The Young Adult’s Guide to Being a Great Waiter and Waitress: Everything You Need to Know to Earn Better Tips

By: Melody Wolf

Many brave souls, whether they be part-time college students or full-time employees, will enter the restaurant business at one point in their life. In order to help you survive those doubles and rack up those tips, here are a few helpful pointers pulled straight from our book.


I’m an “old school” vet of waitressing. I started slinging hash at 14. The best advice I can give to new servers is:

  1. Don’t take it personally. Ever.
  2. Listen. “Professional eavesdropping,” as some of the older-thanme timers called it, pays off. Knowing who has what and being able to help someone else helps you.
  3. No matter what some guy says, don’t take it personally. Especially if you work in a truck stop or café environment. Odds are good that he says that to every waitress, everywhere. It’s not personal. Same as most crabby customers — they are just that way. It’s not you.
  4. Make the most of it.

I managed to travel coast to coast, attended all of my kids’ sports and events, paid for my house, and had more personal freedom waitressing then I ever would have in most other “regular” jobs. The perks far outweigh the cons. There is always someone who needs a day off to leave early, which frees up extra hours for you if you want them. It’s easy enough to swap shifts, too.


Worst restaurant experience: I was working the counter and a man stood up from eating and was dead before he hit the floor. Yes. Really. Talk about ruining a good day. The ensuing drama was pretty epic for us, too. The family of the gentleman tried to sue the restaurant stating that if we hadn’t “let” him eat bacon that day, then he would still be alive. (I’m pretty sure that was NOT the case!)

Best restaurant experience: Boy-o! There’s been so many good experiences. One of my favorites was working a truck stop in Colorado, and a driver couldn’t get home for Christmas, so we all pitched in to get him a plane ticket.

If you would like to learn more about becoming a better waiter/waitress, consider investing in our book. You can place an order here.51+jSvW8y2L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_


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