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Career and Education Opportunities for Waiters in Orlando, Florida

If you want to be a waiter, the Orlando, Florida area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. About 197,920 people are currently employed as waiters in Florida. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 17% to about 232,430 people employed. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for waiters are expected to grow by about 6.4%. In general, waiters take orders and serve food and beverages to patrons at tables in dining establishment.

A person working as a waiter can expect to earn about $8 per hour or $18,390 annually on average in Florida and about $8 hourly or $16,660 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Incomes for waiters are better than in the overall category of Service in Florida, and not quite as good as the overall Service category nationally. People working as waiters can fill a number of jobs, such as: banquet server, banquet waiter/waitress, and club waiter/waitress.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Orlando where you can study to be a waiter, among fifty schools of higher education total in the Orlando area. The most common level of education for waiters is a high school diploma or GED. It will take only a short time to learn to be a waiter if you already have a high school diploma.


Waiter video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, waiters take orders and serve food and beverages to patrons at tables in dining establishment.

Waiters check with patrons to insure that they are enjoying their meals and take action to fix any problems. They also remove dishes and glasses from tables or counters, and take them to kitchen for cleaning. Equally important, waiters have to stock service areas with supplies such as coffee and linens. They are often called upon to clean tables or counters after customers have finished dining. They are expected to fill salt and napkin containers. Finally, waiters ready hot and mixed drinks for customers, and chill bottles of wine.

Every day, waiters are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they speak clearly.

It is important for waiters to take orders from customers for food or beverages. They are often called upon to garnish and decorate dishes in preparation for serving. They also write customers' food orders on order slips or enter orders into computers for transmittal to kitchen staff. They are sometimes expected to describe and recommend wines to patrons. Somewhat less frequently, waiters are also expected to perform food preparation duties such as preparing salads and cold dishes, portioning desserts, and brewing coffee.

Waiters sometimes are asked to explain how various menu items are prepared, describing ingredients and cooking methods. and escort patrons to their tables. And finally, they sometimes have to bring wine selections to tables with appropriate glasses, and pour the wines for patrons.

Like many other jobs, waiters must have strong self control in the face of challenging situations and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Orlando include:

  • Counter Clerk. Serve food to diners at counter or from a steam table.
  • Dining Room Attendant. Facilitate food service. Clean tables, carry dirty dishes, replace soiled table linens; set tables; replenish supply of clean linens, silverware, and dishes; supply service bar with food, and serve water, butter, and coffee to patrons.
  • Food Service Aide. Perform a variety of food preparation duties other than cooking, such as preparing cold foods and shellfish, slicing meat, and brewing coffee or tea.
  • Host Coordinator. Welcome patrons, seat them at tables or in lounge, and help ensure quality of facilities and service.


Ridge Career Center - Winter Haven, FL

Ridge Career Center, 7700 State Rd 544, Winter Haven, FL 33881-9518. Ridge Career Center is a small school located in Winter Haven, Florida. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 700 students. Ridge Career Center has a one to two year program in Food Service, Waiter/Waitress, & Dining Room Management/Manager which graduated three students in 2008.


Preventing Disease Transmission: A two-hour training module for employers and employees who, while on the job, may be exposed to blood or other body fluids that could cause infection.

For more information, see the American Red Cross website.

ServSafe Alcohol: The ServSafe Alcohol program outlines effective responsible alcohol service practices for all front-of-the-house staff, including bartenders, waiters, hosts, busers, security and valets.

For more information, see the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation website.


Orlando, Florida
Orlando, Florida photo by A3RO

Orlando is situated in Orange County, Florida. It has a population of over 230,519, which has grown by 24.0% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Orlando, 91, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Orlando are valued at $217,400 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred forty-eight new homes were built in Orlando, down from six hundred twenty-two the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Orlando are accommodation and food services, health care, and educational services. For men, it is accommodation and food services, construction, and arts, entertainment, and recreation. The average travel time to work is about 25 minutes. More than 28.2% of Orlando residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Orlando is 11.1%, which is less than Florida's average of 11.3%.

The percentage of Orlando residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 40.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Church of Scientology of Orlando, Church of the Holy Spirit Episcopal and Metropolitan Community Church-Joy are some of the churches located in Orlando. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Orlando is home to the Dubsdread Country Club and the Conway Center as well as Mayor Carl Langford Park and Sunshine Park. Shopping centers in the area include Lake Conway Woods Shopping Center, Colonial Plaza Mall and Coytown Shopping Center. Visitors to Orlando can choose from Blue Nile Hotel Liquidators, Clarion Hotel Universal and Buena Vista Suites for temporary stays in the area.