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A Waiter or Waitress ensures that the guest receives prompt attention and service when they enter the restaurant.

  • Set the table cutlery, serviettes and condiments before the start of meals;
  • Seat the guest when they arrive, take their orders, and serve food and beverages;
  • Familiarize guests with the menu and recommend dishes, drinks and wines when taking orders;
  • Clear used cutlery and replace table settings when guests leave;

Basic Educational Requirement

There is no specific educational requirement but a high school diploma is the minimum entry dards.

In-house training is often provided by full service restaurants which consists of some form of classroom-type training and actual on-the-job work experience. Training could also be acquired from vocational and other training institutes which offer training in a generalized food service curriculum.

Skills and Competencies

  • A good memory to avoid confusing customers´ orders and to recall faces, names, and preferences of frequent patrons;
  • Knowledgeable in operating computers which they may use in placing orders and generating customers´ bills;
  • Need to be quick at arithmetic especially in cases where they may have to total bills manually;
  • Knowledge of a foreign language is also helpful since Waiters and Waitresses have to communicate with diverse clients.

Physical Attributes and Characteristics

  • Must be able to communicate well with people;
  • Must be tactful and courteous at all times neat, tidy and smartly dressed;
  • Must possess a good service attitude;
  • Must have good physical health as they spend most of their working hours on their feet.
  • Manual dexterity is also required when serving food to customers and guests.


In June 2005, workers in the hotel and restaurant industry receive an average daily basic pay of P226.68. Included in this pay scale are entry level skills in the restaurant and bar sub-sector which consists, among others, of Waiters/Waitresses and other food and beverage service workers. The basic pay excludes allowances, bonuses, overtime pay and other benefits or incentives such as customers' "Tips". For most waiters and waitresses, higher earnings are primarily the result of receiving more tips rather than higher daily wages.

In the US, the hourly earnings of waiters and waitresses averages around $6.75 (based on 2004 rates) or $54 (P2,754) for 8 hours of work inclusive of tips.

Prospects for Career Advancement

For workers in small-sized food serving establishments, advancement is usually limited to finding a job in a busier or more expensive restaurant where prospects for tip earnings are better. In larger-sized restaurants, Waiters and Waitresses with professional experience and with formal management training may rise up to the rank of dining room supervisor, assistant head waiter, head waiter, assistant restaurant manager, or restaurant general manager.

Employment Opportunities

Job openings for Waiters and Waitresses are expected to grow because of the increasing number of restaurants and other food and beverage-serving establishments being put up in response to a rising population that love to dine outside their homes.

Overseas employment will likewise offer numerous opportunities for Waiters and Waitresses who for the last five years recorded over a hundred percent increase in deployment. Among the countries that hire these workers are the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait, Saipan and the USA.

Cost of Training *

A one-year training course on Hotel & Restaurant operations cost around P37,000. Students who have completed the course will be issued a Certificate in Hotel and Restaurant Operations. For those aspiring to rise to positions of greater responsibility and authority such as supervisors/managers, they can enroll in a 2-year course on Hospitality Management. The program is ladderized such that the student who has already completed the Certificate program needs only to study one more year to complete the required modules for the Diploma at an additional cost of P33,200. These courses are offered year round at CHAMP School (Center for Hospitality Arts Management Philippines).

* Based on 2007 rates

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