“From being a waiter, to a door-to-door salesman, to a car-washer, to a delivery boy – I have done it all.”
Randeep Hooda, Actor
Pros and Cons of Being a Waiter
Many people think about working as a waiter right now. Even though a job as a waiter has many advantages, there are still some downsides to this profession.
Thus, make sure to read all the pros and cons of being a waiter in this article so that you can get a better picture of the job before signing the contract.
Advantages of Being a Waiter
- Waiters can work with people
- You can earn decent tips
- Good option as second job
- Waiters are usually fit
- Especially profitable on holidays
- You can save time and money for the gym
- Time flies as a waiter
- Waiters learn how to deal with difficult people
- You don’t have to work in an office job
- Waiters are flexible regarding where they want to work
- You don’t have to be available once you leave work
- Waiters may be able to exchange shifts
- You can get discounts on food
- Low barriers to entry
Waiters can work with people
One important advantage of being a waiter is that you can work with many different people. In fact, if you love talking to your guests and want to discuss the latest topics, chances are that you will always find somebody who is willing to do that for you.
Moreover, you will also always meet new people and talking to those people will shape you in various different forms since you will always learn new things about the behavior of people and life in general.
You can earn decent tips
While the base salary of waiters is not that great, waiters can still earn pretty decent tips. Especially if you work at a bar, you can make significant amounts of money from tips.
Of course, the better you look, the more money will you make on average. This is just the nature of the game. Hence, make sure that you dress up before starting your shift as a waiter.
Good option as second job
Another benefit of being a waiter is that you can work part-time. In fact, there are not many waiters who are employed full-time and the majority of waiters only work part-time shifts.
Thus, especially if you are a student or need a second job to finance your lifestyle, becoming a waiter can be great in this regard since you can often work in the evening after you finished school or your other main job.
Waiters are usually fit
Since you will have to walk quite a lot from table to table during your shift, waiters are usually quite fit. This also implies that many waiters don’t suffer from overweight or obesity like people in many other jobs generally do. Consequently, by becoming a waiter, you may also stay in much better shape compared to other professions.
This will not only make you more attractive in the dating market, but it can also help you with staying healthy since fitness and health are strongly correlated.
Especially profitable on holidays
Although working on holidays can be annoying, waiters can still make really good money during those times of the year. Especially on Christmas and Easter, many families want to go out to restaurants and enjoy a good meal.
Since your income will greatly depend on tips and your tips are strongly dependent on the number of guests you are serving, you will generally make the most money during major holidays as a waiter.
You can save time and money for the gym
Since you will exercise quite a lot during work, there will be no need to go to the gym after work anymore. In most other jobs, people feel the need to exercise after work since they feel stressed and also haven’t got enough movement during their workday.
This means that those people often go to the gym in the evening, which does not only cost money, but also plenty of time that waiters are able to spend in a more fun manner.
Time flies as a waiter
Since you will have so much to do as a waiter, you will often be surprised by how fast your shift will go by. In fact, many waiters report that time flies when they do their work.
Consequently, if you want your work to be over as soon as possible, becoming a waiter may also help you in this regard since the perceived time you will spend at work will be rather short.
Waiters learn how to deal with difficult people
Another upside of becoming a waiter is that you will also learn how to deal with difficult people. While it is often not fun to deal with people who find something to complain about all day long, it can still make you more resistant. It also teaches you how to deal with those people and this is quite an important skill to learn.
In fact, in many industries, you will have to work with difficult people from time to time and therefore, learning to deal with those situations can not only benefit you as a waiter, but it can also greatly help you for your future career.
You don’t have to work in an office job
By becoming a waiter, you also don’t have to work in an office job. While some people like office jobs, many people hate them since they feel kind of isolated from the rest of the work when working in an office tower all day long.
Moreover, many people also hate sitting in front of a computer every day. As a waiter, you have to do none of those things since your main task will be to serve food to people and to make them happy.
Waiters are flexible regarding where they want to work
Especially if you live in an urban area, you will have a high level of freedom regarding where you want to work. In fact, there will be so many different bars and restaurants in your neighborhood and if the working conditions in one restaurant are quite bad, you can just apply for a job in another venue and can find a new job pretty soon.
You don’t have to be available once you leave work
Another advantage of becoming a waiter is that you also don’t have to be available after you left the workplace. In many other jobs, it is quite common that employees stay available for calls or other tasks even when they have already left the office.
This can be quite annoying since you will not be able to unplug from work and you may also have to do some extra work in the evening on a regular basis.
As a waiter, you can just leave the restaurant or the bar and go home free of any labor that might still wait for you.
Waiters may be able to exchange shifts
As a waiter, you will also be rather flexible regarding when you want to work. For instance, if you have an important family event in a few weeks, you can inform your boss and he or she will usually allow you to change shifts so that you can participate in your family event.
You can get discounts on food
Most waiters also get discounts on food or are even allowed to take home food for free. While the salary of waiters is usually rather low, this can be regarded as additional payment since you will not have to spend plenty of money on food.
Especially if you really like the food in your restaurant, this can be a significant advantage compared to other jobs.
Low barriers to entry
In general, there are no high education requirements for becoming a waiter. It is often enough to be friendly to your guests and to be able to calculate properly.
Thus, almost everyone can become a waiter and if you currently suffer from low levels of education and don’t get any advanced jobs, becoming a waiter can be a first step out of your misery.
Disadvantages of Being a Server
- Overall salary is not great as a waiter
- Being a waiter implies dealing with difficult guests
- Waiters often have to work on holidays
- You may have to work at nighttime
- Shifts can be exhausting
- Being a server can also be mentally challenging
- Waiters often have to work on weekends
- You may get stuck in this profession
- Waiters often have to worry about money
- Your colleagues may be lazy
- Waiters only have a low fixed income
- Waiters are replaceable
- Many waiters quit after a while
- Most waiters don’t get any benefits
Overall salary is not great as a waiter
Apart from the many advantages of working as a waiter, there are still some downsides related to it. For instance, one problem with becoming a waiter is that the overall salary is not great at all. Sure, waiters can earn decent money from tips. However, if you have a look at your total income at the end of the month, you will often be quite disappointed.
One thing is for sure: Becoming a waiter is not suitable in case you want to get rich and if you aspire to plenty of financial wealth, you will be far better off looking for other jobs that pay much better.
Being a waiter implies dealing with difficult guests
Another disadvantage of being a waiter is that you will also often have to deal with difficult people. While most people will be friendly, others will do everything to annoy you since they will simply be in a bad mood and need a scapegoat to release pressure.
Consequently, working as a waiter is not always fun and if you are the type of person who takes those things too personally, chances are that you will not become happy in this profession.
Waiters often have to work on holidays
While you can earn really good money as a waitress or waiter during on holidays, it can also be really annoying since you will not be able to meet up with your family during those times of the year.
Imagine it is Christmas and you will not be able to spend it with your family since you will have to work. Especially if you have children, this can be quite sad and your children will likely even resent you for this.
You may have to work at nighttime
It is also quite common for waiters to work in the evening. If you work at a bar, you will often also have to work during nighttime. While some people like to do night shifts, most people hate it since it affects our sleeping rhythm and sleeping problems are rather common due to that.
Therefore, if good sleep is really important to you, working as a waiter may also not be the right way to go for you in this regard.
Shifts can be exhausting
Many people also underestimate how exhausting the job as a waiter really is. In fact, after you finish your shift, you will often feel quite tired since you walked so much. Hence, make sure that you are willing to do plenty of physical work before deciding for becoming a waiter.
Being a server can also be mentally challenging
Being a waiter is not only physically exhausting, it can also be mentally challenging. Especially if you work in a large restaurant, you need pretty good coordination skills.
In fact, multitasking will be urgently necessary since you will have many guests at the same time and have to make sure that everyone is served.
Consequently, your brain will also feel tired after finishing your shift as a waiter and you should not underestimate the mental component of the game.
Waiters often have to work on weekends
For waiters, it is also quite common to work on weekends. In fact, it is just part of the job and if you are not willing to work on Saturday and Sunday, a job as a waiter is just not suitable for you at all.
This is also the reason why many people quit their job as a waiter once they have kids since they rather want to spend their weekends with their families instead of having to serve food and drinks.
You may get stuck in this profession
Many people also only plan to work as a waiter to finance their education so that they can move on to more exciting jobs. However, since they only earn quite limited amounts of money, many waiters get stuck in their job since it will take them quite long to save money.
Consequently, if your plan is to work part-time to finance your degree or other things you urgently need, make sure that you find the exit pretty soon. Otherwise, you might get lazy and stay a waiter forever.
Waiters often have to worry about money
Worrying about money is an issue that is quite common among waiters. Especially in big cities, rents are increasing at rapid speeds while salaries for waiters simply don’t keep up with this development. In turn, many waiters are no longer able to afford rent and have to sleep in their cars.
Your colleagues may be lazy
Another issue with being a waitress is that your colleagues may be lazy. If you have colleagues who are just waiting until their shift will be over and are not motivated at all, you will often have to help them out, which can lead to additional stress for you. In turn, chances are that you will become quite annoyed over time.
Waiters only have a low fixed income
It is no secret that waiters often have a pretty low base salary and earn most of their money through tips. However, this can be quite problematic since the variable tip component will be significant.
Imagine you work in a bar or a restaurant that only has a few guests per day. In such a case, you will not be able to make enough tips to cover your expenses.
Hence, it is crucial that you choose a well-managed location as a waiter since only then will you be able to make good money from your profession.
Waiters are replaceable
In general, since educational requirements are so low, waiters are easily replaceable. This also implies that job security almost doesn’t exist for waiters. Thus, if you search for job security in the long run, becoming a waiter will also be problematic in this regard.
Many waiters quit after a while
There is also a high fluctuation when it comes to working as a waiter. Many people quit after a rather short period of time due to the rather unattractive overall working conditions.
Most waiters don’t get any benefits
Most waiters also don’t get any additional benefits. If waiters get sick and are not able to work, they often just don’t get paid. Consequently, you will also not be financially safe in case you suffer from serious health issues in the future.
Top 10 Being a Waiter Pros & Cons – Summary List
|Being a Waiter Pros||Being a Waiter Cons|
|Being a waiter can help you socialize||Being a waiter can be mentally challenging|
|Waiters can earn decent tips||Waiters are often exhausted after their shifts|
|You learn how to deal with difficult guests||Low base salary is a problem|
|Time flies during your shift||Waiters often have financial problems|
|Discounts on food are quite common||You will have to deal with difficult people|
|You can change your shift||Your colleagues may be lazy|
|No higher education required||Waiters have to work on holidays|
|You can work in many different places||Waiters have to work on weekends|
|You can avoid working in an office job||Night shifts are rather common|
|Waiters stay fit||Waiters are replaceable|
Should You Work As A Waiter?
As we have seen before, there are numerous advantages and disadvantages of becoming a waiter. You have to decide for yourself whether a career as a waiter is suitable for you or if you rather want to search for other jobs instead.
If you are really ambitious, you may also want to check out my pros and cons of becoming a doctor.
About the author
My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people of all ages about our environmental problems and how everyone can make a contribution to mitigate these issues.
As I went to university and got my Master’s degree in Economics, I did plenty of research in the field of Development Economics.
After finishing university, I traveled around the world. From this time on, I wanted to make a contribution to ensure a livable future for the next generations in every part of our beautiful planet.
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