What Are the Duties of Waiting Staff?

Updated April 17, 2017

Waiting staff are typically employed at restaurants and banquet centres. Their primary responsibility is to aid in making a customer's experience as pleasant as possible. They do this by doing much more than simply taking food orders and carrying meals to a table. They provide the public face of any food service establishment and ultimately help determine the likelihood of return business.


Waiting staff are typically responsible for making sure that dining or reception areas are ready to receive patrons. This means ensuring cleanliness, laying out napkins and serving utensils, arranging tables and keeping condiments stocked. Waiting staff may also greet clients or escort them to their table or party.

Familiarity With Products

Waiting staff should be knowledgeable about menu or dining options and keep themselves apprised of all changes or new featured items. Waiting staff may suggest or recommend certain entrees or house specials. They may also provide menus and make drink recommendations.

Customer Service

The waiting staff must ensure that patrons are supplied everything they require throughout their experience. This includes refilling beverages and replenishing food items. Waiting staff also provide dessert options and remove dishes or utensils that are no longer needed.


Waiting staff may also assist in other functions as needed, such as cleaning or assisting with special events. They may accept payment for food and services rendered. Waiting staff is also responsible for serving as an intermediary between customers and cooking staff.

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About the Author

Erik Miley is a graduate of Pennsylvania College of Art & Design where he obtained a Bachelor of Fine Art. He maintains a studio at his home in Falmouth, Pa. He has had several poems, articles and art reviews appear in various local publications, including his college newspaper 'The Easel', eHow, and the Tulane Review.