Can you make a living off waitressing?

What is Waitressing?

Waitressing is a service-based job where employees, also known as waitresses or waiters, take orders, serve food and drinks, and check on customers in restaurants and other food establishments. Waitressing can also include setting up tables, cleaning, taking payments and more.

What Skills Do You Need to be a Waitress?

The skills you need to be a successful waitress include:

  • Customer Service Skills: Waitresses must be able to interact with customers in a friendly and professional manner.
  • Time Management Skills: Waitresses must be able to manage their time effectively while taking orders, serving food, and cleaning up.
  • Organizational Skills: Waitresses must be able to keep track of orders, clean up tables quickly, and stay organized during the shift.
  • Attention to Detail: Waitresses must be able to pay attention to details when taking orders and serving food.
  • Physical Stamina: Waitresses must be able to stand for long periods of time and lift heavy trays of food and drinks.

What is the Average Salary for a Waitress?

The average hourly wage for a waitress in the United States is $11.17 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This wage may vary depending on the type of establishment, location, and experience of the waitress.

What are the Benefits of Being a Waitress?

Being a waitress has many benefits, including:

  • Flexibility: Waitresses often have flexible hours and can work around their other commitments and responsibilities.
  • Tips: Waitresses typically receive tips from customers in addition to their hourly wage, which can be significant.
  • Experience: Waitressing can be a great way to gain experience in the customer service and hospitality industry.
  • Growth Opportunities: Waitressing can lead to promotions into higher-paying positions in the restaurant industry.

What are the Challenges of Being a Waitress?

Being a waitress can be a challenging job, and it is important to be aware of the potential difficulties that waitresses may face, including:

  • Long Hours: Waitresses often have to work long shifts and may be on their feet for hours at a time.
  • High Stress: Waitressing can be a high-pressure job, as waitresses must juggle multiple tasks at once and may have to deal with difficult customers.
  • Low Pay: While waitresses may receive tips, the hourly wage is often low, making it difficult to make ends meet.
Related content  Does LinkedIn tell your employer?

Can You Make a Living Off Waitressing?

Yes, it is possible to make a living off waitressing, but it can be difficult. A waitress’s salary is largely dependent on the tips they receive from customers, and this can vary greatly depending on the restaurant and the location. In order to make a living off waitressing, waitresses should aim to work in higher-end establishments and locations where tips are more generous.

What Other Opportunities Are Available for Waitresses?

In addition to waitressing, there are other opportunities available for waitresses, such as:

  • Bartending: Many waitresses also choose to become bartenders, which can be more lucrative than waitressing.
  • Catering: Waitresses can also find work in catering, which may involve serving food and drinks at events.
  • Hosting: Waitresses can find work as hosts in restaurants, which involves greeting guests and seating them.
  • Management: Waitresses may also be able to find work as a manager in a restaurant, which can be higher paying than waitressing.

What Are the Best Tips for Making a Living Off Waitressing?

The best tips for making a living off waitressing include:

  • Be Friendly and Professional: Waitresses should always be friendly and professional with customers to ensure that they receive generous tips.
  • Learn to Upsell: Waitresses should learn how to upsell to customers, such as suggesting a higher-priced item or offering a dessert.
  • Be Quick and Efficient: Waitresses should strive to be quick and efficient when taking orders, serving food, and cleaning up.
  • Always Aim to Please: Waitresses should always aim to please customers to ensure that they have a positive experience.


Making a living off waitressing can be difficult, but it is possible with hard work and dedication. Waitresses should focus on being friendly, efficient, and professional in order to receive generous tips from customers. In addition, waitresses should look for other opportunities, such as bartending, catering, hosting, and management, to supplement their income. With the right attitude and skills, waitresses can make a living off waitressing.