What is the Difference Between a Food Server and a Waitress?

The difference between a server and a waiter is often based solely on the gender of the term. While waiter is always combined with waitress, server is a genderless term that can refer to any gender. In some states, even countries, a server is a gender-neutral term, referring to the person waiting for you in a restaurant. In this case, it can be both male and female and has no particular impact on business policy. Although most people assume that a waiter and a waitress are the same thing, there's actually a big difference between the two.

While a waiter, as the term suggests, “serves customers”, waiters, on the other hand, are much like “assistants”. They are there to answer customer inquiries and guide them about food. In addition, they are also responsible for taking orders and waiting while the customer makes dietary decisions. Let's take the discussion a little further and try to explain the differences between the server and the waiter in more detail. Both the hostess and the waitress are very important roles for customers in a restaurant.

However, when it comes to interacting with users, there is a distinct difference between the host and the server. The hostess is primarily responsible for greeting guests and ensuring a quality experience, while the waitress is the key person during the customer's meal. Formal education is not required for either position, although effective communication skills and high stress tolerance are essential. To understand all this better, we need to take a closer look at linguistics. Linguists refer to words as marked or unmarked.

Unmarked words are the normal or basic versions of words. Just like we used to call waitresses waitresses, we also said actress and hostess. It seems harmless to many people. After all, a waiter is a male waiter. A woman wouldn't want to be called a man, right? Well, there's more to it than that. You are also paid an hourly wage in most cases, although some food establishments share tips with all staff.

Waiters don't have customers; they have guests because every person who sits in their section should be treated as if they were a guest in someone's house. In this case, the waiter must have information about special offers, offer wine recommendations and try to offer desserts or hot drinks. While waiters must move food from trays to dining tables, they must have good manners. The main function of a waitress is to greet customers at their table, take orders, bring food and drink, periodically check their satisfaction and offer a pleasant and quality gastronomic experience. Hostesses can earn higher salaries in luxury restaurants where they must prepare the foundation for guest experience as explained on How to Be a Good Server website. The word waiter was widely adopted in restaurants for reasons outlined above; perhaps out of confusion or perhaps because people could not avoid associating waiter with man.

For example, in some restaurants, a waiter may be the person who takes care of food and brings it to the table while the waiter is the person who waits for customer needs. In most states they mean the same thing; however some cultures and nationalities have adopted particular sets of rules that differentiate between waiters and waitresses. In retrospect this doesn't make much sense since server can be considered somewhat different but many of these language changes occur without public really understanding why they are happening.

Estella Gentges
Estella Gentges

Award-winning bacon trailblazer. Total internet nerd. Certified internet advocate. Devoted social mediaholic. Lifelong baconaholic.