The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Sample of reported job titles:
Cafe Server, Cafeteria Server, Cafeteria Worker, Food Server, Food Service Assistant, Food Service Worker, Line Server, Sandwich Artist, Server, Snack Bar Attendant
Also see: Baristas
- Scrub and polish counters, steam tables, and other equipment, and clean glasses, dishes, and fountain equipment.
- Prepare bills for food, using cash registers, calculators, or adding machines, and accept payment or make change.
- Perform cleaning duties such as sweeping, mopping, and washing dishes, to keep equipment and facilities sanitary.
- Balance receipts and payments in cash registers.
- Serve food, beverages, or desserts to customers in such settings as take-out counters of restaurants or lunchrooms, business or industrial establishments, hotel rooms, and cars.
- Cook food or prepare food items, such as sandwiches, salads, and ice cream dishes, using standard formulas or following directions.
- Brew coffee and tea, and fill containers with requested beverages.
- Wrap menu item such as sandwiches, hot entrees, and desserts for serving or for takeout.
- Replenish foods at serving stations.
- Take customers’ orders and write ordered items on tickets, giving ticket stubs to customers when needed to identify filled orders.
- Serve salads, vegetables, meat, breads, and cocktails, ladle soups and sauces, portion desserts, and fill beverage cups and glasses.
- Set up dining areas for meals and clear them following meals.
- Carve meat.
- Add relishes and garnishes to food orders, according to instructions.
- Order items needed to replenish supplies.
- Deliver orders to kitchens, and pick up and serve food when it is ready.
- Data base user interface and query software — Data entry software
- Operating system software — Microsoft Windows
- Point of sale POS software — Aldelo Systems Aldelo for Restaurants Pro; Foodman Home-Delivery; Plexis Software Plexis POS; RestaurantPlus PRO
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Food Production — Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.
- Sales and Marketing — Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
- 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.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Time Management — Managing one’s own time and the time of others.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Trunk Strength — The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without ‘giving out’ or fatiguing.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Selling or Influencing Others — Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
Detailed Work Activities
- Clean food preparation areas, facilities, or equipment.
- Clean tableware.
- Operate cash registers.
- Process customer bills or payments.
- Take customer orders.
- Balance receipts.
- Serve food or beverages.
- Cook foods.
- Prepare hot or cold beverages.
- Add garnishes to food.
- Arrange tables or dining areas.
- Collect dirty dishes or other tableware.
- Cut cooked or raw foods.
- Order materials, supplies, or equipment.
- Package food or supplies.
- Communicate dining or order details to kitchen personnel.
- Stock serving stations or dining areas with food or supplies.
- Schedule dining reservations.
- Contact With Others — 91% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Spend Time Standing — 85% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 71% responded “Every day.”
- Deal With External Customers — 63% responded “Extremely important.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 59% responded “Extremely important.”
- Spend Time Walking and Running — 73% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 77% responded “Every day.”
- Telephone — 12% responded “Never.”
- Physical Proximity — 60% responded “Moderately close (at arm’s length).”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 52% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 39% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 56% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 58% responded “Every day.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 32% responded “Some freedom.”
- Responsible for Others’ Health and Safety — 42% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 60% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 58% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 39% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 45% responded “Important.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 50% responded “Important.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 44% responded “Very important results.”
- Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 27% responded “Every day.”
- Time Pressure — 36% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Public Speaking — 43% responded “Every day.”
|Title||Job Zone One: Little or No Preparation Needed|
|Education||Some of these occupations may require a high school diploma or GED certificate.|
|Related Experience||Little or no previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, a person can become a waiter or waitress even if he/she has never worked before.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few days to a few months of training. Usually, an experienced worker could show you how to do the job.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations involve following instructions and helping others. Examples include food preparation workers, dishwashers, sewing machine operators, landscaping and groundskeeping workers, logging equipment operators, and baristas.|
|SVP Range||(Below 4.0)|
Interest code: RSE
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- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
- Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Independence — Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
- Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
- Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2018)||$10.74 hourly, $22,330 annual|
|Employment (2018)||480,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2018-2028)|
Slower than average (2% to 3%)
|Projected job openings (2018-2028)||107,600|
|Top industries (2018)||Accommodation and Food Services|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2018 wage data
and 2018-2028 employment projections
“Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2018-2028). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Sources of Additional Information
Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries.
Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
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