Restaurant Wait Station Checklist

Everything You Need for a Well Stocked Wait Station

Restaurant waitstation check list
A well stocked waitstation makes dining service easier. Erika Wittlieb via Pixabay

I've been off the restaurant floor for many years now, but I still remember one of my biggest pet peeves as a server and as a restaurant owner - a poorly stocked wait station. Nothing was worse than going to grab a teapot and box of tea and not having any available. Making sure that your wait station (or stations) are stocked each and every shift should be part of daily sidework. Staff should not leave until they are sure all the sugars have been filled, as well the ketchup bottles filled and cleaned.

Coffee mugs and tea cups should be restocked, along with plenty of rolled silverware. A fast track to staff problems and unhappiness is not making each shift do their fair share of sidework. If you're not careful, soon the night shift will be rumbling with the day shift in the parking lot at 3pm during shift change. It's won't be pretty. 

To help you keep staff conflict to a minimum and your restaurant running smoothly, here is a checklist for a well-stocked wait station. Larger restaurants may have several wait stations, while smaller restaurants can run smoothly with just one. Depending on the layout of a restaurant, some wait stations act as dessert and salad stations, while in other restaurants the kitchen staff prepares these items.

Refrigerator- for storing desserts, salads, dressing, etc...
Salad plates (if the servers are in charge of making salads)
Dessert plates
Soup warmer (if the servers are in charge of serving soups)
Soup bowls
Soup cups
Soup spoons
Soup crackers
Soup ladles
Coffee maker
Coffee mugs
Water pitchers
Water glasses
Sugar packets
Dinner mints
Salt and pepper shakers (extras)
Sugar holders (extras)
Napkins-either paper or linen
Tablecloths or placemats
Take out boxes
Take out soup cups
Take out coffee cups
Take out flatware
Plastic or paper bags
Plastic wrap
POS system
Marker board for writing down inventory
Extra ordering pads
Serving trays
Garbage Pail
Garbage bags
Vacuum or carpet sweeper
Floor mats
Cleaning Rags
Hand soap/ sanitizer dispenser
Paper towel dispenser
Fire extinguisher - hopefully you will never have to use this!


Along with stocking items each shift, staff should be cleaning their respective areas as well. Check out my restaurant cleaning list for complete daily, weekly, monthly and yearly cleaning tasks that will make your restaurant looking as good as it did on opening day. By keeping your wait station fully stocked at every shift, in a clean environment, employees are able to do their job better, which makes them happier and leaders to improved customer service.

And this is always good for your restaurant's bottom line. 

Check 10 other ways to make your restaurant awesome