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What You Need to Know About Food Server

Job Description & Duties Serve food to individuals outside of a restaurant environment, such as in hotel rooms, hospital rooms, residential care facilities, or cars.

Life As a Food Server

  • Monitor food preparation or serving techniques to ensure that proper procedures are followed.
  • Determine where patients or patrons would like to eat their meals and help them get situated.
  • Examine trays to ensure that they contain required items.
  • Stock service stations with items, such as ice, napkins, or straws.
  • Take food orders and relay orders to kitchens or serving counters so they can be filled.
  • Load trays with accessories such as eating utensils, napkins, or condiments.

What a Food Server Should Know

Food Servers state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

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.

Other Food Server Job Titles

  • Outside Food Server
  • Teletray Operator
  • Dietary Assistant
  • Food Service Assistant
  • Curber

Food Server Job Outlook

In the United States, there were 263,800 jobs for Food Server in 2016. 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. The BLS estimates 43,100 yearly job openings in this field.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Food Servers in U.S.

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 Salary

The average yearly salary of a Food Server ranges between $18,030 and $35,150.

Salary Ranges for Food Servers

Food Servers who work in Hawaii, New York, or District of Columbia, make the highest salaries.

How much do Food Servers make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $21,550
Alaska $29,780
Arizona $27,320
Arkansas $20,560
California $30,350
Colorado $26,730
Connecticut $28,690
Delaware $24,700
District of Columbia $32,740
Florida $22,570
Georgia $22,020
Hawaii $38,480
Idaho $23,740
Illinois $24,450
Indiana $23,050
Iowa $23,870
Kansas $20,390
Kentucky $22,370
Louisiana $20,860
Maine $24,230
Maryland $24,730
Massachusetts $29,210
Michigan $25,220
Minnesota $27,660
Mississippi $19,330
Missouri $22,120
Montana $22,340
Nebraska $23,330
Nevada $25,570
New Hampshire $23,530
New Jersey $25,190
New Mexico $20,530
New York $32,500
North Carolina $21,180
North Dakota $27,500
Ohio $22,370
Oklahoma $21,450
Oregon $27,380
Pennsylvania $23,250
Rhode Island $25,880
South Carolina $21,750
South Dakota $26,930
Tennessee $21,830
Texas $21,170
Utah $24,950
Vermont $30,970
Virginia $22,210
Washington $27,040
West Virginia $22,190
Wisconsin $22,160
Wyoming $22,410

What Tools 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

Are there Food Servers education requirements?

Food Server Degree Level

What work experience do I need to become a Food Server?

Food Server Work Experience

Food Servers Sector

Food Server Sectors

The table below shows the approximate number of Food Servers employed by various industries.

Food Server Industries

Other Jobs You May be Interested In

Career changers with experience as a Food Server sometimes find work in one of the following fields:


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More about our data sources and methodologies.

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