Waiting staff serve food and drinks to customers in cafés, restaurants, pubs, and at large events.

What do waiting staff do?

Waiting staff prepare tables, greet customers, take orders, advise on menu choices, serve drinks and food to customers and deal with bill payments in cafés, restaurants, pubs, and at large events.

You’ll need to be a good team-worker and have excellent communication and customer service skills.

What do I need to do to become waiting staff?

You don't need any specific qualifications to become waiting staff, but you need a good standard of maths and English, good communication skills and excellent 'people' skills. Experience in customer service would also give you an advantage.

There is a range of level 1 and 2 certificate and diploma qualifications you can take at college in the hospitality and food and beverage subject areas. You may be able to do a course while you look for work or work part-time.

You can also do an apprenticeship. There is a wide range of hospitality-related apprenticeships at intermediate and advanced level. These include jobs such as hospitality services, waiter/silver service waiter, bar/cellar person, front of house manager, restaurant or pub management.

Related skills

  • Teamwork
  • Patience
  • Organisation
  • Numeracy
  • Communication
  • Attention to detail
  • Customer service
  • Interpersonal skills

Vocational route

  • Level 1/2 certificates/diplomas in hospitality and food and beverage subjects
  • Intermediate/advanced level apprenticeships

Related subjects

  • Business studies
  • English
  • Food technology
  • Foreign languages

Where could I be working?

You’ll often be working shifts and occasionally long hours. 

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0

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