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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.
Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Counter Attendant
Top Careers After Counter Attendant
Hispanic or Latino11.5%
Black or African American0.5%
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University of Phoenix9.6%
University of North Dakota8.2%
Saint Petersburg College8.2%
Georgia State University5.5%
Dutchess Community College5.5%
Western Michigan University5.5%
Fresno City College4.1%
Arizona State University4.1%
Northern Kentucky University4.1%
University of Akron4.1%
University of Vermont4.1%
Delgado Community College4.1%
University of Southern Mississippi4.1%
University of Texas at El Paso4.1%
Eastern Kentucky University4.1%
University of Nevada - Reno4.1%
University of North Texas4.1%
Essex County College4.1%
Wayne State College2.7%
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|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Counter Attendant, Cafeteria||Broken Wheel Farm LLC DBA Purple Feather CAFE & Tr||MA||Apr 03, 2011||$26,484|
|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 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||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||Nantucket Seafood||Nantucket, MA||Apr 01, 2015||$23,458|
|Counter Attendant, Cafeteria||Sayles & Henry Inc. DBA Sayles Seafood||MA||Apr 01, 2012||$22,957|
|Counter Attendant||Weiner Stand, Inc.||Provincetown, MA||Apr 01, 2015||$22,957|
|Counter Attendant, Cafeteria||Nantucket Seafood||MA||Apr 01, 2012||$22,957|
|Food Counter Attendant||Dee Jay's QSR of North Dakota Inc.||Minot, ND||Apr 01, 2016||$22,936|
|Counter Attendant, Cafeteria||Murdicks' Fudge Company of Mass.||MA||Apr 15, 2012||$22,185|
|Counter Attendant, Cafeteria||The Coffee Pot & More, Inc.||MA||Apr 01, 2012||$22,185|
|Counter Attendants, Cafeteria, Food Concessions, A||Reno's Fish and Chips, Inc.||Del Mar, CA||May 05, 2016||$21,621|
|Counter Attendant||Sayles & Henry Inc.||MA||Apr 01, 2014||$21,371|
|Counter Attendant||Nantucket Seafood||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||Murray Hotel, Inc.||Mackinac Island, MI||Apr 29, 2016||$21,162|
|Counter Attendants, Cafeteria, Food Concessions, A||W & R Country Fair Cinnamon Rolls||Ahwahnee, CA||Feb 01, 2016||$20,912|
|Counter Attendant||Java Works||Herndon, VA||Jan 27, 2009||$20,870|
|Counter Attendant, Cafeteria||LBJ/55 Food Services, Inc.||MA||Apr 01, 2012||$20,870|
|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 Attendant||Cap'n Frosty's Inc.||Dennis, MA||Apr 01, 2015||$19,493|
|Counter Attendants, Cafeteria, Food Concession, and Coffee Shop||Geordanes||Irvington, NY||Apr 12, 2010||$19,346|
|Counter Attendant, Cafeteria, Food Concessions||Brander Enterprises, Inc.||AZ||Feb 01, 2015||$19,284|
|Counter Attendant||Bagel Station, Inc.||Red Bank, NJ||Oct 15, 2014||$19,282|
|Counter Attendants, Cafeteria, Food Concessions AN||Fruit Caboose||CA||Apr 30, 2014||$19,180|
|Counter Attendant||Bread and Roses Bakery, Inc.||Ogunquit, ME||Apr 18, 2016||$18,971|
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