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Waiter Job Description Writing Guide for Restaurants in 2023
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Waiter Job Description Writing Guide for Restaurants in 2023

Waiter Job Description Writing Guide for Restaurants in 2023

Rhiannon Davies
May 18, 2023
5 min read

As a restaurant owner, finding the perfect waiters and waitresses can make all the difference in providing a top-notch dining experience for your customers. However, where do you begin when it comes to writing a waiter job description?

That’s exactly what this post is about. In this guide, we’ll take you through creating a comprehensive job description to help you find the right person for the job.

Waiter/Waitress Job Responsibilities: What Do They Do in Restaurants?

A waiter or waitress is a crucial restaurant team member. They’re responsible for ensuring customers have a great dining experience; many essential tasks go into making this possible.

Picture this: a customer walks into a busy restaurant, looking for a place to enjoy a meal with friends or family.

waiter job description

A waiter’s or waitress’s first job is to greet the guests with a warm smile and make them feel welcome. They escort the diners to their table and engage them in a pleasant conversation throughout their meal, ensuring they feel comfortable and valued. One of the duties in a head waiter job description is supervising new waitstaff to ensure they nail such responsibilities.

Next, waiters/waitresses need to know their stuff!

Customers will ask them about the menu, and they need to be able to answer their questions confidently. That means staying current with all the latest menu information, including specials and seasonal offerings. This hurdle becomes easier when your restaurant opts for digital menu options from a free menu maker like Menuzen since your waitstaff can access it anywhere and anytime.

Once your diners have made their selections, it’s time to enter their orders into the POS (point-of-sale) system accurately and quickly — one key role in an assistant waiter job description is processing bills and payments. Waiters/waitresses also need to keep track of any special requests or dietary restrictions and ensure that each dish is prepared just the way the customer wants it. When the food is ready, the waitstaff must serve it with a smile, ensuring each plate looks as good as it tastes.

However, their job doesn’t end there!

As customers finish their meals, the waitstaff will need to clear their tables quickly and efficiently, restocking plates and utensils as needed. The roles outlined in a junior waiter job description include performing standard cleaning duties, such as wiping down tables, chairs, and other fixtures, as well as sweeping floors around the seating areas. 

waitress job description

Waitstaff should also know about health and safety regulations; it’s their responsibility to ensure the restaurant is clean and safe for all customers.

So, in summary, the duties and responsibilities of a waiter or waitress include the following:

  • Greeting guests with a warm smile and making them feel welcome.
  • Escorting diners to their table and engaging them in pleasant conversation.
  • Knowing the menu thoroughly and answering customers’ questions confidently.
  • Entering orders accurately and quickly into the POS system.
  • Keeping track of special requests and dietary restrictions.
  • Ensuring each dish is prepared as per the customer’s liking.
  • Serving food with a smile and ensuring each plate looks appealing.
  • Clearing tables efficiently and restocking plates and utensils as needed.
  • Performing standard cleaning duties like wiping down tables, chairs, and fixtures.
  • Knowing health and safety regulations and ensuring the restaurant is clean and safe for all customers.

Being a waiter or waitress is a challenging and rewarding job requiring many skills, which we’ll discuss in the next section. However, with the proper training, a positive attitude, and a willingness to go the extra mile, your waitstaff can provide customers with an unforgettable dining experience that keeps them returning for more! Ensure your staff know their waiter/waitress duties and responsibilities to perform their role well.

Six (6) Key Waitress/Waiter Qualifications to Look Out for When Hiring

Here are some essential skills and qualifications to consider when searching for an exceptional waiter/waitress to join your restaurant team.

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Knowledge of the food and beverage industry.

First and foremost, anyone you hire as a waiter or waitress must understand how the food and beverage service industry works. Your ideal candidate should know different cuisines, ingredients, and cooking techniques. This will help them make menu suggestions, provide accurate descriptions of dishes, and answer any questions your customers may have.

Tip: If you offer traditional cuisines in your restaurant, consider checking out our French fine dining menu template and Asian food menu template.

Good customer service skills.

Exceptional customer service skills are a must-have for any successful waiter/waitress. The ability to anticipate your guests’ needs, make recommendations, and handle complaints professionally can make all the difference in creating a positive dining experience.

how to write job description for restaurant waiter

Excellent communication skills.

In addition to customer service, communication and interpersonal skills are important waiter qualifications. Your waiter/server should be able to interact with guests, coworkers, and managers in a friendly and professional manner. They should also be able to work well under pressure and multitask effectively.

Good hygiene and sanitation knowledge.

Sanitation regulations are critical in the food and beverage industry; your waiter/waitress should know them. They should also have excellent organisational skills to keep their section clean and tidy and prevent food waste.

An adept understanding of the laws regarding food safety.

Knowing the local market and food safety regulations is a plus. It demonstrates a commitment to the community and a willingness to go above and beyond to provide excellent service.

An impressive knowledge of wine and drinks.

Lastly, it’s advantageous for your waiter/waitress to know wine varieties, beer styles, and brewing techniques. This knowledge can help them recommend to customers and upsell beverages, increasing your restaurant’s revenue. So, be sure to include this in the waitress job description skills section.

Tip: If you serve wines, you may adapt our wine list menu template to suit your restaurant’s style.
restaurant job description

Server vs. Waiter: Is There a Difference?

It’s common to use the terms waiter and server interchangeably. While this is permissible to an extent, they have a few distinctions you should keep in mind when curating your restaurant waitstaff job description. Generally, the term waiter/waitress refers to a waitstaff that’s more concerned with diners’ welfare, while a server is more of a plate runner. We’ll expound more on these differences below.


A server’s role is typically focused on moving food and drinks from the kitchen staff to the table and ensuring customers have everything they need during their meal, such as utensils, condiments, and water. They may also be responsible for clearing tables, setting up tables, and assisting with cleaning duties.


A waiter/waitress waitstaff typically takes on a more customer service-oriented role. They greet customers as they arrive, take the customer orders, make recommendations, answer questions about the menu, and ensure that their overall dining experience is enjoyable. They may also handle any issues that arise during the meal, such as incorrect orders or complaints.

Comparing the two roles:

While both roles involve interacting with customers, the waiter/waitress waitstaff typically has more face-to-face interaction with the guests. On the other hand, the server waitstaff is more concerned with what happens behind the scenes, ensuring that food and drinks are delivered to the table in a timely and efficient manner.

writing restaurant job description

Crafting an Exceptional Waitress/Waiter Job Description PDF: Six (6) Helpful Tips

To attract the best talent for your team, curating an all-inclusive job description for waiters is non-negotiable. And to do that, you need to include certain critical information.

Consider the following tips when writing a job description for your restaurant waitstaff:

Employ copywriting skills.

First, use persuasive copywriting to make your job opening stand out to potential hires. Highlight your restaurant’s unique selling points, such as a great location or a particular type of cuisine. Also, be sure to communicate the benefits of working with your team, such as opportunities for growth and development.

Clearly list job duties and responsibilities.

Next, provide a clear outline of job duties and responsibilities to help potential hires understand what they’ll do daily. This could include taking orders, serving food and drinks, and ensuring customer satisfaction. Have a look at the first section of this article if you need any ideas.

List must-have skills

Be sure to detail the required restaurant waiter job description skills and qualifications, such as experience in the service industry or excellent communication skills. You can also include any training or certifications that your restaurant requires.

Include salary range and perks.

Compensation information is also essential, such as wages and benefits. Ensure to communicate any additional benefits that come with the job, such as flexible scheduling or employee discounts.

Highlight job security information.

Your waitstaff need to maintain a great work-life balance, so include information about shifts and hours of work in your job description. Potential hires want to know what they can expect regarding scheduling and workload.

Showcase your team.

A job description can do more than just attract talent; it can also inform customers about your restaurant’s services. Use language that resonates with your target audience to describe your team’s dedication to excellent customer service and creating an enjoyable atmosphere. Consider even including short stories and anecdotes showcasing your team’s unique strengths and values.

A waiter job description is a great way to appreciate your current waitstaff’s input, instilling pride in them. Ensure to highlight the vital role of waiters and waitresses in your restaurant’s success. Don’t forget to encourage them to share the job posting with their friends and family who may be interested.

Still, you need to put in some effort in publicising your job description to attract potential candidates, and an excellent place to start is social media. You may uncover helpful strategies from our guide on the best restaurant social media campaigns.

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Four (4) Benefits of Having a Clear Waitress/Waiter Job Description

As a restaurant owner or manager, you know how critical having a clear job description for your waiters/waitresses is. It’s not just about ticking off the boxes but about creating a harmonious workplace where everyone is on the same page.

Here are the key perks of having a clearly outlined job description for your restaurant’s waitstaff.

Makes your hiring process efficient.

Imagine you run a busy restaurant where your waitstaff constantly changes, and you must hire new employees regularly. A well-defined job description can serve as a checklist to make the hiring process more efficient. You’ll be able to assess candidates quickly and determine if they have the necessary skills and experience to perform the role, sifting through applications quickly.

Helps staff to understand their roles and responsibilities.

Not only will a clear job description help you hire the right people, but it will also help your waitstaff understand their roles and responsibilities.

A detailed job description sets expectations and standards for performance. It gives waiters/waitresses a clear idea of what their job entails, what tasks they need to perform in their assigned station, and their responsibilities. This helps avoid misunderstandings and conflicts between waitstaff and management, promoting a happier and more productive workplace.

Serves as a reference.

A waiter job description can also be an essential reference tool for waiters/waitresses. In other words, it allows them to refer to the assigned duties and responsibilities in their dining areas and ensure they meet expectations. This also allows management to hold staff accountable in their role. They can consult their job description and manager for clarification if they have questions or concerns.

how to write a job advert for a waiter

This concept is more practical if you have a website since you can easily create a career page for future reference. And if you don’t know where to start, check out our post on how to make a website for your restaurant.

Promotes teamwork and collaboration.

Finally, a clear job description helps maintain consistency within your restaurant. Everyone knows what’s expected from them, fostering teamwork and collaboration. This is one area where Menuzen’s free menu templates are beneficial. By ensuring that menu items, descriptions, and prices are accurate and consistent across all platforms, Menuzen ensures waiters/waitresses provide accurate and up-to-date information to guests at all times.

Staying on Top of Your Game: Guaranteeing Restaurant Compliance With Waiter/Waitress Job Expectations

As a restaurant owner or manager, it’s crucial you follow all the regulations related to your waiter/waitress job descriptions.

Here are some tips to help you out!

Pay your employees according to the law.

First, paying your employees the minimum wage and overtime for any hours worked over 40 hours per week is essential. This keeps you compliant with the law and helps you attract and retain good employees who feel valued and appreciated.

Allow your employees to keep all tips.

Second, ensure your employees know that any tips they receive belong entirely to them. This is not only fair but it’s also required by law. Interestingly, some US restaurants are recently moving towards abolishing tipping.

how to write a job advert for a waitress

Discourage discrimination and harassment.

In your waiter job description, include your views on nondiscrimination and anti-harassment policies. This helps create a welcoming and inclusive workplace for everyone.

Comply with health and safety regulations.

Finally, don’t forget to outline information about employee health and safety regulations in your waitstaff job description. This is crucial for ensuring the safety of your employees and customers. You can also outline other safety protocols, such as adequately spilling hazardous materials or lifting heavy items.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the 5 responsibilities of the server?

The role of a server encompasses several key duties, including the following:

  • Delivering outstanding customer service.
  • Welcoming diners and presenting menus.
  • Offering personalised recommendations.
  • Taking and delivering food and beverage orders.
  • Appropriately suggesting additional items to enhance the dining experience.
Note: Some of these roles also apply to waiters/waitresses.

What makes a good waiter?

To thrive as a waiter, possessing a service-oriented mindset and excellent communication abilities is crucial.

This entails:

  • projecting a welcoming and positive demeanour,
  • conveying information about specials and menu suggestions, and
  • attentively listening to patrons’ orders.

Addressing customer grievances and requests is also an essential aspect of the job.

How should a waiter greet customers?

When greeting customers, waiters can provide a personalised experience by:

  • addressing guests by name where possible,
  • acknowledging regular customers and welcoming them back,
  • proactively escorting guests to their desired table(s), and
  • providing extra attention to VIP patrons.

Wrapping It Up

In conclusion, crafting a practical waitress or waiter job description is crucial in attracting qualified candidates to your restaurant. By carefully outlining the essential responsibilities, required skills, and desired qualifications, you can set clear expectations and attract the right fit for your establishment.

Remember to emphasise the importance of customer service, communication, and teamwork in the role, as these are critical attributes that contribute to a successful dining experience. With a well-crafted job description, you can build a strong waitstaff team that will enhance your restaurant’s reputation and success.

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