Everything you need to know before becoming a server

Becoming a server is honestly one of the most enjoyable things you can do, seriously. You meet so many amazing people, make some great tips and learn a lot. In fact, the year or so I spent serving in New York was probably the best year of my life. However, there are certain things you should know before jumping into life as a server. 

If you’ve never served before, here are a few things you need to know before tying that apron around your waist…

Tips are your income

In the service industry, hourly wages aren’t a thing, meaning your entire income will be based on the kind of tips you earn. Your paystub will identify a $2.50 per hour rate, but that’s entirely taxed, so tipping is the key. This of course means that the amount you earn is never really guaranteed, meaning some days you’ll make a lot more than others, so prepare accordingly for that! 

Be a people person

Working as a server means you will come across all kinds of people – the good, the bad and the ugly. Be prepared. In a business where you have to work for a tip that is not guaranteed, your attitude can determine the money you make. So, even if someone is a total pain, smile and nod. It’ll be worth it!


Being a server means that you will be on your feet for hours, running around. Do not underestimate the importance of a comfortable pair of shoes. Invest in a pair that you feel have support (for your back) and that you could happily be in for 6-8 hours at time. 

It’s far from a 9-5

This sort of goes without saying, but if you want to work as a server, you will need to be prepared for the hours. There are early morning breakfast shifts, mid afternoon lunch shifts, and dinner shifts that can go on into the early hours of the morning in some places. Also, you will probably work most weekends too, as these are the busiest times. Which is a good thing for your bank account, but maybe not so good for your social life.

The POS will be your best friend

The restaurant POS system is basically the gateway to placing and fulfilling guests’ orders. Whether your restaurant runs on a cloud-based POS or a legacy POS, it’s important that you know how to use the system quickly, efficiently, and without error. 

And lastly, you’re going to have SO much fun

Seriously, enjoy every second of it. There will always be stressful days and tricky situations, but the fun you’ll have and the friends you’ll meet will make it all worth it! 

If you are looking for a server job, be sure to head over to our job board now for exciting opportunities in the industry.

By Rebecca O’Keeffe, Content Manager at Jobbio