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Waiter/Waitress Job Description

Published March 11, 2024 (last updated on April 19, 2024) | Adam Wyatt - Content Writer

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In the bustling world of hospitality, the role of a waiter/waitress is fundamental to creating memorable dining experiences for guests. These professionals are the face of a restaurant, embodying its service standards and ethos. Hiring the ideal customer service staff is crucial for any small to medium-sized business in the Australian hospitality industry.   

This article outlines a comprehensive job description, for waitstaff, incorporating essential duties, responsibilities and skills that define the position, ensuring clarity for potential candidates and employers.  

Waiter/waitress job summary 

A waiter/waitress is responsible for greeting guests, taking orders, serving food and beverages, and ensuring an overall outstanding dining experience. They act as the primary point of contact between the restaurant and its patrons, requiring a blend of excellent communication skills, attentiveness, and a warm demeanour. The ultimate goal of a waiter/waitress is to provide exceptional service that encourages repeat business and positive reviews.  

Waiter/waitress duties and responsibilities 

Waiters and waitresses play a pivotal role in shaping a customer's dining experience, impacting your brand image and bottom line. Here are some key responsibilities to consider for your job description.   

  • Providing exceptional customer service: Assist customers by greeting them warmly, taking food and beverage orders accurately, serving meals promptly and professionally, addressing enquiries and concerns politely and efficiently and processing bills through the cash register. 

  • Maintaining a clean and inviting dining area: Setting tables, clearing dishes, and ensuring proper hygiene standards are upheld throughout the shift. 

  • Following food safety regulations: Ensuring proper handling and storage of food and beverages to maintain the health and safety of customers and other team members. 

  • Collaborating with the kitchen and other staff: Working effectively with chefs, bartenders, and other team members to deliver a seamless dining experience. 

  • Upselling and promoting specials: Presenting menu recommendations and specials in a professional and persuasive manner to increase sales. 

  • Maintaining a positive and professional demeanour: Projecting a friendly and helpful attitude while remaining professional and courteous in all interactions to ensure customer satisfaction. 

Waiter/waitress desired skills and qualifications 

While each hospitality business is different, here are some common waiter and waitress skills of qualified candidates.  

  • Experience in a customer service role, preferably within the hospitality industry. 

  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, with the ability to build a rapport with customers from diverse backgrounds. The ability to remain calm in a busy environment is vital. 

  • Strong organisational and time management skills to handle a fast-paced environment and multiple tasks efficiently. 

  • A genuine passion for providing excellent customer service and creating a positive dining experience. 

  • Ability to work effectively as part of a team and independently. 

  • Proficiency in basic numeracy and literacy is essential. 

  • Food safety training may be required or preferable in some cases. 

  • A valid RSA (Responsible Service of Alcohol) certificate is a strong advantage for roles serving alcoholic beverages. 

Waiter/waitress job description template 

Recruiting the right waiter or waitress can affect your brand and your bottom line. This waiter/waitress job description template provides a good foundation to customise for your own business. 

Position: Waiter/Waitress 

Location: [Location] 

About Us:  

At [Restaurant Name], we're dedicated to offering our guests an unforgettable dining experience with outstanding service, exquisite cuisine, and a warm, inviting atmosphere. We're currently seeking a waiter or waitress to join our team. Someone who shares our passion for hospitality and excellence.  

Job Summary: 

As a waiter or waitress at [Restaurant Name], you will be the first point of contact for our guests. Your primary role will be to provide exceptional service, ensuring all guests feel welcome and receive responsive, friendly, and courteous service at all times.  

Key Responsibilities: 

  • Greet guests warmly and guide them to their table. 

  • Take orders accurately and relay them to the kitchen staff promptly. 

  • Have a thorough knowledge of the menu, with the ability to make recommendations and upsell where appropriate. 

  • Serve food and beverages to patrons, ensuring all requests and needs are met promptly. 

  • Process guest payments efficiently. 

  • Maintain cleanliness and order in the dining and work areas. 

  • Handle guest complaints with professionalism and patience, resolving issues to the guest’s satisfaction. 

Requirements and Qualifications: 

  • Proven experience as a waiter or waitress or in a similar role in hospitality. 

  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills. 

  • A positive, customer-focused attitude and a passion for hospitality. 

  • Ability to work efficiently in a fast-paced environment and stand for extended periods. 

  • Flexibility to work shifts, including evenings, weekends, and holidays. 

  • A high school diploma: further training in hospitality or customer service is a plus. 


  • Outstanding multitasking and organisational abilities. 

  • Keen attention to detail. 

  • Strong team player with the ability to also work independently. 

What We Offer: 

  • A dynamic and supportive work environment. 

  • Competitive salary and tips. 

  • Opportunities for professional growth and development. 

  • Staff discounts and perks. 

Join Our Team: 

If you're passionate about delivering top-notch dining experiences and want to be part of a vibrant team, we'd love to hear from you. [Restaurant Name] is not just a place to eat; it's where memories are made. Come be a part of our story.  

How to Apply: 

Submit your resume and a cover letter outlining your experience and why you're a great fit for our team to [Insert application process details here]. 

[Restaurant Name] is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees.  

Understanding the Hospitality Industry Award 

When hiring wait staff, it’s important to understand the Hospitality Industry (General) Award (MA000009), as outlined in the Fair Work Act. This covers things like Award Rates, Modern Award Supplements, classification levels, hours of work, leave entitlements and termination notice periods.    

Embark on a rewarding career in hospitality 

For individuals aspiring to excel as waiters or waitresses, understanding the depth and breadth of this role is the first step towards a fulfilling career in hospitality. For employers, attracting and retaining top talent begins with crafting comprehensive job descriptions that highlight the importance and value of the waiter/waitress role.  

Connect with us for expert HR and recruitment guidance   

Whether you're seeking to refine your skills as a service professional or looking to attract skilled candidates to your establishment, our team is here to support your journey. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the duties and responsibilities of a waiter or waitress?

The core duties and responsibilities of a Waiter/Waitress encompass greeting and seating guests, accurately taking and relaying orders to the kitchen and having a thorough knowledge of the menu to offer suggestions and upsell items such as appetisers, desserts, and beverages.

What are the attributes of a good waiter/waitress

An exceptional waiter or waitress possesses a warm and patient demeanour, the ability to make swift decisions, and strong interpersonal skills. They also exhibit meticulous attention to detail and outstanding multitasking abilities.

What is the typical salary range for waiters and waitresses in Australia?

The salary range for waiters and waitresses in Australia can vary depending on experience, location, and the type of establishment. However, you are legally obligated to pay your waiters/waitresses at least the minimum wage as outlined by the award. This includes base hourly rates, penalty rates for weekends, public holidays and overtime hours, and allowances for specific circumstances (e.g., split shifts). According to Fair Work Australia, the base hourly rate for Level 1 food and beverage attendant grade 1 is $23.23 per hour (as of January 2024).

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