Hospitality & Tourism


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.


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.

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.

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.


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.


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.


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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