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What Do Waiters Do

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The foodservice industry in the United States covers all those places, companies, and institutions that are responsible for any meal prepared outside the home, and include cafeterias of schools and hospitals, restaurants, catering operations, and many other formats.

There are innumerable employees in a wide range of food services jobs in the food services industry. There are many people who are working as waiters and waitresses which are at the front line of work. There are jobs behind the scenes and some people work hand-in-hand with customers. There are limitless options in food services jobs that can be found in rural towns, big cities, tropical resorts or everywhere. The job of a waiter is one of the most popular jobs in the food service industry.

A waiter works either in the catering or restaurant industry. He is most valuable in the process of food services. Traditionally it was the job area for males only; but today the scene has changed significantly giving rise to female professionals also leading to the term 'waitress'.



As soon as a customer is seated at the table in a restaurant, a waiter's job starts with greeting the customer. The waiter is mostly assigned some specific tables for each shift which are numbered. He has to take care and attempt to acknowledge the customers sitting on the tables he or she is responsible even it may be busy night and let them feel that he will be back in a very short while. A waiter in food services takes orders of guests, informs them the specials and answers queries about ingredients and methods of preparations. This is very helpful in accomplishing the duties to be aware of the methods of preparation of meals by the kitchen staff, if you are in this profession. This order in turn is handed over to other food services staff in kitchen by the waiter. The waiter also informs the kitchen staff to know when the first courses are finished, if there are multiple courses involved in the order, so that meal reaches from the kitchen to the guest's table maintaining smooth progress.

Dishes are served to guests by the waiter. In addition, if bus persons are busy, waiters clear dishes also. On finishing meals by the guests, a waiter may present desserts and a dessert wine menu or bring a dessert cart that some restaurants have. A waiter may consult on wines to be served to guests, although it is the responsibility of the sommelier in some restaurants.

During the entire course of the meal, waiters check back with guests to make sure that the meal was to their satisfaction or if anything else like knives, sauces, more drinks, or additional water etc. is required. It has to be taken care of by waiter that the dishes that are cleared swiftly so that guests do not face dirty dishes on the table; but care should be taken that the dishes are not cleared until all guests have finished eating.

In the food services profession, a waiter earns a basic hourly wage that may range from a little more than $2 to the minimum wage prescribed under law depending upon the state he is working in. Additionally he is able to earn more money by way of tips. It may be kept in mind that the tip also forms part of one's income for tax purpose. As per the US Department of Labor, median hourly earnings of a waiter in the food services profession in the year 2006 were a bit more than $7 including the wages and tips. If the service of waiter is satisfactory and adequate, there is a standard tip of 15% in the United States. If food services of waiter are below adequate, customers should consider the business and other factors that may have caused the poor meal. In fact, the poor meal is not the fault of waiter and should not attract a reduction in tip.

There is job potential in the food services field for waiters to work in catering industry also where mostly likely their job will only be confined to carrying foods and drinks to the table; or in some big catering industry, he may also be involved in taking the orders and delivering the foods.

The skills required in the food services industry from an efficient waiter include politeness to guests, the ability to be attentive, careful delivery of food to the table, and an attitude that could make dining an enjoyable experience to the guests.

There are immense opportunities in the food services for waiters to work in restaurants, cafeteria, coffee shops, school and hospital canteens, hotels. There are catering companies, casinos, amusement parts where food service employees including waiters are required. Seasonal works are also offered by vacation resorts.
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