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Server Job Description: Top Duties and Requirements

A Server, or Waitstaff, serves food and drinks to patrons at a coffee shop, restaurant, cafe, bar, club, tavern, or special event, making sure they have a relaxing, fun experience. Their duties include taking orders from customers, answering questions about menu options, and taking payments.

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Server duties and responsibilities

Servers encourage guests to make additional purchases, help resolve conflicts with customers, and let Cooks and other kitchen staff know about new orders. Duties and responsibilities in a Server job description may include:

  • Checking on customers often and suggesting additional items like appetizers and desserts
  • Taking orders for new visitors quickly
  • Writing or printing bills, explaining them to customers, and collecting payments
  • Throwing away expired ingredients and condiments
  • Troubleshooting equipment issues and telling management when repairs are needed
  • Emptying trash, mopping floors, and taking care of other routine tasks when needed
  • Making sure that orders are accurate before bringing them to customers
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Server Job Description Examples:

What does a Server do?

Servers often bring food to customers’ tables, make drinks, clear and clean tables for new customers, and package to-go orders. They also keep track of supply inventories, let management know when to order to-go boxes, condiments, cleaners, and other items, and restock supplies.

Good Servers get to know regular visitors and remember their orders. They have friendly conversations with customers and offer suggestions if people aren’t sure which menu items to choose. They also serve customers quickly and help businesses run smoothly. Many Servers operate ice cream dispensers, coffeemakers, cash registers, blenders, and other equipment. Many Servers work part-time, but some work full-time. More experienced Servers sometimes train new employees.

Server skills and qualifications

Successful Servers have friendly, outgoing personalities, and they can be polite and professional while making dining relaxing and convenient. Servers must be willing to stand and walk for long periods of time and do physical work like moving boxes. They also need to balance trays or plates with hot or cold food and drinks and avoid spills. Some of the top skills and qualifications for Servers include:

  • Outstanding customer service skills
  • Good written and verbal communication skills
  • Knowledge of basic math
  • Understanding of food safety and how viruses and bacteria can spread
  • Familiarity with local food safety regulations and other laws
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills

Server experience requirements

Servers may not have previous experience, but candidates need to be familiar with tasks like cleaning tables and making coffee or tea. Some Servers may have experience as a Server, Waitstaff, Host, Crew Member, or Cashier.

Server education and training requirements

Server candidates should generally have a secondary school diploma, but it is also acceptable to consider candidates that are still completing their education. In some provinces, candidates can complete a one- or two-year apprenticeship and receive certification as a server. However, this is not necessary by law. If your establishment serves alcohol, candidates should have a beverage service certification. In Ontario, Server candidates can earn the SmartServe certification, while Serve Responsible is available in Newfoundland and Labrador. For establishments in Manitoba, candidates should have the Smart Choice certification.

Server salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average pay rate for a Server in Canada is $14.05 per hour. Individual pay levels vary depending on experience, education and skill levels, the company, and the location.

Job description samples for similar positions

If a Server isn’t exactly what your business is looking for, some similar job description samples include:

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Server job description FAQs

What is a typical day like for a Server?

Some Servers can work during breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Some serve people in bars or other establishments that are open 24 hours per day. Servers often make sure that tables have condiments and silverware, and they can set up and remove outdoor awnings, chairs, and tables. Many places require uniforms, specific dress codes, or name tags for Servers. Some Servers work with little notice to handle unexpected busy periods or cover for other employees who need a day off.

Job Description Examples

Need help writing a job description for a specific role? Use these job description examples to create your next great job posting. Or if you’re ready to hire, post your job on Indeed.

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