Waiters and Waitresses

AUTOMATION RISK
CALCULATED
71%
risk level
POLLING
69%
Based on 536 votes
LABOR DEMAND
GROWTH
10.3%
by year 2032
WAGES
$31,940
or $15.35 per hour
Volume
2,237,850
as of 2023
SUMMARY
JOB SCORE
3.8/10

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Automation risk

71% (High Risk)

High Risk (61-80%): Jobs in this category face a significant threat from automation, as many of their tasks can be easily automated using current or near-future technologies.

More information on what this score is, and how it is calculated is available here.

Some quite important qualities of the job are difficult to automate:

  • Social Perceptiveness

  • Assisting and Caring for Others

User poll

69% chance of full automation within the next two decades

Our visitors have voted that it's probable this occupation will be automated. This assessment is further supported by the calculated automation risk level, which estimates 71% chance of automation.

What do you think the risk of automation is?

What is the likelihood that Waiters and Waitresses will be replaced by robots or artificial intelligence within the next 20 years?






Sentiment

The following graph(s) are included wherever there is a substantial amount of votes to render meaningful data. These visual representations display user poll results over time, providing a significant indication of sentiment trends.

Sentiment over time (yearly)

Growth

Very fast growth relative to other professions

The number of 'Waiters and Waitresses' job openings is expected to rise 10.3% by 2032

Total employment, and estimated job openings

* Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the period between 2021 and 2031
Updated projections are due 09-2023.

Wages

Very low paid relative to other professions

In 2023, the median annual wage for 'Waiters and Waitresses' was $31,940, or $15 per hour

'Waiters and Waitresses' were paid 33.5% lower than the national median wage, which stood at $48,060

Wages over time

* Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics

Volume

Significantly greater range of job opportunities compared to other professions

As of 2023 there were 2,237,850 people employed as 'Waiters and Waitresses' within the United States.

This represents around 1.5% of the employed workforce across the country

Put another way, around 1 in 67 people are employed as 'Waiters and Waitresses'.

Job description

Take orders and serve food and beverages to patrons at tables in dining establishment.

SOC Code: 35-3031.00

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Comments

Leave a comment

ya (Highly likely) says
Now I start to see more robot waiters which can mean that soon, waiter jobs will be taken.
Mar 24, 2024 at 08:39 PM
youausduasdasa (Highly likely) says
because they just walk around and take order. Japan is already doing it so we should too
Oct 17, 2023 at 02:49 AM
Alisha says
AI is REALLY taking over the world!!!
SCARED for the next generation!!
Aug 31, 2023 at 11:17 PM
Ernest Onunze (Low) says
It is because it involves emotion and social understanding. Can AI interprets moods, feelings and stress this what waiters and waitress does better
Aug 01, 2023 at 03:01 AM
Gwen (Low) says
Food service workers in fast food, buffets, etc., do face a risk of replacement and you can already see it happening. Actual servers who provide full table service do not face the same risk, in my opinion.

Ultimately, going out to eat is an experience. Going through a drive-thru serves a functional purpose, you need food and you need it within minutes. Full service restaurants exist to give people somewhere to *go*. Somewhere to socialize, celebrate, grab a drink, mourn a bad day, take a load off, sit down with a good book, write a good book, get some office work done, etc., etc. It’s about experiencing human connections, even if you’re eating alone, you still have the company of your server, of the other patrons surrounding you. We crave human connection, we’re social creatures by nature, otherwise, everyone would just stay home. To-go and delivery has existed for forever and full service restaurants still stand, because the *people* are the draw.

Customers want to become regulars, they delight in their name or order being remembered, couples want a place they think of as “theirs” that they return to every year for their anniversary, they want to tell the server it’s their birthday so they can get that free piece of cake, so their waiter will wish them well or sing for them. They want someone to joke around with, to tease and be teased, to flirt, to leave their number on a receipt even though they know they won’t call. They want their baby to be cooed at and made to laugh. They want the bartender to listen to them wax poetic about their bad breakup. Speaking of bartenders, I don’t think people realize how much they keep you safe. They’ll keep an eye on your drink, put your purse behind the bar, toss out the drunken idiot harassing everyone.

And on a less positive note—people *especially* want someone to level their fury at. When their order is messed up or the food isn’t to their liking or when they have to wait too long to be seated. You can’t be mad at a robot. I mean, you can be, but I’m certain it won’t give the same satisfaction that whatever it is miserable people get out of bullying waitstaff. What I’m saying is—people crave human interaction…and that includes asking for the manager.

Maybe it would be a different story if AI could mimic human behavior, but even then, it can’t get around the uncanny valley effect. People need people.
Jun 09, 2023 at 08:22 PM
Stu says
As a customer it won’t be nearly as fun to watch a robot run after the condiments. Haha
Apr 07, 2023 at 09:42 AM
Cd Guthrie (No chance) says
Can’t anticipate guests needs and time constraints simultaneously while providing the warmth of caring
Mar 06, 2023 at 11:45 AM
Stefan Deleanu (Low) says
It is highly unlikely due to the social aspect of being a waiter. We can see this based on the effect home delivery services had on the HORECA industry. People still want social contact and not some robotic interaction.

I assume culture will change in future generations. This is similar to how there are love hotels and vending machines for everything in Japan, which wouldn't be acceptable in the Western world.
Jul 30, 2022 at 01:02 AM
Bro says
All the fast food restaurants now do this and most restaurants use seamless/Grubhub for delivery. Delivery to my table in the restaurant via my phone is next.
Dec 28, 2021 at 12:38 AM
Mitch (Highly likely) says
Low skill. Unnecessary. Humans performing the task are unpredictable and often unreliable.
Oct 08, 2021 at 07:09 AM
Karl (No chance) says
Where do servers make 11$ an hour? That's crazy low.
Aug 23, 2021 at 06:20 PM
Chloe (No chance) says
I do think robots could replace waiters at certain restaurants but not entirely. As a waitress I feel a lot of the customers are looking for a waitress not a robot or a screen to press, they’re coming to be served and for the personal interaction. Just look at places like hooters or the restaurants where the staff is paid to make crude jokes and insults to you. A robot can’t do that.
May 24, 2021 at 04:16 AM
Bruna says
Will robots also hear your romantic dramas or give you advice? Waiters' job is also about interaction
May 20, 2021 at 09:54 PM
Jeffro (Low) says
Upscale restaurant servers will always be human.
Apr 13, 2021 at 07:55 PM
Julia says
I really hope not, some waiters and waitresses are really nice
Oct 25, 2020 at 02:29 PM
austin (Uncertain) says
i certainly see fast food waiters being eliminated however "fancy" dine-in i think is less likely
Jun 11, 2020 at 02:18 AM
Noah R (No chance) says
It’s not that it can’t be done but I don’t think people would be receptive to having robot servers
Feb 20, 2020 at 06:38 PM
Abhudya (Highly likely) says
Because some hotels have already done it.
Jan 12, 2020 at 06:32 PM
Jon says
Has anyone seen Sam and Cat? Just do the same thing they did.
Nov 14, 2019 at 05:08 PM
Eilidh Muir (Low) says
People appreciate the human experience and especially in service industries.
Oct 29, 2019 at 10:14 AM
Cal says
Yeah, I don't think people who eat out at restaurants enjoy emotionless robots catering to them. I don't see waiters going anywhere for the next few decades.
Jun 29, 2021 at 01:38 PM

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