Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked Lydia Peppard from Health Service Executive to give some advice for people considering this job:

Lydia Peppard

Care Assistant

Health Service Executive

Read more

Lydia Peppard
The advise that I would give to someone considering this job is to do their Leaving Cert and do the Transition year as this would give an opportunity to get some job experience or do some voluntary work within the community.

Do a Level 5 FETAC health related course. The skills and qualities that are needed to do this type of work are a real sense of caring for other people, communication skills, listening skills, be able to take and give constructive criticism without causing or taking offence, patience a willing to give your best effort to your work.
Close

Realist?
Realist
Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.

Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
Career Interviews
Sector Profiles
School Subjects (LC)
College Courses
Close
Study Skills
Other
Work Experience (School)
CV & Interview Preparation

Occupation Details

logo imagelogo image

Waiter / Waitress

Job Zone

Education
Some of these occupations may require a Leaving Certificate or similar.

Related Experience
Little or no previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few days to a few months of training. Usually, an experienced worker could show you how to do the job.

Job Zone Examples
These occupations involve following instructions and helping others. Examples include taxi drivers, amusement and recreation attendants, counter clerks, construction laborers, and waiters or waitresses.

€17k > 23
Waiter / Waitress
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€17 - 23
Related Information:
Data Source(s):
Payscale.com

Last Updated: March, 2017

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
2%
Occupational Category

Waiters & Waitresses

Also included in this category:

Head waiters; sliver service waiters; stewards (catering)

Number Employed:

24,600

Part time workers: 55%
Aged over 55: 5%
Male / Female: 22 / 78%
Non-Nationals: 40%
With Third Level: 31%
Return to List
Saves this course to your Career File if you are registered.

At a Glance... header image

Works in a hotel, coffee shop, restaurant or any other place that serves food and drink. They prepare tables, take orders, serve food and drink, and clear tables.


Videos & Interviews header image

Follow the links below to watch videos related to this occupation:

Note: you will be leaving the CareersPortal Site


Go..Search YouTube for Waiter / Waitress videos

The Work header image

Before a restaurant is open or before the guests arrive at a function (such as a wedding) the waiting staff may have several jobs to do. They might have to lay out the tables. In some cases they may have to move tables around, but more often it will mean putting out tablecloths, napkins, cutlery, crockery and table decorations. The cutlery might have to be polished and in some cases the waiting staff might have to make table decorations. They must also ensure that each table has a full set of condiments, i.e. salt, pepper etc.  
 
If people have to sit in certain places, like at a function, the waiting staff might have to put out the name cards at each place. They will also have to check that there are enough menus available and that any other equipment they use (trays, serving trolleys, warmers) are clean and ready.  
 
Once the restaurant is open or guests start to arrive the waiting staff help to make sure people feel comfortable. They might show people to their tables and hang up their coats, though sometimes this is the job of a head waiter/waitress.  
 
When people sit down the waiting staff show them a menu and ask if they would like a drink. They will tell the customers what special offers or dishes are available for that day. The waiting staff takes orders for meals and explains any unusual items on the menu. The orders are written on a pad and handed in to the kitchen. A waiter/waitress usually looks after a set area or group of tables. This group is called a Station.  
 
A Waiter/Waitress should know the items on the menu and how they are prepared. They should also be able to recommend the appropriate wines/drinks to complement the meal.  
 
While people are eating, the waiting staff need to stay alert in case the diners ask for anything else, and they should be ready to refill drinks glasses. Once the meal is over the staff clear the table, serve teas and coffees, and present the customers with their bill. When the guests leave the staff may need to re-set the table. In some places the waiting staff may have to deal with payments for meals, in the form of cash or credit card payments.  
 
When the function ends or the restaurant closes the waiting staff clear the tables and put the linen aside for washing. They polish and put away the cutlery and generally help to tidy up.  
 
Some staff specialise in servi


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation

bullet

Check with customers to ensure that they are enjoying their meals and take action to correct any problems.

bullet

Collect payments from customers.

bullet

Write patrons' food orders on order slips, memorize orders, or enter orders into computers for transmittal to kitchen staff.

bullet

Prepare checks that itemize and total meal costs and sales taxes.

bullet

Take orders from patrons for food or beverages.

bullet

Check patrons' identification to ensure that they meet minimum age requirements for consumption of alcoholic beverages.

bullet

Serve food or beverages to patrons, and prepare or serve specialty dishes at tables as required.

bullet

Present menus to patrons and answer questions about menu items, making recommendations upon request.

bullet

Clean tables or counters after patrons have finished dining.

bullet

Prepare hot, cold, and mixed drinks for patrons, and chill bottles of wine.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.

bullet

Performing for or Working Directly with the Public: Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

bullet

Handling and Moving Objects: Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

bullet

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships: Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

bullet

Performing General Physical Activities: Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

bullet

Selling or Influencing Others: Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.

bullet

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates: Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

bullet

Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others: Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.

bullet

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events: Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

bullet

Getting Information: Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

bullet

Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others: Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.


Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.

bullet

Customer and Personal Service: Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

bullet

Food Production: Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.

bullet

English Language: Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

bullet

Sales and Marketing: Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.

bullet

Public Safety and Security: Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.


Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.

bullet

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

bullet

Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

bullet

Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.

bullet

Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

bullet

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

bullet

Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

bullet

Learning Strategies: Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.

bullet

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

bullet

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

bullet

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

This can be a very busy job, full of pressure. Customers can sometimes be rude. As waiting staff you are the public face of a restaurant or cafe, so it can often be down to you whether people will come back or will recommend the place to their friends.  
 
With all that in mind you need to have energy and stamina for this job. You will be on your feet all the time, walking a lot and carrying plates and trays.  
 
A waiter/waitress should be able to think fast and have a good memory. It helps to have an outgoing personality, but at the very least you should be polite and friendly, and able to communicate clearly. You should like food as well as people - customers might ask for your recommendation so it helps to know something about what is on the menu.  
 
You need to have a good eye for detail, to ensure that tables are laid correctly and that the food delivered to the table matches the order of the customer. You need to be conscious of food hygiene and safety when lifting heavy or hot items.


Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

Note: you will be leaving the CareersPortal Site

Go..Waiting Staff - from: N.C.S. [UK]

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image

bullet

Organisation: Fáilte Ireland
Address: Amiens Street, Dublin 1
Tel: (01) 884 7700
Email: Click here
Url Click here

bullet

Organisation: SIPTU (Services, Industrial, Professional, Technical Union)
Address: Liberty Hall, Dublin 1
Tel: (01) 858 6389
Email: Click here
Url Click here

Job Search


Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...


...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Tourism & Hospitality
Sales, Retail & Purchasing

Search for Related Courses from Qualifax - the National Learners Database

Go..


Further Ed & PLC Course Suggestions
If you are interested in this occupation, then the following courses may also be of interest. Note that these course suggestions are not intended to indicate that they lead directly to this occupation, only that they are related in some way and may be worth exploring.

Courses found: 78


Tourism & eTravel
St. John's Central College
Outdoor Adventure Management - HND
Tourism & Travel Industry Studies
Waterford College of Further Education
Tourism, Travel & Airline Studies
Sallynoggin College of Further Education
Travel & Tourism
Ballyfermot College of Further Education
Tourism & Travel - Travel Agency Studies
Liberties College
Travel & Tourism
Carlow Institute of Further Education
Tourism
Inchicore College of Further Education
Travel & Tourism
Stillorgan College of Further Education
Cultural & Heritage Studies - Access to
Colaiste Stiofain Naofa CFE
Travel & Tourism Management - HND
Inchicore College of Further Education
Tourism with Business
Central College Limerick
Travel & Tourism
Marino College of Further Education
Tourism Reception & Event Management
Bray Institute of Further Education
Travel & Tourism
Cork College of Commerce
Travel & Tourism
Colaiste Ide College of Further Education
Hospitality Operations
Colaiste Ide College of Further Education
Tourism with Culinary Skills
Central Technical Institute Senior College
Tourism & Event Management
Sligo College of Further Education
Tourism with Business
Drogheda Institute of Further Education
Tourism & Airline Studies/Business
Cavan Institute
Travel & Tourism
O'Fiaich Institute
Outdoor Recreation
Lanesboro Community College
Travel & Tourism - Advanced
Sallynoggin College of Further Education
Travel & Tourism Services
Limerick College of Further Education
International Travel & Tourism
Enniscorthy Vocational College
Tourism with Business
Templemore College of Further Education
Hotel & Catering
Cavan Institute
Tourism and Travel with Cabin Crew Training
Monaghan Institute
Outdoor Adventure Education
Kinsale College of Further Education
Tourism & Travel Studies (E-Travel)
Crumlin College of Further Education
Tourism with Business
Ballyfermot College of Further Education
Tourism Travel & Airline Studies
Colaiste Ide College of Further Education
Tourism with Business
Moate Business College
Outdoor Sport & Recreation
Lough Allen College
Tourism & Travel - Airline Studies - Cabin Crew
Liberties College
Out­door Sport and Recreation
Drogheda Institute of Further Education
Advanced Certificate in Business Tourism & Event Management
Monaghan Institute
Tourism & Travel with Business
Cavan Institute
Tourism & Travel Studies (Adventure & Eco-Tourism)
Crumlin College of Further Education
Tourism with Business
Moate Business College
Tourism & eTravel Advanced
St. John's Central College
Hospitality Operations
Waterford College of Further Education
Travel & Tourism - Advanced
Limerick College of Further Education
Hotel and Catering
Kerry College of Further Education
Cultural & Heritage Studies Pre - University Arts
Killester College of Further Education
Outdoor Sport & Recreation
Bray Institute of Further Education
Tourism with Business
Mary Immaculate Lisdoonvarna
Tourism & Hospitality
Cork College of Commerce
Tourism with Business & Marketing
Tourism with Business
Greenhills College
Cultural & Heritage Studies
Colaiste Stiofain Naofa CFE
Hospitality Studies
Cork College of Commerce
Tourism with Business
Enniscorthy Vocational College
Hospitality, Heritage & Tourism
East Cork Further Education & Youthreach Centre
Tourism with Business
Carrignafoy Community College
Tourism and Event Management
Ormonde College of Further Education
Outdoor Sport & Recreation
Duiske College
Outdoor Leadership
Kinsale College of Further Education
Introduction to Hotel Management
Sligo College of Further Education
Tourism, Hotel and Leisure Operations
Sallynoggin College of Further Education
Hospitality Operations
Colaiste Ide College of Further Education
Archaeology and Heritage
Pearse College of Further Education
Tourism with Business
O'Connell Centre
Pharmacy Assistant
Dunboyne College of Further Education
Tourism and Business
Longford College of Further Education
Tourism and Hospitality
Carlow Institute of Further Education
Tourism and Event Management
Monaghan Institute
Tour Guiding - Regional & Local
Colaiste Stiofain Naofa CFE
Hospitality Operations
Jesus & Mary Secondary School
Tourism with Business - Advanced
O'Connell Centre
Tourism & Business
Our Lady's Secondary School Belmullet
Hospitality & Tourism
Selskar College
Airport Business & Operations
Grange Community College
Retail Management & Marketing
Blackrock Further Education Institute
Restaurant Operations
Templemore College of Further Education
Retail Practice and Security Studies
Rathmines College of Further Education
Pharmacy Assistant
Waterford College of Further Education