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Career and Education Opportunities for Waiters in Elgin, Illinois

For those living in the Elgin, Illinois area, there are many career and education opportunities for waiters. Currently, 79,930 people work as waiters in Illinois. This is expected to grow by 16% to about 92,360 people by 2016. This is better than the national trend for waiters, which sees this job pool growing by about 6.4% over the next eight years. Waiters generally take orders and serve food and beverages to patrons at tables in dining establishment.

Waiters earn approximately $7 hourly or $16,470 yearly on average in Illinois. Nationally they average about $8 per hour or $16,660 yearly. Waiters earn less than people working in the category of Service generally in Illinois and less than people in the Service category nationally. Jobs in this field include: car hop, dining room captain, and food expeditor.

The Elgin area is home to sixty-one schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of Elgin where you can get a degree as a waiter. The most common level of education for waiters is a high school diploma or GED. You can expect to spend only a short time training to become a waiter if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Waiter

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 Elgin 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Waiter Training

College of Lake County - Grayslake, IL

College of Lake County, 19351 W Washington St., Grayslake, IL 60030-1198. College of Lake County is a large college located in Grayslake, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 16,359 students. College of Lake County has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Food Service, Waiter/Waitress, & Dining Room Management/Manager which graduated three and four students respectively in 2008.

Harper College - Palatine, IL

Harper College, 1200 W Algonquin Rd, Palatine, IL 60067-7398. Harper College is a large college located in Palatine, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,250 students. Harper College has a less than one year program in Food Service, Waiter/Waitress, & Dining Room Management/Manager which graduated seven students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

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.

LICENSES

COCKTAIL WAITRESS

Licensing agency: Illinois Gaming Board
Address: Willard Ice Building, P.O. Box 19474, Springfield, IL 62794-9474

Phone: (312) 814-4700
Website: Illinois Gaming Board

SERVER (RESTAURANT)

Licensing agency: Illinois Gaming Board
Address: Willard Ice Building, P.O. Box 19474, Springfield, IL 62794-9474

Phone: (312) 814-4700
Website: Illinois Gaming Board

LOCATION INFORMATION: Elgin, Illinois

Elgin, Illinois
Elgin, Illinois photo by James Jordan

Elgin is located in Kane County, Illinois. It has a population of over 106,330, which has grown by 12.5% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Elgin, 104, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Elgin cost $156,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred thirty-two new homes were constructed in Elgin, down from seven hundred fifty-six the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Elgin are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, metal and metal products, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average travel time to work is about 26 minutes. More than 20.5% of Elgin residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Elgin is 12.4%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Elgin residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 56.0%, is more than both the national and state average. Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Seventh Day Adventist Church and Saint Thomas More Roman Catholic Church are some of the churches located in Elgin. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Elgin is home to the Fox Bluff Corporate Center and the Elgin Fire Station Number 2 as well as Wing Park and College Park. Shopping malls in the area include Wing Park Manor Shopping Center, Tyler Creek Plaza Shopping Center and Town and Country Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Elgin can choose from Elgin-Days Inn, Colonial Lodge Motel and Crowne Plaza for temporary stays in the area.