Do you enjoy interacting with people and have good customer service and communication skills? Then a career as a Waiter could be ideal for you.
Waiters serve food and beverages to customers at dining establishments such as restaurants, hotels, motels, pubs, clubs, and convention centres. They also take reservations, prepare tables, and organize payments for customers.
You can pursue a career as a Waiter without any formal qualifications. However, enrolling in an entry-level hospitality qualification, such as Certificate II in Hospitality or a Certificate III in Hospitality (Food and Beverage), helps learn about food safety, hygiene, customer service, teamwork, and communication.
Keep reading this blog to explore the role of a Waiter, what tasks they perform, how much they earn, where they work, and how you can become one.
1. Who Is A Waiter?
A Waiter is a great hospitality person who knows how to act around different people and makes them feel comfortable.
They work in various dining establishments serving food and beverages to customers.
2. Why Should You Become A Waiter?
Here are a few reasons why you may consider pursuing this career:
Opportunities to work both casual and part-time basis
Be part of an exciting and guest service-focused team
Flexible rostering across various shifts
No formal qualification and experience required
Strong employment growth and steady demand across the country
It doesn’t feel like work when you are working with your friends
You enjoy work-life balance
3. Responsibilities Of A Waiter
The job duties of a waiter vary based on the establishment. Out of the various responsibilities a waiter performs, the most common ones include:
Book reservations for customers over the phone, through email, or an electronic booking system
Set and arrange tables by placing clean linen or mats, cutlery, glasses, and crockery on the tables
Welcome customers at the entrance, show them to their seats, and hand menus to them
Recommend combinations of complimentary drinks to guests
Carry food and beverages to the dining tables and serve them
Promote local produce to overseas visitors
Explain menus and any daily specials
Take customer orders via a computerized system or on a notepad
Prepare bills for meals and drinks and give them to customers
Handle cash or credit cards
Clean premises, declutter tables and return tableware and dishes to kitchens
Remove used glasses and empty bottles from tables
Refill and replace glasses
Collect payments, operate cash registers and POS machines
Open bottles and pour beverages into glasses
Ensure that customers are enjoying their meals
Check customer’s identification to confirm age requirements for buying alcohol
Answer customers’ queries concerning dish ingredients, allergic substances, and the cooking method.
4. What Skills Do You Need To Be A Waitress?
Being a waiter or waitress is a highly responsible job. However, one bad performance could leave guests reluctant to revisit the establishment.
Do you want to know how to be a good waiter? You need the following skills to ensure customers receive appropriate hospitality at a particular venue:
Enjoy working with people
Good understanding of beverages such as wine, cocktails, etc.
Able to take directions clearly
Well-groomed and clean appearance
Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
Able to read personalities and emotions
Quick and Efficient
Physical stamina to stand for longer periods
Able to work in a team
Good money handling skills
Able to operate cash register
Able to work in a high volume, busy environment and under pressure
Strong customer service skills
Can cope with stress
Able to develop connections with both fellow staff and guests
Flexible during work hours
5. Qualifications To Become Waiter In Australia
No formal qualification is needed to work as a waitperson. Nevertheless, hospitality qualifications can boost your employment prospects in this industry.
Complete your Year 10 education.
Get a responsible service of alcohol (RSA) certificate. It is essential to serve, sell, or offer liquor in Australia. Many TAFE institutes and RTO offer a Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) certificate.
Prior experience working in a related role at a function venue or restaurant is advantageous.
Good knowledge of spoken English is essential.
A work visa is required to work as a travelling waitress.
6. Steps To Learn How To Become A Waiter In Australia
With no formal qualifications needed, you can right away start your career as a waiter in Australia.
However, a traineeship in Hospitality and some experience could help you gain skills to perform and improve your employability for an entry-level position.
Step 1: Complete A Relevant VET Qualification
An entry-level qualification like Certificate III in Hospitality will help kickstart your hospitality career. You will understand how to provide a high standard of customer service that positively affects the business you are working in.
Additionally, you will develop a broad range of valuable and in-demand skills to become a food and beverage attendant or work in a supervisory role in a restaurant, hotel, cafe, bar, or similar venues.
After you complete the course, you can either enter a role in the hospitality sector or continue with further study.
The transferable skills you gain will create exciting possibilities in several other professions in the hospitality industry, such as function host, gaming attendant, front desk receptionist, etc.
Step 2: Take An English Course
From welcoming customers to explaining menus, promoting local produce, and recommending complementary wines, the job involves customer interaction throughout the day.
To provide the best customer experience, you need impressive communication skills. Taking an English course can help communicate effectively and provide better customer service.
Good command of spoken English also immensely increases your chances of job success as a waiter.
Step 3: Get An RSA Certificate
In Australia, it is mandatory to have a valid Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) certificate to legally supply, sell, or serve liquor in a licensed venue.
You can obtain an RSA certificate by undertaking RSA courses at RTO and VET centres.
Step 4: Gain Some Experience
Previous experience as a waiter in a food establishment shows your capabilities to prospective employers, giving you a competitive edge over other aspiring waiters for an entry-level position.
Step 5: Apply For Jobs
Update your resume with all relevant skills and qualifications.
Consider visiting local hospitality venues such as restaurants, hotels, motels, bars, pubs, and cafes to find and apply for any vacant waiter positions.
7. Waiter Courses In Australia
The following are the most popular courses for those who want to become a waiter:
Certificate III in Hospitality
The qualification equips you with knowledge of industry operations and various well-developed hospitality services, operational, and sales skills.
Food Safety Supervision Skill Set
This short course will teach you about hygienic practices and the safe handling of food during the preparation, storage, display, service, and disposal.
Infection Control Skill Set (Food Handling)
This online course helps develop skills to follow established organizational infection prevention and control procedures and policies.
Students learn how to implement transmission-based and standard safety measures and respond to infection risks in organizations that include food handling and service operations.
8. Working Conditions For A Waiter
Waiters work early mornings, evenings, weekends, split shifts, and public holidays. It is a physically demanding job where they spend the most time standing on their feet.
Also, they sometimes face angry customers and must deal with them sensitively without offending anyone.
Waiters usually wear uniforms as provided by employers. They serve customers quickly and efficiently in a busy and fast-paced restaurant environment. Almost half of the employed wait staff work part-time.
9. Job Opportunities For A Waiter
Skilled waiters work in hotels, motels, clubs, coffee shops, restaurants, cafes, convention and recreation centres, and other entertainment and food service establishments.
Most of them work in cities and larger country centres where tourist resorts are.
Following are the current waiter job openings on popular job portals like Linked In:
Food Services Assistant
Food & Beverage Attendants And Supervisors
Restaurant Waiter And Waitress
Event Wait Staff
Food Services Assistant/Cleaner
Cook And Food Services Assistant
Casual Food Service Assistant
10. Areas of Specializations
Commis Waiter: This type of waiter helps experienced waiters perform waiter tasks.
Wine Steward and Drinks Waiter: Also called Sommelier, it specializes in serving a variety of beverages, including wine.
Maitre d': This is an experienced role that oversees the work of other waiters and helps in restaurant management.
Silver Service Waiter: This is an experienced waiter that specializes in serving food, with the help of a spoon and fork, from platters to customers' plates at the table.
11. Career Path Of A Waiter
As a trainee, you usually start your career as a commis waiter.
By gaining the relevant waiter qualifications and skills, you can find several opportunities to advance your hospitality career. You may get promoted to senior roles such as Maitre d', Food and Beverage Manager, or Restaurant Manager.
12. Job Prospects Of A Waiter In Australia
In Australia, being a waiter is one of the jobs that offer plentiful opportunities. It is due to the countless pubs in big cities like Melbourne and Sydney constantly seeking motivated and capable staff.
Additionally, the growing population number leads to more people dining out at various drinking and food establishments. The demand for staff will rise in bars, restaurants, and clubs.
The high turnover in this occupation will create a stable demand for replacement staff in the industry. Also, the employment of waiters will grow as fast as the average for all professions in Australia.
Waiters may find work opportunities across Australia in industries such as:
Accommodation and Food Services
Arts and Recreation Services
Only a quarter of waiters are employed full-time in Australia. It makes it a favourable career option for students looking for part-time work opportunities in restaurants and cafes.
As opposed to the US and Europe, which have experienced waiters and bartenders in abundance, Australia still faces a constant challenge to entice “career-oriented professionals that can deliver world-class service”.
It shows robust demand and strong employment growth ahead for waiters committed to a professional career in this hospitality industry.
13. How Much Does A Waiter Get Paid In Australia?
In Australia, a full-time waiter earns an average hourly pay of AU$17.97 or a yearly equivalent to AU$44,120. As your experience increases, you can expect a potentially higher salary than fresh recruits in this industry.
Entry-level waiter’s salary (<1-year experience): AU$16.13
Early career stage (1-4 years of experience): AU$18.02
Mid-career stage (5-9 years of experience): AU$21.34
Experienced stage (10-19 years of experience): AU$22.27
The highest paying cities for Waiter/Waitresses in Australia are:
Gold Coast, Queensland: $79,354 per year
Perth, Western Australia: $72,494 per year
Brisbane, Queensland: $72,454 per year
Sydney, New South Wales: $72,397 per year
Melbourne Victoria: $70,740 per year
Manly, New South Wales: $70,336 per year
Cairns, Queensland: $70,334 per year
Sunshine Coast, Queensland: $67,913 per year
There has always been a high demand for those working in the hospitality sector. Being a waiter is a casual and well-respected role in Australia.
If you are a person who finds more pleasure in serving people than earning a lot of money, then this professional is for you.
Don’t wait and complete a hospitality qualification for a great career ahead.
Useful Links to Explore: