As a teenager in high school, this is probably one of the best jobs you could work part-time. Personally, I only worked the weekend and always made around $250 to $300 (of course it varies by area, restaurant popularity, etc.). My experience working as a waitress for a year was a roller coaster. At the beginning everything was amazing, I worked at a Thai restaurant, and of course it took me a while to learn the food, training was about two weeks long, but I had to be there every day for eight hours (I started over summer break). And after training you never stop learning: How to serve, what to look for, customer service, and how to handle specific situations and customers. When I started off I was shy, but I knew I had a job to do, so it is very important to always be loud and clear when taking orders. How this restaurant functioned is that all the waiters get half the tips on every table, so all the waiters don't just concentrate on one section, they do what has to be done. Communication is a big part, letting your fellow coworkers know what tables were attended to, what they got, and what needs to be done helps ensure a great job is done, increase productivity, and most of all it helps the customers have the best dining experience; for example, letting your other fellow waiters know about tables you checked helps ensure they don't check them again in such a short time frame, thus preventing the customers from being annoyed (this is referring to how the specific restaurant I worked in functioned). Working as a waitress, in my opinion, is one of the best jobs that provide quality customer service experience—take it as if everyone that walks in through that door is literally your boss, they are paying you.
Now for the cons of waitressing. These are my opinions and experiences. At the end of my waitressing job, everything was different. I saw the way I handled customers was more blindly than personally, to me they were just another person. The reason I quit working as a waitress is that I was having nightmares and dreaded going into work because of those nightmares. My nightmares were more than real. The restaurant I worked at had two waiters working all day, except for on the weekend when it was four, and it wasn't a little restaurant, but a good size with three different sections. Often it was a full house, and the pressure to work fast and not screw up was big. Besides waitressing, I had to answer phone calls, serve, sit, and clean tables in the morning aside from other little things, so my mind raced constantly, whether to serve a tables appetizer first before another tables entrees all while the phone is ringing and there's food to be packed. I had to calculate what I could do and had to do it in an instant. While all of this would go on… in would sometimes walk a table of 30 or more people. This would eliminate a waiter from helping out in the restaurant because it usually took a long time just to get them drinks. This was my biggest nightmare, a table of 40 people walking in WITHOUT a reservation, all separate checks and vegetarian so all the food had to be input into the computer in a special manner. Many times this did happen, that is how I started having those nightmares. To me attending to those big tables was not worth it because often when they where separate checks they wouldn't tip as good individually, maybe three or six dollars each—if any tip at all.
There are so many experiences to encounter working as a waiter, and the money I made was good. I am grateful for my time working in that restaurant, but I can say that it was my time to quit.