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Waiter job in New Zealand

New Zealand’s restaurant industry is booming. As a waiter, you will have many opportunities to enter one of the country’s top dining establishments. However, the competition will be tight. Only waiters with proven excellence, competence and professionalism. If you want to win in the best restaurants, you must prepare yourself to be the chosen candidate now. Grow your experience, hone your skills and build your reputation as the best in the industry for the next decade.

Advantages of working as a waiter in New Zealand

As a waiter in New Zealand, you have the opportunity to work in a fast-paced industry with many benefits.

  • Strong job growth –  New Zealand’s restaurant scene is growing rapidly. The government estimates that the number of jobs for waiters and waitresses will grow by more than 5% between 2020 and 2025. This means many new jobs and careers.
  • Competitive salary –  Waiters in New Zealand earn an average of over NZ$42,000 per year. Experienced waiters in high-end restaurants, especially in big cities like Auckland and Wellington, can earn significantly more in tips and wages.
  • Flexible working hours –  Waitress schedules often include evenings, weekends and holidays. Although the working hours can be long, it allows flexibility to pursue other interests in your spare time or take long vacations during the off-season.
  • Possibility of advancement –  With experience, waiters can advance to higher positions, such as head waiter or dining room supervisor. Some experienced waiters open their own restaurants.
  • Fun, social work – Many people find the opportunity to communicate with clients and colleagues and to be part of a fast-paced work environment attractive. Waiters meet many interesting people and can develop a loyal customer base. The job offers opportunities for mental stimulation and creativity, ensuring great dining experiences.

The Cons of working as that You Should Be Aware Of

You need to set realistic expectations about the potential downsides of the role.

  • The hours are often long, physically demanding and require you to work on weekends and holidays.
  • You are often on your feet for 8-12 hours straight, constantly walking between tables, carrying heavy trays and navigating crowded places. Late nights and irregular schedules can make it difficult to maintain a regular routine or have a social life outside of work.
  • The job also typically offers little job security or benefits. As a waiter, you are very replaceable and can be let go at any time and for any reason.
  • The income can be high with tips, it can also vary greatly from week to week depending on the level of business, the economy and the generosity of customers.
  • When you go into a job with realistic expectations of both rewards and challenges, you’ll be better prepared to succeed and excel as a top waiter.

Waiter Salaries at Top Restaurants

According to recent industry reports and jobs, waiters in top restaurants in major cities like Auckland and Wellington can earn:

$55,000 to $85,000 per year

The average waiter salary in New Zealand’s top restaurants in 2033 is between $55,000 and $85,000 per year. Waiters with 3-5 years of experience in established restaurants are at the top of this range, while beginners can still earn handsomely. Salaries vary according to the restaurant’s reputation and revenue.

Lucrative bonus and incentive programs

Many high-end restaurants offer waiters the opportunity to earn additional compensation through tip-sharing, revenue-sharing and performance-based bonuses

Requirements and Qualifications for Waiter Roles

To land a top waiter role at a prestigious New Zealand restaurant, you will need to demonstrate certain key requirements and qualifications.

Relevant Work Experience

Having at least 2-3 years of experience waiting tables in a full-service restaurant is typically required.

Knowledge of Food

Waiters at high-end restaurants need extensive knowledge of cuisine, ingredients, to provide excellent service. Study the menu of the restaurant you’re applying to understand the dishes and be ready to describe and recommend options to guests.


Soft Skills

Strong soft skills are essential for providing a great dining experience. These include:

  • Communication: Explaining the menu, taking orders, and checking in on guests in a friendly, engaging manner.
  • Patience: Waiting tables can be demanding. Maintain a calm, courteous demeanor even when busy or dealing with difficult customers.
  • Problem-solving: Anticipate guests’ needs and handle any issues, mistakes or complaints promptly and professionally.
  • Physical ability: Waiters spend long shifts walking, standing and carrying heavy trays. You must be physically fit and able to maneuver in tight spaces.
  • Presentation: Waiters are essentially part of the ambiance. Maintain a polished, well-groomed appearance and dress in formal business or all-black attire as required.
  • Adaptability: Fine dining environments can be fast-paced with last-minute changes. Be willing to adapt to different roles, cover for co-workers and ensure high standards are met during busy periods or staff shortages.

Typical Duties and Responsibilities of Waiters in New Zealand

As a waiter in New Zealand, you will have certain typical duties and responsibilities to perform. These include:

Greeting and Seating Customers

  • Politely greet customers as they enter the restaurant.
  • Escort them to their table and present menus.
  • Describe any specials or make recommendations if asked.

Taking Orders

  • Return to the table, answer any questions about the menu, and take the customers’ orders.
  • Double check orders to ensure accuracy before submitting them to the kitchen.

Serving Food and Beverages

  • Deliver meals, drinks, and any extras requested by the customers in a timely manner.
  • Check back periodically to see if customers need anything else like refills, condiments, or the bill.

Clearing Tables

  • Remove used plates, glasses, and cutlery once customers have finished their meals.
  • Ask if they will be having any dessert or after-dinner drinks.
  • Present the check when requested and process any payments.

General Responsibilities

  • Maintain a professional appearance with proper hygiene and dress code.
  • Stay up to date with the menu and any daily specials.
  • Provide friendly, helpful, and efficient service to all customers.
  • Work as part of a team with kitchen staff, bartenders, hosts, and managers.
  • Complete side work like rolling cutlery, refilling condiments, and cleaning.

Job Requirement



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