How Difficult Is It to Be Wait Staff

The restaurant business happens to be a tough one. Waiters and servers are required to be on their feet 24/7 and get everything done right. While waiters are responsible for noting orders correctly, servers on the other hand are handed the responsibility to present the dishes in the best possible manner. However, many people often ask how difficult is it to be a wait staff?The fact of the matter is that being a waiter has its advantages and disadvantages.

It also depends on the restaurant. Fine dining restaurants comparatively give a tougher time than regular restaurants. Therefore, in this article, we are going to discuss the pros and cons of being a waiter along with the needs of the profession. Let’s begin.

Is it hard being a waiter/waitress?


A good waiter never stops moving from the beginning of the shit till the end. Diners must be seated properly, the orders noted and served correctly as well. Furthermore, a waiter needs to know and remember which dish corresponds to which diner and also address any special requests. At the same time, a waiter should not be hovering or be intrusive as to make a customer feel uncomfortable.

In addition to that, waiters must also be familiar with the menu and adept at the items that are the most profitable. They should follow the rhythm of the kitchen and the time needed to prepare each dish. While they are looking after the guests, they clean the tables as they become free and help others with their tables as well. Most important of all, they should maintain a friendly yet professional attitude.

Physical Demands

Since waiters tend to be on their feet during the entire shift, it can take a toll on their physical well-being. Due to this reason alone, waiters need to be provided with special shoes and attire that allows them to move freely and does not cause any kind of pain. If a restaurant happens to be short-staffed, the shifts can range anywhere between 12-14 hours.

Moreover, waiters have to tend to customers who belong to different backgrounds, displaying different types of temperament and moods. Sometimes they have to come in carrying personal stress and putting on a plastic smile. Since customers are neither aware of what the waiter is going through nor do they actually care, it becomes hard for the waiter or waitress to hide their emotions and moods. At the end of the day, a waiter has to carry dual personalities, which puts immense mental stress as well.

Sexual Harassment

It is a known fact that guests respond well to attractive waiting staff. However, at the same time, some restaurants prefer hiring attractive staff members as well. Things can sometimes reach the point where waiters have to fend off advances from customers. Furthermore, co-workers, especially employers can be more problematic in such cases.

Working and Pay Conditions

Even if a restaurant has a zero-tolerance policy for harassment, waitresses can still experience difficult working conditions. In addition to that, things can become comparatively more difficult for single mother-waitresses who have to tend to their kids at home due to health insurance and other benefits, which makes it difficult to take time off when they are ill. In fact, the restaurant business displays one of the highest gender disparity ratios when compared to other types of businesses.


Getting tipped by the customers

One of the first advantages of being a waiter that you always have cash on hand. The customers will mostly tip you, which goes straight to your pocket. Therefore, ending the shift with always having some money in hand tends to be motivating and refreshing.

You will make money by working fewer hours

Sometimes when it is a busy day at the restaurant, you end up making a pay’s day within a few hours. Instead of putting in the usual 9 hours, you sometimes get to earn the same amount of money within 5 hours.

Always on the go

If you are a waiter working at a restaurant, you do not need to join the gym to keep yourself healthy and fit. Since you will be running around most of the day, your body will automatically exercise.

You get to meet different people

Perhaps the biggest perk of being a waiter is that you get to meet and greet hundreds of customers on a daily basis. You get to hear their stories and interact with them. Furthermore, you also develop contacts with them, which will later help you in times of need. And since you are always around people, you get to see some interesting stuff every now and then. Therefore, if you happen to be a social person, you are going to like being a waiter.

You decide your income

As mentioned earlier, you will be receiving tips from the customers as well. This gives you slight control over your income. However, the flow of tips depends on your service. The better your service, the more appreciation you receive from the customers, which is ofcourseinterms of tips. Therefore, if you manage to charm your way into the hearts of the customers and give them the service they need, you are the king of the place.

Call someone as a replacement

A lot of restaurants allow waiters to be replaced if they happen to possess the same set of skills and capabilities. Being able to be replaced for another shift gives you time-off for family and friends. You simply have to call someone and ask them to work your shift. It is as simple as that.

Once the shift is over, it’s over!

Unlike other jobs that stick to you while you are at home as well, being a waiter is not at all like that. Once the shift is over, it is over. You do not get to take any work home with you. After completing your shift, you get to head home and enjoy some time with your friends and family members.


More experience means more responsibility

Now to answer is being a waiter hard. The thing with being a pro waiter is that you are expected to do more work as compared to other co-workers. The reason being that your supervisors and restaurant owner will rely more on you even for the simplest tasks because they know you will do it the right way. Although it is a good thing to be trusted and relied on but it sometimes puts one under extreme stress.

Working on the weekends

If you are a waiter at a restaurant, there are high chances that you will have to work on weekends as well. The reason being that weekends are restaurants’ most money-making days of the week. Since people have one or two days off, they will usually head to their favorite restaurants for a nice dinner with friends and family members. Therefore, while your friends are out there having the time of their life, you get to be stuck during the day with customers.

It will take a toll on you

You will not feel the consequences of both mental and physical stress while you are young. However, with time as you age, it will start to take a toll on your body. Since you happen to be a waiter, you will be on your feet running and carrying glasses and plates, etc. Therefore, knee and back problems are very common in this profession. It is indeed a tough job to pull each day.

Having to deal with mean people

The biggest drawback of being a waiter is that more than often you get to meet and deal with people who are just mean and ridiculous. They possess an extremely bad attitude and will not give away any opportunity to criticize and ridicule you for no reason whatsoever. This is a case with every restaurant out there and you simply cannot help it. Mean people are everywhere and you should know how to deal with them. If you do not have a thick enough hide to stop mean and irrelevant comments from affecting you, then this is not a suitable job for you.

Final Word

Being a waiter is indeed a tough job. Some people manage to pull it off while others can’t. It is all about your ability and skills to manage and handle different situations and customers during the day. However, one thing is for sure, being a waiter requires immense patience and professionalism. If you are planning to work as a waiter, make sure that you compare the advantages and disadvantages to help you decide whether opting for this job is going to suit you in the future.