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Become A Fast Food Worker

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Working As A Fast Food Worker

  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Getting Information
  • Training and Teaching Others
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Outdoors/walking/standing

  • Repetitive

  • $19,580

    Average Salary

What Does A Fast Food Worker 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 Fast Food Worker

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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Fast Food Worker jobs

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Fast Food Worker Demographics

Gender

Female

55.7%

Male

42.6%

Unknown

1.6%
Ethnicity

White

78.8%

Hispanic or Latino

13.4%

Asian

6.0%

Unknown

1.2%

Black or African American

0.6%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

69.0%

German

6.9%

Portuguese

3.4%

Bosnian

3.4%

Japanese

3.4%

French

3.4%

Romanian

3.4%

Bengali

3.4%

Russian

3.4%
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Fast Food Worker Education

Schools

Umpqua Community College

10.0%

Ashford University

6.7%

Nassau Community College

6.7%

American InterContinental University

6.7%

Utah Valley University

6.7%

University of Phoenix

6.7%

Indian Hills Community College

6.7%

Dodge City Community College

5.0%

Auburn University

5.0%

Brown University

5.0%

Ridgewater College

5.0%

Tyler Junior College

3.3%

Owens Community College

3.3%

Bluegrass Community and Technical College

3.3%

Blinn College

3.3%

Wayne State University

3.3%

Elizabeth City State University

3.3%

Wake Technical Community College

3.3%

Everest Institute

3.3%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

3.3%
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Majors

Business

15.2%

Nursing

11.9%

Criminal Justice

10.3%

Medical Assisting Services

8.3%

General Studies

7.8%

Health Care Administration

4.9%

Culinary Arts

4.1%

Cosmetology

4.1%

Psychology

3.9%

Computer Science

3.6%

Human Services

3.4%

Education

2.8%

Kinesiology

2.6%

Automotive Technology

2.6%

Nursing Assistants

2.6%

Sociology

2.6%

Biology

2.3%

English

2.3%

Pharmacy

2.3%

Accounting

2.3%
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Degrees

Other

50.0%

Associate

17.9%

Bachelors

16.0%

Certificate

8.5%

Diploma

3.7%

Masters

2.4%

License

1.1%

Doctorate

0.3%
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Real Fast Food Worker Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Fast Food Worker Stratton Corporation Stratton, VT Nov 15, 2015 $29,990
Fast Food Worker Weiner Stand, Inc. Provincetown, MA Apr 25, 2016 $26,922
Fast Foods Worker Mac Arthur Park Restaurant Catering DBA Corner Pub NY May 01, 2012 $24,209
Fast Foods Worker Weiner Stand, Inc. DBA John's Footlong MA May 15, 2012 $22,957
Fast Foods Worker Nomodo, Inc. DBA Sophie T's Pizza MA May 15, 2011 $22,957
Fast Foods Worker Cooks Sidewalk CAFE MA Apr 01, 2011 $21,559
Fast Foods Worker Donald Edwards Enterprises, Inc. DBA Governor Brad MA May 01, 2011 $21,559
Fast Food Worker OSR Seafood, Inc. Chatham, MA May 15, 2016 $20,870
Fast Food Workers Papa Gino's, Inc. Falmouth, MA Apr 07, 2016 $20,870
Fast Food Workers Fashion Food, LLC Orleans, MA May 17, 2016 $20,870
Fast Food Worker Argyriadis Corp. West Dennis, MA Apr 01, 2016 $20,870
Fast Food Workers TFG Hyannis Hospitality, LLC MA Mar 01, 2014 $20,536
Fast Food Workers Papa Gino's, Inc. MA May 01, 2014 $20,056
Fast Food Workers Fashion Food, LLC MA Apr 15, 2014 $20,056
Fast Food Workers Papa Gino's, Inc. MA Apr 01, 2015 $19,493
Fast Food Workers Fashion Food, LLC Orleans, MA Apr 15, 2015 $19,493
Fast Foods Worker Gaucho Ltd. OH Aug 01, 2012 $19,221
Fast Foods Worker Weiner Stand, Inc. DBA John's Footlong MA Apr 01, 2011 $18,741
Fast Foods Worker Nantucket Seafood MA Apr 01, 2011 $18,741
Fast Foods Worker El Salto Inc. DBA Dos Margaritas Mexican Grill TN Apr 01, 2012 $18,303
Fast Foods Worker Blue Waters Group, Inc. DBA Blue Waters Mountain L NC Apr 26, 2011 $18,261
Fast Foods Worker TFG Hyannis Hospitality, LLC DBA Resort and Confer MA Mar 01, 2012 $18,157
Fast Foods Worker Broken Wheel Farm, LLC MA Apr 01, 2012 $18,032
Fast Foods Worker Frenchman's Creek, Inc. FL Sep 01, 2012 $17,844
Fast Foods Worker Cedar Creek Racquet Club, Inc. NC Apr 25, 2011 $17,740
Fast Foods Worker Rehoboth Donut Shops, Inc. DE Mar 15, 2012 $17,426
Fast Foods Worker El Rio Grande, LLC AL Jan 01, 2013 $17,155
Fast Foods Worker El Rio Grande, LLC AL Jan 01, 2012 $16,905
Fast Food Worker Welburn Management Consulting Company Springfield, VA Jul 01, 2008 $16,696
Fast Foods Worker Churro King Inc. CA May 01, 2012 $16,696

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Top Skills for A Fast Food Worker

CustomerServiceSkillsFastFoodRestaurantSpecificFoodItemsFoodPreparationAreasFoodOrderSlipsDrinkOrdersColdDrinksIceCreamStorageAreasComputeBillsDrive-ThruSafetyStandardsFoodServiceAreasFrontCounterResponsibilitiesiFrozenMilkDrinksTakeoutBagFastServiceKitchenPersonnelSimpleFoods

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Top Fast Food Worker Skills

  1. Customer Service Skills
  2. Fast Food Restaurant
  3. Specific Food Items
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provided exemplary customer service skills.
  • Worked as a Fast Food Worker for a well known fast food restaurant.
  • Measure ingredients required for specific food items being prepared.
  • Cleaned food preparation areas, cookingsurfaces, and utensils.
  • Read food order slips and received verbal instructions in preparing food orders for customers Prepared and cooked food according to instructions.

Top Fast Food Worker Employers

Fast Food Worker Videos

A Day in the Life - Working at Chipotle

Just the Job - Fast Food Worker

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