Finding a job that gives you the flexibility you need to make it to class on time and get your school work done is challenging in and of itself. Add getting paid enough to cover tuition and/or living expenses, groceries, and still have a little fun money left over, well that’s near impossible…unless you land a job as a server.

Serving tables is a great way to make some extra cash while you’re in college. Plus, you can learn some important business skills that will be an asset when you graduate and move on to a job in your field (or another job in the restaurant industry). Here are some things you need to know about serving tables for tuition so you can make the most of your time in the restaurant industry.


A tough thing about being a college student is that your schedule changes every few months. If you’re really concerned about finding a place to work in between your schedule from semester to semester, consider looking at 24/7 dining establishments.

These are great because they need employees at all hours of the day, so it’s easy to work around a class schedule.

Another perk of the 24/7 restaurants is that they’re few and far between and a hot commodity on college campuses, so you’ll be busy for the majority of your shift.

Living off tips ?

We’ve all heard horror stories of large tables that barely leave a tip after taking up a couple hours of a server’s time. While there’s no guarantee that you won’t experience this type of behavior, know that customers who stiff their servers are not the norm.

According to an article in the Atlantic, while the median tip amount varies based on location and gender, on average servers make between $7 and $13 per hour in tips.

Get to know your customers ?

Get to know your customers, especially your regulars. Working in the restaurant industry is a fantastic way to network, even though that’s rarely talked about.

Think about it: people from all walks of life go out to eat, which means you’ll have the chance to rub elbows with those who work in all types of industries.

You might make a connection with someone in the field in which you’ll someday work.

Secondly, you may make a great friend or even meet your future husband or wife while serving. Especially in college when you may have fewer close by friends than in the past, working in a restaurant is a great place to meet new people!

Fine-tune your people skills ?

You may think you understand people, but working in a restaurant is one of the best ways to interact with people from all walks of life. You’ll be serving the most polite and generous people along with the rudest (and cheapest). And you’ll have to do it all with a smile on your face and in a calm tone of voice.

During those rough shifts, keep in mind that all of this interpersonal experience will help you in your future career. It’s inevitable that you’ll work with a wide variety of clients, co-workers and managers, and being able to handle their personalities and quirks will lead to higher job satisfaction and make you an invaluable asset.

It could pan out to a career you love ?

You may not have dreamt of being a server as a little kid, but there are a lot of great career options within the restaurant industry. From Marketing to Management, a graduate degree combined with restaurant experience can turn into a lucrative, long-term career.

Keep an open mind and it may lead to something extraordinary.

When you can, take on extra responsibilities. You might end up with a promotion, which would mean extra cash in your pocket along with a new world of career opportunities available after graduation!

Working in a restaurant can be a lot of fun, especially if you like your co-workers and are able to work around your school schedule. Along with making enough money to cover your tuition, living expenses, and/or entertainment, you’ll be gaining valuable career skills that will help you after you graduate.

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