Top 15 Waitress/Waiter Skills to be best on the Job

By | August 27, 2023
Waiter/Waitress skills and qualities
One of the important qualities Waiters and Waitresses need is physical strength to be able to move heavy items around.

Top 15 Waitress/Waiter Skills to be best on the Job

A waiter or waitress desiring to be best on his/her assigned tasks needs to have certain skills and qualities.

The job of a waiter/waitress can be challenging as they deal with customers from different background, and they are required to satisfy each of them.

However, having the right skills can help them to surmount the challenges they may face on the job and provide excellence performance.

Summary of Waiter/Waitress Duties and Responsibilities

The job of a waiter or waitress involves taking orders and serving food and beverages to guests according to the hotel’s standard, in a timely and effective way.

They perform various duties such as greeting guests and suggesting food and beverages to them; informing guests about special items, performing basic cleaning tasks, obtaining revenues, issuing receipts, and collecting payment.

They work in different environments, helping hotels and restaurants to meet their customers’ needs.

15 Waiter/Waitress Skills and Qualities to Succeed on the Job

1. Communication Skills: The waiter or waitress needs the ability to communicate effectively with kitchen staff, make provision for orders to customers, receive cash, and keep up proper accountability for orders and funds.

2. Active Listening: It is expedient for waiters and waitresses to pay full attention when other people are talking. This will enable them to get the points being made in order to ask questions as appropriate without interruptions.

3. Physical Ability: The physical stamina of a waiter or waitress is very important, as they have to spend almost the whole day standing up and carrying heavy items such as trays, food, high chairs, supplies, child booster seats, and performing other activities that involve physical strength.

4. Customer Service: You need customer service skills as a waiter or waitress to smile, greet in a friendly way, and make eye contacts when necessary with customers. This skill also enable waiters or waitresses to pay attention to requests for drinks, understand when a customer hints for a reduction in order, and answer any question the customer has to ask with clear and complete expressions. With good customer service skills, waiters and waitresses can take note of orders quickly and deliver them accurately to each customer. They also maintain proper eye contact with customers to know when they are needed at the table, to avoid making uninvited appearances around the table.

5. Patience: The waiter or waitress should not easily get irritated by some words customers might throw at them. When customers are under alcoholic influence, they can say anything they like without considering the feelings of the waiter or waitress. It is only patience that works in this kind of situation, so you need it as a waiter or waitress if you really want to survive the mockery.

6. Social Perceptiveness: This enables the waiter or waitress to become aware of other people’s reactions and why they reacted the way they did. The simple understanding involved in this comes as a result of possession of the skills of social perceptiveness.

7. Problem Solving Skills: It will help waiters a lot if they can always trace problems that the restaurant could be facing, and locate relevant information or news that could help implement solutions.

8. Attention to Details: Waiters and waitresses should be able to remember the details of all orders made, and make sure that customers get what they ordered for exactly the way the orders were placed. Paying attention to details will eradicate any confusion this might cause later.

9. Interpersonal Skills: It is a BIG plus if the waiter or waitress can understand fully the customers’ complaints and use tactics to help resolve any issues that may arise. In order for them to understand the customers, they have to first of all use manner of approach.

10. Team Work: As a waiter or waitress, you need to collaborate with your colleagues to help them do their job. This mostly happens when the restaurant is busy with people and more hands are needed to help serve customers.

11. Time Management: The waiter/waitress has to schedule his/her daily activities and work towards achieving their goal for the day. They need the ability to analyze what goes first and at what time. Mismanagement of time can possibly irritate a customer who may want to leave if he/she doesn’t get exactly what they want.

12. Math Skills: This involves the ability to calculate figures and amounts like percentages, discounts, tips, interest, proportions, and commissions. The skills create room for quick measurement and calculation ability.

13. Empathy: You should not maltreat those who work under you just because of what you passed through when you were still serving under some boss. You must remain empathic towards other people that work for you, from the cleaners to the PA. This marks good leadership in the business world.

14. Critical Thinking: Waiters and waitresses should be able to use logic and reasoning to discover alternative means of solving problems. Those with this skill can easily think out quick solutions to complex problems.

15. Smart Dressing: Your dress code as a waiter or waitress has to look smart and professional. If the restaurant doesn’t give you a uniform, then you have to wear something that will make you look presentable. With your clothes always clean and ironed, you are on your way to making a great waiter or waitress before customers.

Waiter/Waitress Skills for Resume

If you are writing a waiter/waitress resume, you can apply the skills and qualities above in making the core competence section of your resume

The core competence section of your resume is where you highlight your skills and qualities required by the recruiter to be effective on the job.


If you are a waiter/waitress who wants to be best on your job, or employer who needs the services of a good and qualified waiter/waitress, the skills and qualities provided in this post can be used as a standard in developing yourself on the job or in hiring people into the position.

Do you have other skills and qualities you consider important to the success of a waiter/waitress? Please share them in the comment box below.