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Working As a Counter Helper

  • 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

  • $19,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Counter Helper 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 Helper

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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Average Yearly Salary
$19,000
Show Salaries
$14,000
Min 10%
$19,000
Median 50%
$19,000
Median 50%
$19,000
Median 50%
$19,000
Median 50%
$19,000
Median 50%
$19,000
Median 50%
$19,000
Median 50%
$28,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
ManpowerGroup
Highest Paying City
Bedford, MA
Highest Paying State
Maine
Avg Experience Level
1.8 years
How much does a Counter Helper make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Counter Helper in the United States is $19,949 per year or $10 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $14,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $28,000.

Real Counter Helper Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Kitchen/Counter Helper Nantucket Donuts and Diner Nantucket, MA May 15, 2015 $24,001
Kitchen/Counter Helper Nantucket Donuts and Diner Nantucket, MA May 01, 2016 $23,896
Kitchen/Counter Helper Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound Trenton, ME May 10, 2015 $19,806
Kitchen/Counter Helper Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound, Inc. ME May 01, 2014 $19,367
Kitchen/Counter Helper Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound, Inc. ME Jul 01, 2013 $17,823

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Top Skills for A Counter Helper

  1. Food Preparation
  2. Customer Orders
  3. Customer Service
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Maintained knowledge of current menu item, garnishes, ingredients and food preparation methods.
  • Requested customer orders and performed transactions for customers.
  • Provided excellent customer service when interacting with all customers to improve sales and retention while consistently working extremely busy shifts.
  • Follow food and restaurant safety standards and guidelines.
  • Assisted with the clean-up of front counter and kitchen areas.

Rank:

Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Counter Helpers

  1. Maine
  2. North Dakota
  3. Michigan
  4. Wisconsin
  5. Oregon
  6. Idaho
  7. West Virginia
  8. Utah
  9. Alaska
  10. Minnesota
  • (142 jobs)
  • (92 jobs)
  • (769 jobs)
  • (593 jobs)
  • (326 jobs)
  • (189 jobs)
  • (127 jobs)
  • (412 jobs)
  • (40 jobs)
  • (701 jobs)

Counter Helper Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 5,332 Counter Helper resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Counter Helper Resume

View Resume Examples

Counter Helper Demographics

Gender

Female

64.4%

Male

24.1%

Unknown

11.4%
Ethnicity

White

57.5%

Hispanic or Latino

22.3%

Black or African American

8.8%

Asian

7.8%

Unknown

3.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

65.8%

French

5.7%

Chinese

4.4%

Mandarin

3.5%

Portuguese

2.6%

Cantonese

2.6%

Tagalog

2.2%

German

2.2%

Hmong

1.3%

Russian

1.3%

Filipino

1.3%

Polish

1.3%

Vietnamese

0.9%

Korean

0.9%

Carrier

0.9%

Italian

0.9%

Arabic

0.9%

Swedish

0.4%

Indonesian

0.4%

Croatian

0.4%
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Counter Helper Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

8.8%

The Academy

7.7%

Community College of Rhode Island

7.3%

Arizona State University

6.2%

University of Rhode Island

5.8%

College of Southern Nevada

5.5%

Heald College - Central Administrative Office

5.1%

University of Massachusetts Amherst

5.1%

Southern New Hampshire University

5.1%

Johnson & Wales University

4.7%

Bunker Hill Community College

4.7%

Bridgewater State University

4.4%

Suffolk County Community College

4.0%

San Antonio College

4.0%

Northern Essex Community College

3.6%

Massasoit Community College

3.6%

Houston Community College

3.6%

University of Hawaii at Manoa

3.6%

Bakersfield College

3.6%

University of Nevada - Las Vegas

3.3%
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Majors

Business

16.8%

Nursing

9.1%

Psychology

7.5%

Medical Assisting Services

7.0%

Criminal Justice

6.4%

General Studies

6.3%

Health Care Administration

5.6%

Accounting

4.9%

Culinary Arts

4.5%

Liberal Arts

4.4%

Biology

3.6%

Hospitality Management

3.1%

Cosmetology

3.0%

Communication

3.0%

English

2.9%

Computer Science

2.7%

Management

2.6%

Education

2.3%

Social Work

2.1%

Elementary Education

2.1%
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Degrees

Other

39.7%

Bachelors

30.4%

Associate

17.1%

Certificate

5.8%

Masters

3.1%

Diploma

3.0%

License

0.7%

Doctorate

0.3%
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Top Counter Helper Employers

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