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Become A Food And Beverage Server

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Working As A Food And Beverage Server

  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • Getting Information
  • Selling or Influencing Others
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Deal with People

  • Outdoors/walking/standing

  • $20,850

    Average Salary

What Does A Food And Beverage Server Do

Waiters and waitresses take orders and serve food and beverages to customers in dining establishments.

Duties

Waiters and waitresses typically do the following:

  • Greet customers, present menus, and explain daily specials to customers
  • Answer questions related to menu
  • Take food and beverage orders from customers
  • Relay food and beverage orders to the kitchen staff
  • Prepare drinks and food garnishes
  • Carry trays of food or drinks from the kitchen to the dining tables
  • Remove dirty dishes and glasses, and clean tables after customers finish meals
  • Prepare itemized checks and take payments from customers
  • Set up dining areas, refill condiments, and stock service areas

Waiters and waitresses, also called servers, are responsible for ensuring that customers have a satisfying dining experience. The specific duties of servers vary with the establishment in which they work.

In casual-dining restaurants that offer simple menu items, such as salads, soups, and sandwiches, servers provide fast, efficient, and courteous service. In fine-dining restaurants, where more complicated meals are prepared and are often served over several courses, waiters and waitresses emphasize personal, attentive treatment at a more leisurely pace. For example, they may suggest a beverage choice such as a wine recommendation with certain foods.

Waiters and waitresses may meet with managers and chefs before each shift to discuss the menu or specials, review ingredients for potential food allergies, or talk about any food safety concerns. They also discuss coordination between the kitchen and the dining room and review any customer service issues from the previous day or shift.

In establishments where alcohol is served, waiters and waitresses verify the age of customers and ensure that they meet legal requirements for the purchase of alcohol.

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How To Become A Food And Beverage Server

Most waiter and waitress jobs are entry level, and workers learn through short-term on-the-job training. No formal education or previous work experience is required to enter the occupation.

Most states require workers who serve alcoholic beverages to be at least 18 years of age, but some states require servers to be older. Waiters and waitresses who serve alcohol must be familiar with state and local laws concerning the sale of alcoholic beverages.

Education

No formal education is required to become a waiter or waitress.

Training

Most waiters and waitresses learn their skills through short-term on-the-job-training, usually lasting a few weeks. Trainees typically work with an experienced waiter or waitress, who teaches them basic serving techniques.

Some full-service restaurants provide new employees with some form of classroom training that alternates with periods of on-the-job work experience. These training programs communicate the operating philosophy of the restaurant, help new servers establish a rapport with other staff, teach serving techniques, and instill a desire to work as a team. They also discuss customer service situations and the proper ways to handle unpleasant circumstances or unruly customers.

Training for waiters and waitresses in establishments that serve alcohol typically involves learning state and local laws concerning the sale of alcoholic beverages. Some states, counties, and cities mandate the training, which typically lasts a few hours and can be taken online or in-house.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Waiters and waitresses must listen carefully to customers’ specific requests, ask questions, and relay the information to the kitchen staff, so that orders are prepared to the customers’ satisfaction.

Customer-service skills. Waiters and waitresses spend most of their work time serving customers. They should be friendly and polite and be able to develop a rapport with customers.

Detail oriented. Waiters and waitresses must record customers’ orders accurately. They need be able to recall the details of each order and match the food or drink orders to the correct customers.

Interpersonal skills. Waiters and waitresses should be courteous, tactful, and attentive as they deal with customers in all circumstances to resolve any issues that arise.

Physical stamina. Waiters and waitresses spend hours on their feet carrying heavy trays, dishes, and drinks.

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Food And Beverage Server jobs

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Average Length of Employment
Lead Server 3.0 years
Head Server 2.9 years
Bartender Server 2.7 years
Fine Dining Server 2.4 years
Restaurant Server 2.3 years
Beverage Server 2.3 years
Food Server 2.2 years
Cocktail Server 2.2 years
Banquet Server 2.1 years
Caterer/Server 2.0 years
Server And Hostess 1.9 years
Food Expeditor 1.9 years
Server 1.8 years
Cocktail Waitress 1.7 years
Counter Server 1.6 years
Server/Barista 1.3 years
Server Assistant 1.3 years
Food Runner 1.3 years
Top Employers Before
Cashier 10.2%
Server 7.9%
Internship 6.4%
Hostess 4.4%
Volunteer 4.1%
Waitress 3.2%
Manager 2.6%
Assistant 2.5%
Top Employers After
Server 11.6%
Cashier 9.7%
Bartender 4.6%
Manager 3.8%
Internship 3.5%
Hostess 2.8%
Supervisor 2.7%

Food And Beverage Server Demographics

Gender

Female

67.2%

Male

31.3%

Unknown

1.5%
Ethnicity

White

77.9%

Hispanic or Latino

13.7%

Asian

6.5%

Unknown

1.4%

Black or African American

0.5%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

60.6%

French

10.3%

Portuguese

5.2%

German

4.5%

Italian

3.2%

Japanese

2.6%

Swedish

1.3%

Russian

1.3%

Filipino

1.3%

Tagalog

1.3%

Irish

1.3%

Chinese

1.3%

Arabic

1.3%

Mandarin

0.6%

Indonesian

0.6%

Hawaiian

0.6%

Bosnian

0.6%

Malay

0.6%

Thai

0.6%

Croatian

0.6%
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Food And Beverage Server Education

Schools

Valencia College

11.2%

University of Central Florida

7.4%

University of Nevada - Las Vegas

6.9%

University of Phoenix

6.4%

College of Southern Nevada

5.9%

University of Arizona

5.3%

Central Piedmont Community College

4.8%

Arizona State University

4.8%

University of Southern Mississippi

4.8%

University of North Texas

4.3%

Michigan State University

4.3%

Florida State University

4.3%

Johnson & Wales University

4.3%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

3.7%

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College

3.7%

Kennesaw State University

3.7%

Palomar College

3.7%

University of Georgia

3.7%

Central Michigan University

3.7%

East Carolina University

3.2%
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Majors

Business

19.2%

Hospitality Management

11.2%

Psychology

7.1%

Health Care Administration

6.3%

Nursing

6.0%

Communication

5.8%

Criminal Justice

5.5%

Marketing

4.1%

Management

4.0%

Medical Assisting Services

3.8%

Liberal Arts

3.6%

Accounting

3.5%

English

3.4%

General Studies

2.8%

Biology

2.7%

Culinary Arts

2.5%

Sociology

2.3%

Kinesiology

2.2%

Elementary Education

2.1%

Public Relations

1.9%
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Degrees

Bachelors

43.7%

Other

30.0%

Associate

12.8%

Masters

6.0%

Certificate

5.0%

Diploma

1.4%

License

0.9%

Doctorate

0.2%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Food And Beverage Server Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Food and Beverage Servers Woodstock Resort Corporation Woodstock, VT Dec 12, 2016 $30,387
Food and Beverage Servers Woodstock Resort Corporation Woodstock, VT Apr 15, 2016 $29,990
Food & Beverage Server Lumiere Hotel Group Management Telluride, CO Jan 06, 2015 $25,044
Food & Beverage Server Lumiere Hotel Group Management Telluride, CO May 20, 2015 $25,044
Food & Beverage Server Lumiere Hotel Group Management Telluride, CO Dec 01, 2014 $25,044
Host and Food and Beverage Server Saffron Group, Inc. Key Biscayne, FL Jul 25, 2016 $24,251
Host and Food and Beverage Server Ayesha Fine Dining, Inc. Miami, FL Jul 15, 2016 $24,251
Host and Food and Beverage Server Ayesha Fine Dining, Inc. Miami, FL Nov 28, 2016 $23,604
Assistant Food and Beverage Server International Resorts Management Group LLC Sunny Isles Beach, FL Dec 06, 2016 $23,354

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Top Skills for A Food And Beverage Server

CustomerServiceSkillsSafetyBanquetEventsPrepFoodMenuItemsPOSFoodOrdersGuestServiceAlcoholicBeveragesGenuineHospitalityFoodItemsBeverageServiceCustomerOrdersTeamworkSpecialEventsBeverageOrdersFoodServiceGuestSatisfactionRoomServiceServiceAreas

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Top Food And Beverage Server Skills

  1. Customer Service Skills
  2. Safety
  3. Banquet Events
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Demonstrated mastery of customer service skills in an independent senior living environment.
  • Practiced proper safety and sanitation standards during food preparation and service.
  • Served tables, assisted with banquet events
  • Service quick prep food and beverage, tender money, run money back and forth to cage, was over night
  • Maintained familiarity with menu items and specials to answer customer questions about food and beverage options and food allergy accommodations.

Top Food And Beverage Server Employers