I generally agree with bouv regarding the duties. Most of your time will be on the floor, taking orders, getting drinks, dropping off food, checking in on your tables, pre-bussing (taking plates when diners are done), and dropping of the check. If your restaurant has the servers do the salads, get the soups, and do the desserts, I’m including this in this category.
Another 15% of the time or so will be doing the side work, like rolling silverware, filling ketchup bottles, and doing cleaning.
I disagree with bouv regarding taxes. Many servers I know made out like bandits during tax time, since you only have to declare minimum wage.
I waited tables for many years, and it is a job that is more frustrating than it appears. Customers asking for unreasonable substitutions and special orders, getting slammed, people making up complaints to try to get comped food, running out of something after your table has just ordered it, drugged up coworkers (sees to go with restaurant territory), lousy tips.
That said, it can be good money, you don’t take your work home with you, and you get some exercise. I wouldn’t have done it for so long if there hadn’t been pluses.
In my experience, it can be difficult to get a job as a server off the bat. They may start you in a host/hostess or bussing position first, but this isn’t always the case. If you’ve never worked in a restaurant before (and I’m guessing that’s the case, since there’s this thread), stress the fact that you are a good multi-tasker, you remain calm in stressful situations, and you have a great short-term memory. Try to match your demeanor with the restaurant. Good luck.