How to become a Waiter


Waiters serve food and drinks to guests in hotels, restaurants, clubs and similar establishments.

Personal requirements for a Waiter

  • Neat personal appearance
  • A high level of personal hygiene
  • Good communication skills
  • Good memory
  • Polite and patient
  • Friendly and efficient
  • Enjoy working with people
  • Able to work as part of a team
  • Able to handle money
  • Able to cope with the physical demands of the job

Education & Training for a Waiter

You can work as a waiter without formal qualifications. You will probably get some informal training on the job. You can also become a waiter through a traineeship. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10.

Additional information

To serve, sell or offer liquor, you must have a Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) certificate. RSA courses are widely offered by TAFE institutes and Registered Training Organisations.

Duties & Tasks of a Waiter


  • Take restaurant reservations
  • Set tables with clean linen or place mats, cutlery, crockery and glasses
  • Welcome and seat customers and hand menus to them
  • Talk to guests about the menu and drinks and recommend combinations
  • In some cases promote local produce and attractions to visitors from interstate and overseas
  • Take customers' orders and pass them to kitchen staff or bar attendants
  • Serve food and drinks
  • Carve meat
  • Make up bills and present them to customers
  • Handle money or credit cards
  • Clear tables and return dishes and cutlery to kitchens.


  • Removing empty bottles and used glasses from tables, and refilling and replacing glasses
  • Collecting payments for sales and operating point of sales machines and cash registers
  • Setting and arranging tables
  • Clearing tables and returning dishes and cutlery to kitchen
  • Serving food and beverages
  • Taking orders and relaying them to kitchen and bar staff
  • May recommend wines to complement food
  • Opening bottles and pouring beverages
  • Greeting customers and presenting them with menus and beverage lists

Working conditions for a Waiter

Waiters often work split shifts and in the evenings, and on weekends and public holidays. They spend long periods on their feet and may have to deal with difficult customers. Uniforms may be supplied by employers.

Employment Opportunities for a Waiter

Waiters work in hotels, motels, restaurants, clubs, recreation and convention centres and other entertainment venues. Most waiters are employed in cities, although many work in larger country centres where there are tourist resorts. Waiters who have undertaken appropriate training or who have suitable experience are highly regarded by employers. A trainee may commence as a commis waiter. Skilled waiters may be promoted to maitre d', restaurant manager and food and beverage manager positions. As turnover is high in this occupation, there is usually a steady demand for replacement staff.


Commis Waiter

A commis waiter assists more experienced waiters in clearing and setting tables and transferring food from the kitchen or serving station to customers at tables.

Drinks Waiter and Wine Steward (Sommelier)

A drinks waiter and wine steward (sommelier) specialises in serving wine and other beverages.

Maitre d'

A maitre d' is an experienced waiter that supervises the work of other waiters and assists in the administration of the restaurant.

Silver Service Waiter

A silver service waiter generally a more experienced waiter who specialises in serving food, using a fork and spoon, from platters directly to the guests' plates at the table.


Waiters serve food and drinks to guests in hotels, restaurants, clubs and similar establishments.

  • Average age
    Average age
    22 years
  • Future Growth
    Future Growth
    Very strong
  • Gender Share
    Gender Share
    76% female
  • Average full-time
    Average full-time
    42 hours
  • Weekly Pay
    Weekly Pay
  • Skill level rating
    Skill level rating
    Lower skill
  • Unemployment
    Higher Unemployment
  • Full-Time Share
    Full-Time Share
    16% Full-Time
  • Employment Size
    Employment Size
    138,300 workers
  • Employment Size
    Employment by state
    ACT: 2.3%
    NSW: 30.3%
    NT: 0.7%
    QLD: 19.5%
    SA: 7.3%
    TAS: 2.5%
    VIC: 28.0%
    WA: 9.5%
  • Employment Size
    Age brackets
    15-19: 30.1%
    20-24: 32.5%
    25-34: 21.3%
    35-44: 7.2%
    45-54: 5.1%
    55-59: 1.9%
    60-64: 1.1%
    65 and Over: 0.6%
  • Employment Size
    Education level
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma: 8.3%
    Bachelor degree: 13.3%
    Certificate III/IV: 10%
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 2.6%
    Year 10 and below: 13.2%
    Year 11: 8.4%
    Year 12: 44.3%
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