Home Explore Job Ideas Waiter / Waitress

Job Description

Waiters or Waitresses will serve food and beverages to the guests in the restaurant or at the event. They will also prepare tables, greet customers and advise on menu choices.

Entry Requirements

You can get into this job through:


You could prepare for this job by doing a college course in Food and Beverage Service to get some of the skills you'll need.

You may need:

  • 2 or fewer GCSEs at grades 3 to 1 (D to G), or equivalent, for a level 1 course
  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course

The following local colleges offer courses in Food and Beverage Service:


You could get into this job through a hospitality team member intermediate apprenticeship.

You'll usually need some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship.

Click here to search for an apprenticeship.

Direct Application

You can apply for jobs without experience, though you'll have an advantage if you've worked in customer service before. Your employer will train you on the job.

Career Tips

You could volunteer in a cafe run by a local community organisation or a charity like the Royal Voluntary Service. This will help you to develop your skills before you apply for paid work. You can find more volunteering opportunities through Do-it.

You can get more details about working as a waiter from the Hospitality Guild.

Career Path and Progression

With experience you may be able to progress to head waiter or waitress, or restaurant supervisor.

You may also be able to go into related areas of work like restaurant and kitchen management or purchasing.

Related careers you may be interested in:

  • Barista
  • Restaurant manager
  • Chef
  • Kitchen assistant
  • Customer service assistant
  • Cruise ship steward

Required Skills

  • a good standard of personal hygiene
  • the ability to remain calm under pressure
  • an interest in catering
  • excellent customer service skills
  • friendly personality

Salary Range

£12,000 to £27,000

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