What they do

Waiters serve food and drink in restaurants, cafes, hotels and other dining establishments all over the State. They also prepare tables, take orders, clear tables, calculate bills and take payments. Waiters are required to provide a high standard of service to customers as they are frequently the face of the business.

Different establishments require difference levels of service, so some waiters may provide professional silver service at black tie events, while others may need to be more friendly and outgoing at relaxed cafes.

Working conditions

Waiters work in front of house areas of dining establishments, frequently indoors but sometimes outdoors at alfresco restaurants, cafes or events. They spend most of their time on their feet, and are frequently required to respond quickly in noisy and demanding environments. There is a great deal of contact with the public and the job can be stressful due to the fast pace and demanding customers.

Tools and technologies

Waiters use pens and paper or digital devices and computer systems to take orders and bookings. They also use equipment to serve food, such as trays, trolleys, bottle openers and serving cutlery. Often they use cleaning equipment to clear tables and clean floors and other surfaces. They must be very aware of their public presentation and may be required to wear uniforms or make-up.

How do I become one?

Education and training

It is possible to work as a waiter without any formal qualifications and get training on the job. However, entry into this occupation may be improved by obtaining a qualification in hospitality.

 The Certificates II and III in Hospitality are offered at TAFE colleges and other registered training organisations throughout Western Australia.

 Browse courses through Jobs and Skills WA and search on the My Skills website to find a registered provider near you.

You can also undertake a traineeship in hospitality – food and beverage. The traineeship usually takes 24 months to complete.

 Learn more about your study options.

Required registration and licensing

To serve alcohol in Western Australia, you must be over 18 years of age and hold a Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) certificate. You can gain your RSA certificate through a number of registered training organisations. Contact the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries for more information.