If you are looking for a job as a waiter, you are probably familiar with job advertisements with low wages where you will have to make most of your money in tips. But, you should know that there are more waiter jobs that pay well than you may realize.
Waiters and food workers can work in a wide range of settings, which means there are job opportunities available if you know where to look. Keep reading if you are interested in waiter jobs that pay well and how to get them.
How Much Does a Waiter Job Pay?
Different waiter jobs have different salaries depending on the company location and your experience level. For instance, waiters in fine dining restaurants earn an hourly wage of about $25, roughly $51,248 per year.
On the other hand, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that the average waiter makes about $11.42 per hour. As a waiter, you can earn extra cash in the form of tips by polishing your communication skills, connecting with your customers, complementing their food choices, and upselling convincingly.
How to Get a High-Paying Waiter Job
Are you looking for a high-paying waiter job? It is possible to land such jobs as they typically don’t require a university degree or a lot of formal education. Although there is a low barrier to entry, you may find yourself facing a lot of competition. Fortunately, we’ve compiled a list of steps you can follow to increase your chances of landing a high-paying job.
Step 1: Combine Formal and Informal Job Hunting
Many waiter or server positions are offered both formally and informally. For this reason, you should consider searching for these jobs using both job-hunting approaches. Online job boards such as LinkedIn and Indeed offer great platforms for formal job hunting. Limit your search to unique keywords such as food server or waiter.
The best way to informally search for job opportunities is through referrals. Many jobs in this industry are given through personal networks and recommendations. Your best chance of getting a well-paying job in this industry is by getting introduced to restaurant managers and owners through your friends, family, and colleagues.
Step 2: Gain Experience
It can be hard to find high-paying jobs if you’re just getting started. You might have to opt for minimum wage gigs to gain relevant experience. Take confidence in the fact that you can get extra cash from tips. Start with casual bars, nightclubs, or a chain restaurant, and you’ll be able to progress into fine dining at upscale restaurants as you develop your skills.
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Step 3: Work on Your Service and People Skills
Most of these positions are offered through referrals. The hospitality industry has a high turnover rate with many people moving from job to job. Making the most of each opportunity by working on your service and people skills will bring you one step closer to landing a waiter job with a higher hourly salary.
What Waiter Jobs Pay the Most? The Highest-Paying Waiter Jobs You Should Consider
Waiters work in the foodservice industry, serving customers at bars, restaurants, and other similar establishments. Different waiter jobs pay differently depending on the establishment and location. Here are some of the best-paying waiter jobs that you should consider.
Fine Dining Server
- Average salary: $51,248 per year
- Job growth: 20%
- Companies hiring: Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott International
Fine dining restaurants and hotels require specialized serving skills compared to most casual restaurants and diners. The job of a fine dining server includes taking orders and placing them into computers, interacting with guests, providing additional details on the menu, and billing each table when clients are ready to check out.
- Average salary: $31,913 per year
- Job growth: 17%
- Companies hiring: Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott International, Starwood Hotels and Resorts
A banquet waiter or server is responsible for serving food and drinks to guests and clients at various catering events. They take orders, bring drinks, and refill them if necessary. Other job responsibilities include setting up the banquet area and relaying important or sensitive information about orders such as allergies.
Food Service Specialist
- Average salary: $35,287 per year
- Job growth: 15%
- Companies hiring: Morrison Healthcare, Costco Wholesale, Walt Disney
Foodservice specialists assist in a variety of operations involving food preparation. Some of their duties include operating the cash register, stocking supplies, serving customers, and filling vending machines. Food specialists need to adhere to high sanitary standards.
- Average salary: $39,283 per year
- Job growth: 20%*
- Companies hiring: LongHorn Steakhouse, Texas Roadhouse, BJs Restaurants, Red Lobster, Olive Garden
A server works in different food and hospitality companies by taking food and beverage orders from customers. These professionals are expected to have expert knowledge about the menu and other related offerings and often have flexible shifts. Other duties of a server include interacting with kitchen staff and helping with setting and cleaning the tables.
Club, Bar, and Nightclub Waiters
- Average salary: $33,516 per year
- Job growth: 20%*
- Companies hiring: Nightlife Rosina, Jewel Nightclub, Le Bain at The Standard, Kingdom Nightclub
A nightclub waiter’s main job is to take beverage orders at a club or bar. Most high-end clubs hire high runners to work hand in hand with waiters in serving clients. Other job responsibilities include offering ‘bottle service’, handling customer requests or complaints, working with security when handling intoxicated clients, and staying up to date with the international bar scene.
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*Job growth rate from the BLS report on waiters and waitresses
Best Waiter Jobs: Top Companies that Hire for Waiter Jobs
Professionals worldwide strive to work for top companies offering the best working conditions, job satisfaction, and good pay. Fortunately, sites like Glassdoor and LinkedIn serve as platforms to find opportunities and allow anonymous employee feedback to help other professionals in the same job industry. Here are some of the best companies that hire experienced waiters.
- The Royal Caribbean Group: This is one of the largest cruise line operators. The Royal Caribbean Group is one of the best places to work as a waiter because of the welcoming staff, decent salary, and potential to make a lot of money through tips.
- Hilton: This is a hospitality company best known for its chain of hotels and resorts. This is a great place to work, especially during peak seasons. Waiters get good travel allowances, health insurance, and decent pay.
- Google: A company that needs no introduction, Google is one of the best companies to work in the world. There is a great company culture that fosters teamwork. Although most of the shifts are short, the work schedules are flexible making it easier to address part-time activities such as school or a second job.
- Marriott International: Marriott International is one of the largest hotel companies in the world with operations in over 134 countries. Bartenders and servers are estimated to earn about $17/hr and $14/hr, respectively.
- In-N-Out Burger: In-N-Out Burger is a popular burger joint based in California. They have just four basic items on the menu making it easier to take orders as a waiter. They also offer good pay, benefits, and flexible hours to their employees.
Where to Find a Waiter Job
We’ve put together a few online job board platforms to help you with your job search. But, remember that a significant number of waiter jobs are offered through personal networks and referrals. For this reason, you should work towards growing your professional networks through friends and family members. With that said, here are a few options to consider when looking for jobs online.
LinkedIn is a social media platform that connects professionals to other professionals and companies. It’s a great platform that allows for networking. LinkedIn also allows you to make applications to open restaurant jobs posted by companies. You’ll find job postings that fit your needs, whether you want to land your first job at a popular restaurant chain or work in a fine dining restaurant.
Google For Jobs
Google Jobs was launched back in 2017 to help companies speed up the recruitment process while bridging the gap between employers and job seekers. ‘Googling’ for waiter jobs in your area can be your best bet for finding waiter jobs, especially as a rookie waiter.
Indeed has grown to become one of the largest online job boards over the past few decades. This site features a ton of jobs, including waiter jobs, as it acts as a link between professionals and companies. Indeed’s job platform lets you filter your search queries by date posted, location, job type, benefits, salary estimate, experience level, and company.
Skills Required to Land Your First Waiter Job
Waiters spend a significant amount of time on their feet taking orders and carrying trays with drinks and dishes. However, you’ll need more than physical stamina to land your first waiter job without previous experience. While it may be harder to get a job as an inexperienced waiter, here are some skills you can build to increase your opportunities for advancement.
Communication skills involve the ability to listen, speak, observe and empathize. Such soft skills are helpful when it comes to understanding your clients’ needs. As a waiter, you’ll need to carefully listen to customers’ food and drink requests. You’ll also need to communicate this information to the kitchen staff to ensure orders are prepared to the client’s satisfaction.
Excellent Customer Service Skills
Great customer care is the holy grail of the hospitality sector. As a result, you’ll need to have such skills to secure a waiter job, especially as an inexperienced waiter. Customer service skills ensure a customer’s needs are met while making them feel special in the process.
Empathy, the ability to use positive language, self-control, taking responsibility, patience, and effective listening are all part of great customer service. As a job seeker, make sure to come across as friendly and polite during your job interview to show that you can build a rapport with customers.
Attention to Detail
Attention to detail is an important skill that you should add to your resume. You need to be a detail-oriented person to become successful as a waiter. You need to be able to record your customers’ orders accurately and relay this information to other staff members who’ll process these orders. Messing up a customer’s order is never a good thing in the hospitality industry.
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Is a Waiter Job For Me?
Yes, a waiter job could be ideal for you if you enjoy interacting with clients while offering an excellent dining experience. Although this job can pay decently, especially when taking into account tips, you should take a few things into consideration.
For instance, are you ready to push yourself to work long hours while making your clients feel special? Do you enjoy meeting new people? Do you have a lot of free time, especially over the weekends? If yes, a waiter job could be a great fit. You can also become a part-time water if you want to work several jobs and embrace the gig economy.
Waiter Jobs that Pay Well FAQ
According to ZipRecruiter, fine-dining servers are the highest paying waiter jobs in the United States. These professionals earn an average salary of $51,248 per year. These professionals also make a significant amount of money through tips and bonuses.
No, BLS estimates the median hourly wage for waiters and waitresses to be about $11.42. The highest-earning waiters and waitresses who work in fine dining restaurants are paid about $20.46 per hour. However, some establishments might pay the federal minimum wage for tipped employees which is $7.25 per hour.
As a waiter, you can make extra money through tips. This means that you should focus on giving your customers exceptional service to ‘woo’ them into giving you more tips. You should also consider working overtime or long hours as employers are forced by law to compensate you at least 150% of your normal hourly rate.
According to ZipRecruiter, night waitresses make an average of about $15 per hour, which translates to an annual wage of $31,623. However, the same report showed that such professionals can earn as much as $34.38 and as low as $5.29. It all depends on the skill level, experience, and type of establishment.
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