A waiting station is an often overlooked but essential feature of every restaurant. It’s where waiting staff can get crockery, condiments, cutlery, napkins, milk jugs and cups without having to go back and forth to the kitchen. However, it’s so important to keep it stocked up. Read on to find out what you really need to have at your waiting station.

Image Credit

Hand sanitiser dispenser

A hand sanitiser dispenser, like those you see in hospitals, is essential, although it’s even better, if you have the space and the plumbing, to install a hand-washing sink. Serving staff should try to wash their hands regularly, as they are likely to be touching the plates and cutlery that customers eat from, as well as money and the dirty plates they clear away.


It sounds obvious, but there’s nothing more frustrating than running out of cutlery at the waiting station. Make sure your have a container with large spaces for each type of cutlery (Including dessert, soup and tea spoons as well as steak knives). Staff won’t know something is running low if all the cutlery is thrown into one tray together.

Image Credit


Napkins and straws are easy to refill, but it’s still important that they’re in place. Keep unopened packets of both shut away in the cupboard beneath, and if some are taken out to restock the surface supply, make sure you restock the cupboard at the end of each shift.


Salt, pepper, ketchup, sugar – have as much as you can stocked up at the waiting station, and have spare salt and pepper shakers, pre-filled, in the cupboard space. Staff can simply take a full one out when needed and refill the empty one later.

Shift changes

Making sure staff restock a waiting station after their shift as well as checking it before their shift will make things run more smoothly in the restaurant.

Every piece of equipment in a restaurant is important, from your grill to your kettle, and as you can see, a well stocked waiting station. Bigger equipment like cold rooms, such as these examples from https://www.fridgefreezerdirect.co.uk/cold-rooms, are essential for larger restaurants.

Check through this checklist for your waiting station and make sure your staff have everything they need to do their job well.

What equipment do you need at your restaurant waiting station?