Highly Effective Duties and Qualities of Great Waiters

December 26, 2019


For your restaurant to succeed, you need to have a friendly, reliable, and dedicated staff of waiters. If your staff manage to welcome and treat your customers well, they are more likely to return and become loyal to your restaurant. Accordingly, you should know the most important waiter duties and qualities expected when working in a restaurant.


The most important duties of waiters:

Waiters are responsible for much more than just taking orders and serving food. Their job requires patience and the ability to perform multi-tasks at once.

Here is a list of waiters’ duties:

  • Sending the orders of the customers to the BOH staff and then delivering that food from the kitchen to the table.
  • Welcoming customers, guiding them to their table, accommodating them if they have a reservation or specific table requests.
  • Giving menus to customers after seating them and providing detailed information on the menu items such as ingredients, cooking style, food allergies, recommendations, and the specials of the day.
  • Preparing tables, cleaning when customers have left, and replacing silverware, tablecloths, and glasses with clean ones.
  • Taking food and drink orders accurately with the Waiter System.
  • Checking dishes and kitchenware for dents or breaks.
  • Serve food and drinks once they are ready so that they do not go cold nor warm.
  • Preparing food such as salads, cold dishes, desserts.
  • Removing plates and cutlery from the table when customers are finished and bringing them to the kitchen to be cleaned.
  • Asking customers, at the end of the meal, if they want their leftover food to be packed.
  • Asking customers if they would like desserts, tea, or coffee after clearing the table.
  • Bringing the bill and leaving it on the table or using a tablet to help customers pay, split the bill, and tip at the table through the Waiter System.
  • Stocking service areas, during downtime, with supplies such as ketchup, salt, pepper, sugar, and cutlery.


The most important qualities of waiters:

Great waiters shall have specific qualities that make them stand out. These qualities and traits are not exclusive to the highly experienced waiters. They can be easily learned.

Here is a list of waiters’ qualities:

1. Patience and Stress Management:

The first quality great waiters need is to be a patient person. They will always face rude or unsatisfied customers, complaints, overly loud tables, complicated orders. However, customers will always expect them to be patient. Waiters have to learn how to deal with the industry that has a fast-paced nature. They need to be able to handle constant movement, loud conversations, and noises when they are taking and delivering orders, and taking payments.

Additionally, great waiters shall be able to hide their moods. That is they must not let their personal issues affect your mood. It is important for them to learn how to wear a plastic smile even when they are stressed. After all, customers would never choose to be served by an unhappy waiter.


2. Good Appearance:

Waiters have to dress in the most appropriate attire. They should avoid wearing an unclean or creased uniform. You should know that their appearance could affect the dining experience and the customers’ judgment.


3. Time Sense and Management:

Great waiters must have a great sense of time. They need to master time management in order to provide food and serve their guests in time. Always remember that customers’ time is very invaluable so your staff of waiters shall never waste your customers’ time.

Moreover, they shall be punctual about their shift timings. It is great if they show discipline and punctuality by showing up at the workstation before their shifts start.


4. Accommodating and strong Communication Skills:

A waiter may deal with people from different backgrounds who have different perspectives. Accordingly, the need to accommodate all kinds of customers and have strong communication skills to provide the best customer experience and to deal with customer complaints and needs. They have to present a friendly attitude and listen well to customer orders. Besides, they should greet customers warmly and make them feel as though they are the only table at the restaurant.

While talking to customers, great waiters always address customers using titles such as sir, ma’am, and miss with a pleasant smile on the face. Whereas, the have to respond to customer’s questions gently, accurately and politely.


5. Attention to Details:

One of the most important qualities of a good waiter is to be attentive to details. They need to inspect each dish before serving it to ensure it looks perfect. They need to make sure not to deliver a wrong order or a cold plate, nor deliver a dish with hair in it to eliminate the issues before a customer can even realize it.

After serving the order, a great waiter should keep checking on the table, which he is serving, without interrupting the guest’s personal space. Besides, waiters need to take care of some specific details such as seating arrangement or cleaning up some unexpected spilling on the table. They shall be attentive if the customers need to order again.

Being attentive to details, waiters can identify when to deliver menus, when it is time for dessert, and who is waiting for the bill, all for different tables.

To focus on details, waiters need to listen to the customers very carefully and ask questions if they find something not clear.


Restaurant managers must ensure that the waiter possesses what it takes to deliver great service in the hiring process. They need to frequently track and measure their progress and evaluate their performance. This is because customers wait much more than serving food. They are looking for a restaurant that provides them with a personalized experience that meets and exceeds their expectations. And this is the duty of your waiters!