As a waiter/ waitress, you play a key role in helping guests to enjoy their meal. It is your responsibility to ensure that there is no delay in bringing the food from the kitchen, and that it is served as attractively as possible.
You will advise guests on the food and drink available (sales skills are an important aspect of this) and serve their meals while causing as little unnecessary disruption to them as possible. You will also clear plates and other unwanted items from the table, replenish drinks and wine glasses, and keep the restaurant looking pleasant. In most businesses you will also be responsible for greeting guests, showing them to their table, taking orders and collecting their payment at the end of the meal. You may have your own float, and hand over your takings at the end of service, or process payments at the till throughout service.
You will help to prepare the restaurant for service, and clear away when all the guests have gone. You may be asked to help serve at banquets, cocktail parties, special dinners, weddings, and other functions using silver service. On these occasions, there may be a buffet from which customers help themselves or are served their choice of salads, sweets, cheeses or other cold or hot dishes. Besides helping serve customers, you will need to replenish dishes from the kitchen, remove empties, replace serving spoons, and generally keep the buffet looking at its best.
In event catering, the venue might be a marquee, a banqueting hall; even outdoors in the grounds of a stately home. You will help to set up the tables and seating, as well as laying the tables and washing up afterwards. Along with serving meals, you may be required to serve tea and coffee to guests. You also need to know what wines and other drinks are available to your guests, so you must be knowledgeable on the laws relating to the service of alcohol.
High standards of personal presentation and hygiene are essential at all times. You must be careful not to touch the food, or any surfaces of cutlery, glasses etc. that may come into contact with the guest’s mouth. It is also important to be aware of safety, so that you avoid any accidents.