If you’re a ‘people person’, enjoy food and drink and want to work in a busy environment, this job could suit you.
You would prepare tables, greet customers, take orders, advise on menu choices, serve meals and deal with payments. You would also be on hand to answer any questions and make sure that customers enjoy their experience.
You do not need any particular qualifications to start in this job but you will need to be a good teamworker and have excellent customer service skills.
Waiting staff serve customers by taking orders, serving food and preparing tables. An important part of the work is to make customers feel welcome and comfortable during their meal.
As a waiter or waitress, your main duties would include:
• greeting customers as they arrive and showing them to their table
• giving out menus and taking orders for food and drink
• serving food and drinks
• dealing with bill payments
• making sure tables are clean and tidy.
In formal restaurants your work may include silver service (providing the main part of the dish separately to the vegetables or accompaniments). You would usually work in a team under the supervision of a head waiter or waitress, known as the 'maitre d’.
In some restaurants you would be responsible for a specific area of tables. You may give advice to diners on menu choice, as well as serve them food.
You could also specialise in work as a wine waiter or waitress, for example in a fine dining restaurant. You may be known as a 'sommelier' and act as an expert in wine and other alcoholic beverages
You will find jobs in hotels, restaurants, cafes, bistros, bars, fast food outlets and contract catering companies throughout the UK and overseas. You may also wish to work as a butler.
You will have greater career prospects in larger organisations, and with experience you may be able to progress to head waiter or waitress, or restaurant supervisor. You may also be able to go into related areas of work such as restaurant and kitchen management or purchasing.
You will not usually need any specific qualifications to work as a waiter or waitress, but you will need a good standard of maths and English and excellent'people' skills. Previous experience of customer service would also give you an advantage.
Many colleges and training providers offer introductory courses which you could do while looking for work, although these are not essential. Courses include:
• Introduction to Employment in the Hospitality Industry
• Certificate in Food and Beverage Service
• Certificate in General Food and Beverage Service Skills
• Diploma in Preparing for a Career in the Hospitality Industry.
You may be able to get into this job through an Apprenticeship scheme such as the Hospitality & Catering (Food & Beverage Services) Apprenticeship.
Full-time salaries for waiting staff can be around Rs 12,000 to Rs 26,000 a month. With experience and extra responsibilities it is possible to earn between Rs 17,000 and Rs 35,000.
Many waiters and waitresses are paid by the hour. Income may be increased by tips.