How To Become A Waiter In Australia: A Complete Guide

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Students want to know the education requirements to become a waiter in Australia.


Do you enjoy interacting with people and have good customer service skills? If yes, 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 organise payments for customers.


You can work 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 one 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 or 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 the following:


  • Book reservations for customers over the phone, through email, or through 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 computerised 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 Become 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. 

  • Service-minded

  • People person 

  • Able to take directions clearly

  • Well-groomed and clean appearance 

  • Personal hygiene

  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills 

  • Good memory

  • Able to read personalities and emotions 

  • Friendly 

  • Quick and Efficient

  • Physical stamina to stand for more extended 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

  • Multitasking abilities

  • Can cope with stress 

  • Initiative-taking ability

  • Able to develop connections with both fellow staff and guests

  • Flexible during work hours 

  • Organisational Skills



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.

  • Employers prefer Vocational education and training courses like Certificate III in Hospitality (SIT30616).

  • 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


You can start your career as a waiter in Australia without formal qualifications. 


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 skills you gain will create exciting possibilities in several other professions in the hospitality industry. These may include a function host, gaming attendant, and front desk receptionist.



Step 2: Take An English Course


The job involves customer interaction throughout the day, from welcoming customers to explaining menus, promoting local produce, and recommending complementary wines.


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 organisational infection prevention and control procedures and policies. 


Students learn how to implement transmission-based and standard safety measures and respond to infection risks in organisations 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:


  • Waiter

  • Food Services Assistant

  • Food & Beverage Attendants And Supervisors

  • Waiting Staff

  • Restaurant Waiter And Waitress

  • Event Wait Staff

  • Food Services Assistant/Cleaner

  • Cook And Food Services Assistant

  • Casual Food Service Assistant 

  • Casual Waiter 



10. Areas of Specialisation


  • Commis Waiter: This type of waiter helps experienced waiters perform waiter tasks.


  • Wine Steward and Drinks Waiter: Also called Sommelier, it specialises 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: An experienced waiter specialising 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. 


Australia still faces a constant challenge to entice "career-oriented professionals that can deliver world-class service". Compared to the US and Europe, which have experienced waiters and bartenders in abundance.


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 of 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



14. Conclusion


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.


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