How Do You Become a Waiter, and How Do You Carry Trays?


Quick Answer

Waiting jobs do not have formal requirements, though some restaurants hire only experienced servers. Trays filled with food or drinks should be balanced on one hand below shoulder height.

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Full Answer

Most restaurants have informal requirements for their serving staff. Typically these requirements include characteristics such as friendliness, energy and politeness. Upscale restaurants usually have more stringent requirements, such as understanding food and wine pairings and paying attention to detail. Such restaurants also tend to require serving experience.

Some new servers look for jobs in low-key restaurants, such as chains and small cafes. These places often hire waiters with limited experience. Working as a coffee barista or as a host in a restaurant is another way to get food service experience. Restaurants usually post jobs in the classifieds or online, though some post on their own websites.

Serving trays should have the weight balanced, with heavier items placed in the middle. The tray should be balanced on a flat hand. Waiters should move their whole body when navigating the floor rather than swinging the tray around. When placing the tray on a table, servers need to use both hands and bend at the knees rather than the waist. Waiters' shoulders, arms and hands should remain in a neutral position to avoid injury.

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