National Waitstaff Day in the United States Date in the current year: May 21, 2024

National Waitstaff Day in the United States National Waitstaff Day, also known as National Waiters and Waitresses Day, is celebrated annually on May 21. It was created to recognize the hard work and dedication of servers, baristas, bartenders, and other waitstaff who are often overworked and underpaid.

Waitstaff have existed for as long as public eating establishments have been around, i. e. for thousands of years (the first mention of an establishment similar to a restaurant dates back to 512 BC). The term refers to employees who attend to customers and supply them with food and drink as requested.

It is waiters and waitresses who make sure the tables are set, walk you through the menu, bring you food and drinks making sure that they arrive in the right order, keep your glasses full, and do a million other things to ensure that you have a nice dining experience.

Waiting on tables is one of the most common occupations in the United States. According to statistics, there were over half a million eating and drinking places operating throughout the United States prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, which employed over 2 million people, nearly 70% of whom were women.

Waiting has a number of benefits such the ability to work part-time and a flexible work schedule, which makes it appealing to students, people who work more than one job, and parents who have no childcare options. However, the profession is also physically and emotionally demanding as waitstaff have to spend hours on their feet, carry heavy trays, and deal with difficult customers, and do it all while looking friendly and cheerful.

Despite waiting being a very demanding job, it is low-paid. In many U. S. states, waitstaff are paid below minimum wage for most other forms of labor and have to rely on tips to be able to make a decent living. Due to this, tipping is common in the United States; although it is voluntary, a gratuity of 15%-20% of the bill, depending on the type of establishment and the quality of service, is typically expected even for mediocre service.

National Waitstaff Day was created to raise awareness of the challenges waitstaff face and recognize their hard work. It is the holiday for patrons to pay respect to people who make their dining experiences pleasant, as well as for establishment owners and managers to recognize their employees who are crucial for the success of restaurants, cafes, diners, bars, and coffee shops.

The best way to observe National Waitstaff Day is to go out to your favorite restaurant and leave a little extra tip after the meal — your server will definitely appreciate it. It doesn’t matter whether you visit a local dining establishment or a chain restaurant because waitstaff deserve recognition and gratitude regardless of where they work.

It also won’t hurt to compliment your server to let them know you appreciated their work, leave the establishment a positive review mentioning the waitstaff (of course, if you were really satisfied with the service) and spread the word about the holiday on social media using the hashtag #NationalWaitstaffDay.

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National Waitstaff Day in the United States, National Waiters and Waitresses Day, professional holidays, unofficial holidays