What Does it Take to Be a Food Server?
Occupation Description Serve food to individuals outside of a restaurant environment, such as in hotel rooms, hospital rooms, residential care facilities, or cars.
Daily Life Of a Food Server
- Remove trays and stack dishes for return to kitchen after meals are finished.
- Record amounts and types of special food items served to customers.
- Take food orders and relay orders to kitchens or serving counters so they can be filled.
- Determine where patients or patrons would like to eat their meals and help them get situated.
- Stock service stations with items, such as ice, napkins, or straws.
- Examine trays to ensure that they contain required items.
What a Food Server Should Know
When polled, Food Servers say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:
Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.
Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Types of Food Server
- Food Porter
- Food Runner
- Room Service Food Service Attendant
- Curb Hop
Are There Job Opportunities for Food Servers?
There were about 263,800 jobs for Food Server in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 10.2% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 26,900 new jobs for Food Server by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 43,100 job openings in this field each year.
The states with the most job growth for Food Server are Utah, Arizona, and Idaho. Watch out if you plan on working in Wyoming, District of Columbia, or Connecticut. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.
Food Server Average Salary
Food Servers make between $18,030 and $35,150 a year.
Food Servers who work in Hawaii, New York, or District of Columbia, make the highest salaries.
How much do Food Servers make in different U.S. states?
|State||Annual Mean Salary|
|District of Columbia||$32,740|
What Tools & Technology do Food Servers Use?
Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Food Servers may use on a daily basis:
- Microsoft Office
- Microsoft Windows
- Point of sale POS software
- CBORD Nutrition Service Suite
How to Become a Food Server
Education needed to be a Food Server:
How Long Does it Take to Become a Food Server?
Where Food Servers Are Employed
The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.
Are you already one of the many Food Server in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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