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Waiters and Waitresses Job Outlook

Employment of waiters and waitresses is expected to grow 9 percent from 2010 to 2020, slower than the average for all occupations. Employment is expected to increase as the population expands and people continue to eat at restaurants.

However, employment will grow more slowly than in the past as people change their dining habits. The increasing popularity of takeout food and the growing number and variety of places that offer self-service or carryout options will slow the employment growth of waiters and waitresses.

In addition, technology-driven payment systems should moderate employment growth of waiters and waitresses in limited-service eating places.

Job Prospects

Job opportunities for waiters and waitresses are expected to be very good, primarily because of the large number of workers who leave the occupation.

Candidates with previous work experience and excellent customer service skills will have the best job opportunities in fine-dining and upscale restaurants. Still, they will likely face strong competition at these establishments, as potential earnings from tips are greatest and the number of job applicants far exceeds the number of job openings.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition