Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Waiters' duties include preparing tables for a meal, taking customers' orders and serving drinks and food in a restaurant. Depending on the type of restaurant, this may involve other uncommon duties, such as singing a birthday song to customers who are celebrating a birthday. A Wild West-themed restaurant may even require waiters to line dance.
The head waiter is a dining room attendant who is in charge of the staff of waiters, and is also responsible for assigning seating. This person can also be referred to as the maître d'hôtel.
In the United States and other Western countries, it is traditional to tip a waiter after a meal. Waiters often are paid the minimum wage legally required as a result of the increased income received due to tipping. Presently, however, tipping is used to offset this deficiency. Where tipping is customary, a tip of 15-20% of the total bill is standard, with customers leaving more or less depending on their satisfaction with the service. It is considered quite rude to not leave a tip (known as "stiffing" the waiter), except in the most egregious violations of customer service by the waiter.
In contrast to this practice, waiters in many East Asian countries refuse tips, where they are sometimes considered an insult. Many cultures in the region believe that leaving a tip implies that the waiter is not being paid enough by his or her employer.
Waiters in fiction and film
- William Somerset Maugham: Of Human Bondage
- James M. Cain: Mildred Pierce
- Terrence McNally: Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune (filmed as Frankie and Johnny)
- Garçon! (Claude Sautet; France, 1983)
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