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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

  • $23,000

    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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Average Yearly Salary
$23,000
Show Salaries
$20,000
Min 10%
$23,000
Median 50%
$23,000
Median 50%
$23,000
Median 50%
$23,000
Median 50%
$23,000
Median 50%
$23,000
Median 50%
$23,000
Median 50%
$27,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Comcast
Highest Paying City
Fairbanks, AK
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
2.4 years
How much does a Food And Beverage Server make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Food And Beverage Server in the United States is $23,778 per year or $11 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $20,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $27,000.

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

  1. Customer Service
  2. Beverage Orders
  3. Food Preparation
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Performed wide array of diverse responsibilities such as serving dishes both expeditiously and professionally while providing excellent customer service.
  • Demonstrated skills in greeting customers, presenting menus, taking food and beverage orders and expediting them through the kitchen.
  • Practiced proper safety and sanitation standards during food preparation and service.
  • Maintained knowledge of current menu items Delivered exceptional service.
  • Ensured guest satisfaction as directed by management.

Rank:

Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Food And Beverage Servers

  1. Iowa
  2. West Virginia
  3. Alaska
  4. Kansas
  5. Nevada
  6. Massachusetts
  7. New York
  8. Illinois
  9. Connecticut
  10. Ohio
  • (377 jobs)
  • (155 jobs)
  • (34 jobs)
  • (232 jobs)
  • (401 jobs)
  • (587 jobs)
  • (873 jobs)
  • (1,011 jobs)
  • (206 jobs)
  • (1,020 jobs)

Food And Beverage Server 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 4,367 Food And Beverage Server 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 Food And Beverage Server Resume

View Resume Examples

Food And Beverage Server Demographics

Gender

Female

61.2%

Male

26.5%

Unknown

12.3%
Ethnicity

White

60.0%

Hispanic or Latino

18.4%

Black or African American

10.8%

Asian

6.9%

Unknown

3.8%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

51.8%

French

8.3%

German

6.0%

Italian

4.8%

Chinese

4.8%

Mandarin

4.2%

Japanese

3.0%

Russian

2.4%

Portuguese

1.8%

Polish

1.8%

Arabic

1.8%

Swedish

1.2%

Korean

1.2%

Malay

1.2%

Filipino

1.2%

Tagalog

1.2%

Irish

1.2%

Cantonese

1.2%

Vietnamese

0.6%

Romanian

0.6%
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Food And Beverage Server Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

9.6%

Valencia College

8.3%

University of Nevada - Las Vegas

7.5%

University of Central Florida

6.3%

University of North Texas

5.0%

The Academy

5.0%

San Diego State University

5.0%

San Francisco State University

4.6%

Arizona State University

4.6%

Pennsylvania State University

4.6%

College of Southern Nevada

4.6%

Georgia State University

4.2%

Johnson & Wales University

4.2%

University of Arizona

4.2%

University of Southern Mississippi

3.8%

Atlantic Cape Community College

3.8%

Florida State University

3.8%

Florida International University

3.8%

University of Georgia

3.8%

Central Michigan University

3.8%
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Majors

Business

19.0%

Hospitality Management

10.9%

Psychology

7.0%

Health Care Administration

6.9%

Nursing

6.3%

Communication

6.0%

Criminal Justice

5.2%

Medical Assisting Services

5.2%

General Studies

4.4%

Marketing

3.8%

Liberal Arts

3.3%

Management

3.1%

Accounting

2.9%

Education

2.4%

Biology

2.4%

Sociology

2.4%

Finance

2.3%

Kinesiology

2.2%

Culinary Arts

2.1%

English

2.1%
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Degrees

Bachelors

42.6%

Other

30.4%

Associate

13.6%

Masters

5.5%

Certificate

4.7%

Diploma

2.0%

License

0.6%

Doctorate

0.4%
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Updated May 19, 2020