In a restaurant, servers (also called waitresses and waiters) are the people who bring food and drink to customers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the demand for restaurant servers will increase by 11 percent through 2016, resulting in the creation of 255,000 new jobs.
The primary responsibility of restaurant servers is to ensure that customers receive their food promptly, and that their orders are correct. Servers should also be personable and outgoing to offer the highest degree of customer service possible.
Restaurant servers greet customers, take orders, input customers' choices to a computer, deliver the orders to the kitchen, and deliver the food to customers when it is ready. In some restaurants, servers prepare salads and pour soup or beverages, and collect customers' payments at the conclusion of a meal.
Restaurant servers must adhere to health regulation, have a neat and clean appearance, and be able to work on their feet for long periods of time. Servers also need a thorough knowledge of the restaurant's menu to make recommendations or answer questions.
Although there are no specific educational requirements for handling the responsibilities of a restaurant server, employers tend to prefer applicants who have a high school diploma or GED. Most restaurants provide training for new servers before allowing them to work independently.
In November 2009, the average annual salary of restaurant servers was $24,000. Servers also earn tips based upon their customer service.