Lunchtime for a waitress in a busy restaurant in midtown Toronto can be stressful. I shadowed a seasoned waitress for just a few hours and I wouldn’t want to be in her shoes. She is responsible for a bunch of tables and works lunch and dinner services. During lunch her tables were full and after introducing herself she brought her customers water and other drinks. At this point she actually didn’t do to much and talked to me until she had to go take the customers’ orders. Then things got a bit hectic, food was flying out of the kitchen and she had to coordinate and serve so that each table was being served all at once. Obviously, she stressed the importance of having meals being served to different customers at one table within a short time. After clearing plates and filling up water for her guests that was pretty well it. She gave them the bill, used a credit card machine and thanked her customers. She counted her tips up and then I asked her some questions about her job.

She says that to be successful you have to be outgoing and make every customer feel special. As well, you need thick skin because the occasional customer can be negative and you can’t take their criticism personally. Finally, she said communication and the ability to read people is important because some customers can’t make decisions (so she suggests meals to them).

A Typical Day

The waitress I shadowed is at her restaurant during lunch and dinner.

Top 3 Perks

1 )Tips 

2) Meeting interesting people 

3) Not conventional hours which can be convenient for some


Job Culture

Busy and hectic periods followed by slow periods of work, meeting new people, on your feet, writing quickly


- No formal requirements 

- Employers prefer applicants with high school diplomas

Skills Needed

People skills, outgoing, being friendly, good memory, patience, good manners

The Field

- Jobs will always be available because people love to eat at restaurants 

- It can be tough to keep up with new menu items and new point-of-sale technology systems