Restaurant Waitstaff

Waitstaff are generally considered to be those restaurant employees who attend to customers’ requests for food and drink in exchange for a salary and a potential tip. People eat many of their meals in restaurants, and almost all restaurants employ waitstaff in one form or another. This entry focuses briefly on the history and demography of waitstaff and the nature of this kind of employment, including conditions of the work, rewards and issues related to tipping, and relationships with others, including customers, cooks, other waitstaff, and the public in general.


Waitstaff appeared with the earliest food service establishments, although the nature of this work changed as food service evolved. By the late 19th century in the United States, waitstaff not only took orders and delivered those ...

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