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Become A Counter Attendant

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Working As A Counter Attendant

  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Getting Information
  • Selling or Influencing Others
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Outdoors/walking/standing

  • $18,804

    Average Salary

What Does A Counter Attendant Do

Food and beverage serving and related workers perform a variety of customer service, food preparation, and cleaning duties in restaurants, cafeterias, and other eating and drinking establishments.

Duties

Food and beverage serving and related workers typically do the following:

  • Greet customers and answer their questions about menu items and specials
  • Take food or drink orders from customers
  • Prepare food and drink orders, such as sandwiches, salads, and coffee
  • Relay customers’ orders to other kitchen staff
  • Serve food and drinks to customers at a counter, at a stand, or in a hotel room
  • Clean assigned work areas, dining tables, or serving counters
  • Replenish and stock service stations, cabinets, and tables
  • Set tables or prepare food trays for new customers

Food and beverage serving and related workers are the front line of customer service in restaurants, cafeterias, and other food service establishments. Depending on the establishment, they take customers’ food and drink orders and serve food and beverages.

Most work as part of a team, helping coworkers to improve workflow and customer service. The job titles of food and beverage serving and related workers vary with where they work and what they do.

The following are examples of types of food and beverage serving and related workers: 

Combined food preparation and serving workers, including fast food, are employed primarily by fast-food restaurants. They take food and beverage orders, prepare or retrieve items when ready, fill cups with beverages, and accept customers’ payments. They also heat food items and make salads and sandwiches.

Counter attendants take orders and serve food over a counter in snack bars, cafeterias, movie theaters, and coffee shops. They fill cups with coffee, soda, and other beverages, and may prepare fountain specialties, such as milkshakes and ice cream sundaes. Counter attendants take carryout orders from diners and wrap or place items in containers. They clean counters, prepare itemized bills, and accept customers’ payments.

Food servers, nonrestaurant, serve food to customers outside of a restaurant environment. Many deliver room service meals in hotels or meals to hospital rooms. Some act as carhops, bringing orders to customers in parked cars.

Dining room and cafeteria attendants and bartender helpers—sometimes collectively referred to as bus staff—help waiters, waitresses, and bartenders by cleaning and setting tables, removing dirty dishes, and keeping serving areas stocked with supplies. They also may help waiters and waitresses by bringing meals out of the kitchen, distributing dishes to diners, filling water glasses, and delivering condiments. Cafeteria attendants stock serving tables with food trays, dishes, and silverware. They sometimes carry trays to dining tables for customers. Bartender helpers keep bar equipment clean and glasses washed. 

Hosts and hostesses greet customers and manage reservation and waiting lists. They may direct customers to coatrooms, restrooms, or a waiting area until their table is ready. Hosts and hostesses assign guests to tables suitable for the size of their group, escort patrons to their seats, and provide menus. They also take reservations over the phone, arrange parties, and help with other customers’ requests.

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How To Become A Counter Attendant

Most food and beverage service jobs are entry-level jobs and do not require a high school diploma. The majority of workers receive short-term on-the-job training.

Most states require workers, such as nonrestaurant servers, who serve alcoholic beverages to be 18 years of age or older.

Education

There are no formal education requirements for becoming a food and beverage serving worker.

Training

Most workers learn their skills through short-term on-the-job training, usually lasting several weeks. Training includes basic customer service, kitchen safety, safe food-handling procedures, and good sanitation habits.

Some employers, particularly those in fast-food restaurants, teach new workers with the use of self-study programs, online programs, audiovisual presentations, or instructional booklets that explain food preparation and service procedures. However, most food and beverage serving and related workers learn their skills by watching and working with more experienced workers.

Some full-service restaurants provide new dining room employees with classroom training sessions that alternate with periods of on-the-job work experience. The training communicates the operating philosophy of the restaurant, helps new employees establish a personal rapport with other staff, teaches employees formal serving techniques, and instills a desire in the staff to work as a team.

Some nonrestaurant servers and bartender helpers who work in establishments where alcohol is served may need training on state and local laws concerning the sale of alcoholic beverages. Some states, counties, and cities mandate such training, which typically lasts a few hours and can be taken online or in-house.

Advancement

Advancement opportunities are limited to those who remain on the job for a long time. However, some dining room and cafeteria attendants and bartender helpers may advance to waiter, waitress, or bartender positions as they learn the basics of serving food or preparing drinks.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Food and beverage serving and related workers must listen carefully to their customers’ orders and relay them correctly to the kitchen staff so that the orders are prepared to the customers’ request.

Customer-service skills. Food service establishments rely on good food and customer service to keep customers and succeed in a competitive industry. As a result, workers should be courteous and be able to attend to customers’ requests.

Physical stamina. Food and beverage serving and related workers spend most of their worktime standing, carrying heavy trays, cleaning work areas, and attending to customers’ needs.

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Counter Attendant jobs

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Counter Attendant Demographics

Gender

Female

66.0%

Male

32.0%

Unknown

2.0%
Ethnicity

White

79.1%

Hispanic or Latino

11.5%

Asian

7.3%

Unknown

1.5%

Black or African American

0.5%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

57.9%

German

10.5%

French

7.9%

Estonian

2.6%

Dutch

2.6%

Japanese

2.6%

Dakota

2.6%

Hindi

2.6%

Urdu

2.6%

Polish

2.6%

Korean

2.6%

Hmong

2.6%
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Counter Attendant Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

9.6%

University of North Dakota

8.2%

Saint Petersburg College

8.2%

Ashford University

5.5%

Georgia State University

5.5%

Dutchess Community College

5.5%

Western Michigan University

5.5%

Fresno City College

4.1%

Arizona State University

4.1%

Northern Kentucky University

4.1%

University of Akron

4.1%

University of Vermont

4.1%

Delgado Community College

4.1%

University of Southern Mississippi

4.1%

University of Texas at El Paso

4.1%

Eastern Kentucky University

4.1%

University of Nevada - Reno

4.1%

University of North Texas

4.1%

Essex County College

4.1%

Wayne State College

2.7%
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Majors

Business

22.1%

Psychology

10.4%

General Studies

6.3%

Criminal Justice

6.0%

Accounting

6.0%

Health Care Administration

5.7%

Communication

5.0%

Nursing

4.4%

Marketing

4.4%

Liberal Arts

3.2%

Management

3.2%

Medical Assisting Services

3.2%

English

2.8%

Graphic Design

2.8%

Kinesiology

2.5%

Education

2.5%

Biology

2.5%

Political Science

2.5%

Culinary Arts

2.2%

Computer Science

2.2%
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Degrees

Other

38.1%

Bachelors

37.9%

Associate

13.5%

Certificate

5.5%

Masters

3.4%

Diploma

1.4%

License

0.2%

Doctorate

0.2%
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Real Counter Attendant Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Counter Attendant/Kitchen Worker Julesan Inc. Provincetown, MA May 16, 2016 $26,922
Counter Attendat Nantucket Seafood Nantucket, MA May 06, 2016 $26,922
Counter Attendant, Cafeteria Broken Wheel Farm LLC DBA Purple Feather CAFE & Tr MA Apr 03, 2011 $26,484
Counter Attendants-Kitchen Helpers Ingredients, Inc. MA Jun 01, 2013 $25,086
Counter Attendant, Cafeteria Exquisite Chocolates, Inc. DBA Ben & Bills Chocola MA Apr 15, 2012 $24,898
Counter Attendant Sayles and Henry Inc. Nantucket, MA May 04, 2016 $23,896
Counter Attendant & Kitchen Worker Farland, Inc. Provincetown, MA May 03, 2016 $23,896
Counter Attendants White Whale Enterprises Wellfleet, MA Apr 22, 2016 $23,813
Counter Attendants, Cafeteria, Food Concession Sugar Shakers Inc. Sarasota, FL Jun 20, 2016 $23,792
Counter Attendant Nantucket Seafood Nantucket, MA Apr 01, 2015 $23,458
Counter Attendant Sayles & Henry Inc. Nantucket, MA Apr 01, 2015 $23,458
Counter Attendant Glidden's Island Seafood Nantucket, MA Jun 01, 2015 $23,458
Counter Attendant & Kitchen Worker Farland, Inc. MA May 01, 2014 $23,437
Counter Attendant Weiner Stand, Inc. Provincetown, MA Apr 01, 2015 $22,957
Counter Attendant, Cafeteria, Food Concession Sugar Shakers Inc. MD May 01, 2015 $22,018
Counter Attendants, Cafeteria, Food Concession Sugar Shakers Inc. FL Feb 28, 2015 $22,018
Food Counter Attendant Hector's Cake Shop San Clemente, CA Jan 24, 2012 $22,006
Food Counter Attendant JWJ Enterprises Inc. Dickinson, ND Mar 01, 2015 $21,914
Counter Attendants, Cafeteria, Food Concessions, A Reno's Fish and Chips, Inc. Del Mar, CA May 05, 2016 $21,621
Counter Attendant Nantucket Seafood MA Apr 01, 2014 $21,371
Counter Attendant Sayles & Henry Inc. MA Apr 01, 2014 $21,371
Counter Attendants, Cafeteria, Food Concession Dellas 5 and 10 LLC Cape May, NJ May 01, 2016 $21,350
Counter Attendant, Lunchroom or Coffee Shop The Coffee Pot & More, Inc. MA May 15, 2011 $19,827
Counter Attendants LBJ 55 Food Services, Inc. MA Apr 01, 2014 $19,827
Counter Attendants/Kitchen Helpers Hot Chocolate Sparrow, Inc. MA Apr 15, 2014 $19,827
Counter Attendant, Cafeteria Ingredients, Inc. DBA Angel Foods MA Apr 01, 2011 $19,827
Counter Attendant, Lunchroom or Coffee Shop Jerope Inc. DBA Arnold's Lobster & Clam Bar MA Apr 01, 2012 $19,743
Counter Attendants LBJ Food Services Inc. MA Apr 01, 2015 $19,618
Counter Attendants/Kitchen Helpers Hot Chocolate Sparrow, Inc. Orleans, MA Apr 15, 2015 $19,618
Counter Attendant Cap'n Frosty's Inc. Dennis, MA Apr 01, 2015 $19,493

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Top Skills for A Counter Attendant

QualityCustomerServiceCoffeeRecordCustomerOrdersFoodItemsSafetyStandardsMenuItemsIceCreamFoodPreparationAreasFoodOrdersPOSSlotMachinesBalanceReceiptsFacilitiesSanitaryReplenishFoodsSteamTablesMonetaryExchangeSuchSettingsTicketStubsCleanGlassesTake-OutCounters

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Top Counter Attendant Skills

  1. Quality Customer Service
  2. Coffee
  3. Record Customer Orders
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provide quality customer service, and oversee customer satisfaction.
  • Brew coffee and tea, and fill containers with requested beverages.
  • Request and record customer orders, and compute bills using cash registers, multi-counting machines, or pencil and paper.
  • Prepped food items and practiced proper food handling and storage.
  • Maintain sanitation, health, and safety standards in work areas.

Top Counter Attendant Employers