Waiting tables
Waiter rant : thanks for the tip--confessions of a cynical waiter
The Waiter [i.e., Steve Dublanica].
New York : Ecco, c2008.
Based on the award-winning blog, "Waiter Rant" tells the story from the server's point of view, replete with tales of customer stupidity, arrogance, and misbehavior.
The waiter & waitress and waitstaff training handbook : a complete guide to the proper steps in service for food & beverage employees
By Lora Arduser.
Ocala, Fla : Atlantic Pub. Group, Inc., c2004.
Intended for restaurant owners and managers who need to train new staff, this guide explains the proper technique for setting a table, taking orders, carrying trays, promoting specials, and presenting the check. A particularly long chapter describes the different types of alcohol and wine and how to pour them. Sample forms and posters are provided. Annotation #169;2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
Waiter & waitress training : how to develop your staff for maximum service & profit
by Lora Arduser.
Ocala, Fla. : Atlantic Pub. Group, 2003.
  1. Includes index.
  2. "365 insider secrets revealed!"--Cover.
Service at its best : waiter-waitress training : a guide to becoming a successful server
Ed Sanders, Paul Paz, Ron Wilkinson.
Upper Saddle River, NJ : Prentice Hall, c2002.
Ideal as a competency-based training guide or simply as a reference manual for specific service questions, this all-inclusive book explains the key aspects and responsibilities of today's food servers. It contains broad and in-depth coverage on everything a good waiter or waitress will need to know to be successful in this very competitive and dynamic profession--from restaurant industry statistics to how tips are calculated, the importance of poise and posture, the use of place settings, menu knowledge, the presentation of wine, recognizing nonverbal cues and prompts of guests, understanding guest paging systems and touch-screen terminals, handling complaints, and much more. Self-contained chapters flow in a logical sequence and establish a step-by-step procedure for understanding and learning appropriate server skills.

Waiting tables in restaurants is a time honored profession for many. Not all waiters consider this temporary work, just a job until they move on to something else.  And while the profession of waiter is a well known side job for actors and artists, some dedicated individuals pour their lives into the profession of giving excellent service.

A high-end restaurant may employ career wait staff who have been training for years in the business. Learning the fine points that include hundreds of skills in serving food and beverages doesnít happen overnight. A highly skilled waiter is a restaurantís most valuable assetóhe guides the dinersí entire experience.

People who are successful in this profession have:

  • Good physical stamina; ability to move quickly
  • Desire to please customers; have rapport with people 
  • Ability to multi-task with a good memory for details
  • Talent in selling the restaurantís specials and high profit menu items

Didn't get the tip you expected?  Most of the time bad tips are given because people did not like the service they received. If you get a bad tip ask yourself - Was the service slow? Did you say something to upset someone at the table? Look at a bad tip as an opportunity to improve yourself.

There are advantages of waiting tables. A good waiter can find a job in any city, at any time. Because restaurant turnover is high, good restaurants are usually looking for good servers. Scheduling for work can be flexible, so students, mothers with young children, and people with a second job can fit in a shift at a restaurant. Long time waiters have become accustomed to the ready cash in their pockets, paid daily from tips. People with "night owl" biorhythms find late night restaurant work well suited to their lifestyle.

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff