior secondary school certificate or equivalent

  • Job outlook

    1 2 3 4 5

What does a Waiter/Waitress do?

Waiters and waitresses take and serve food and beverage orders, clear and prepare tables and organise payments for customers in dining establishments.

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Work activities

As a waiter/waitress you would:

  • greet customers and show them to their seats
  • present and explain menus and daily specials
  • take orders from customers on a notepad or using a computerised system
  • carry food or drinks to the dining tables
  • check that customers are enjoying their meals and that any mistakes are corrected
  • remove used dishes and glasses, and clean tables
  • produce itemised bills and take payment
  • check identification of customers to verify age requirements for purchase of alcohol
  • set up dining areas and clean and stock service areas.
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Key skills and interests

To become a waiter/waitress, you would need:

  • good interpersonal skills
  • a good memory
  • good personal hygiene and presentation
  • to be able to work quickly and efficiently
  • to enjoy working with people
  • good money handling skills
  • to be able to stand for long periods.
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Working hours and conditions

Working Hours

Waiter/waitresses often work early mornings, late evenings, weekends, and holidays. Nearly half of all wait staff work part time.

Conditions

Waiters/waitresses work at restaurants, bars, clubs, hotels, and other food service establishments. During busy times, you would be under pressure to serve customers quickly and efficiently.

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How to become an Waiter/Waitress?

Entry Level Education

You can work as a waiter/waitress without formal qualifications. You would receive some on-the-job training.

You can also become a waiter/waitress through a traineeship in Hospitality. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require junior secondary school certificate or equivalent.

To sell, serve or supply liquor in a licensed venue, you must have a Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) certificate. RSA courses are widely offered by VET and Registered Training organisations.

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Job outlook

  • 1 2 3 4 5

Employment of waiters / waitresses is projected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations.

As the population grows, more people will dine out and drink at a variety of food and drinking establishments. In response, bars, clubs, and restaurants are expected to need wait staff to meet this demand.

This occupation has a high turnover, and so roles are generally readily available.

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