Business Category Business: career motivation and tips to move ahead

Job description for a bar waitress

A bar waitress serves food and drinks to customers in a restaurant or bar, both casual or formal. The bar waitress must be knowledgeable of the restaurant’s menu, and must communicate clearly with patrons. She takes customers' orders and accepts payment for meals.

Primary Responsibilities

The bar waitress takes food and beverage orders and delivers the order to customers. The order is either written or retained in memory. The waitress may also need to share menu recommendations, depending on the requests of the customer or restaurant policy. Managers meet with bar waitresses to discuss changes to the menu and ensure a mutual understanding of the expectations for the current work shift.

Other Responsibilities

When serving alcohol, the bar waitress must check the identification of the customer ordering the drink to ensure he meets the minimum drinking age. Some bars require the waitress be of legal drinking age, or at least 18 if she serves alcohol. Often, bar waitresses clean tables after patrons leave. They also may serve as a cashier, which requires knowledge of cash register functions and making change.

Work Environment

Bar waitresses must be able to stand for long periods. This position requires some light lifting, such as picking up dishes and food trays. Bar waitresses must handle a busy work environment and have the ability to manage multiple orders and customer requests. This job requires schedule flexibility--waitresses often need to work on weekends or during holidays. Most bar waitresses work part time.

Training and Qualifications

Most restaurants do not require formal education to become a bar waitress, but many waitresses have a high school diploma. Restaurants also provide some training to waitresses upon hire. Restaurants expect waitresses to maintain a professional appearance and demeanour when dealing with customers. Promotional opportunities often depend on demonstrated competence in soft skills, such as communication and customer service.

Salary and Benefits

Bar waitresses, earn wages via non-exempt hourly pay. According to Salary.com, the pay range for bar waitresses ranges from £10,310 to £18,500.

About the Author

Franki Colbert has been writing professionally since 2002, focusing primarily on career development and human-resources technology issues. Her work regularly appears on Break and other websites. Colbert is a certified product manager and product-marketing manager. She also holds a certificate in project management from New York University and a Bachelor of Arts in business administration.

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