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The sky is the limit for food servers. In this career, there are so many opportunities that your head will be spinning from which job you decide to take. Maybe you're a high-school student looking for a reliable paycheck. You might decide to go work for a fast-food restaurant.

Or maybe you're a professional in the food industry. In this case, you might become a food server for a high-end sit-down restaurant. Whichever direction you choose to take, the tips you'll earn will be more than enough to pay the bills.

Food servers can even find work at sports arenas or through catering services. There's always a spot for a food server wherever food can be served. The best part of this job is that you'll be able to choose your hours. Whenever you want to work, you'll be able to.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a food server. For example, did you know that they make an average of $11.54 an hour? That's $24,006 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 14% and produce 775,300 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Food Server Do

There are certain skills that many food servers have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed communication skills, customer-service skills and physical stamina.

Learn more about what a Food Server does

How To Become a Food Server

If you're interested in becoming a food server, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 30.8% of food servers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 1.7% of food servers have master's degrees. Even though some food servers have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a food server. When we researched the most common majors for a food server, we found that they most commonly earn high school diploma degrees or bachelor's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on food server resumes include associate degree degrees or diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a food server. In fact, many food server jobs require experience in a role such as cashier. Meanwhile, many food servers also have previous career experience in roles such as sales associate or server.

Food Server Career Paths

Average Salary for a Food Server

Food Servers in America make an average salary of $24,006 per year or $12 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $32,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $17,000 per year.
Average Food Server Salary
$24,006 Yearly
$11.54 hourly
$17,000
10 %
$24,000
Median
$32,000
90 %

What Am I Worth?

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Food Server Education

Food Server Majors

19.0 %

Food Server Degrees

High School Diploma

36.4 %

Bachelors

30.8 %

Associate

18.9 %

Top Skills For a Food Server

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 18.2% of food servers listed beverage orders on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and customer-service skills are important as well.

  • Beverage Orders, 18.2%
  • Guest Service, 14.1%
  • Customer Service, 9.6%
  • Communication, 7.5%
  • POS, 6.0%
  • Other Skills, 44.6%

Choose From 10+ Customizable Food Server Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Food Server templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Food Server resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Food Server Demographics

Food Server Gender Distribution

Female
Female
64%
Male
Male
36%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among food servers, 64.0% of them are women, while 36.0% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among food servers is White, which makes up 62.2% of all food servers.

  • The most common foreign language among food servers is Spanish at 62.7%.

Online Courses For Food Server That You May Like

Advertising Disclosure  The courses listed below are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the course, we may receive a commission.
SAP Customer Service (CS/SM) - Service Management module
udemy
4.4
(551)

Real World SAP CS and SD, Repair Orders, Service Orders, Service Contracts...

Food Photography: Capturing Food in Your Kitchen
udemy
4.5
(2,975)

With DIY Food Photography, you'll be taking better photos in no time with what you have in your own kitchen!...

Sustainable Food Security: Food Access
edX (Global)

Food access: Learn about food supply and food security Have you ever considered that you’re not the only one who decides what food ends up on your plate? In this environmental studies course, you’ll explore how key actors at household, local, national and international levels negotiate and make choices on access to food. You will understand why the choices you make have been predestined. And you will learn what it takes to provide access to a safe and nutritious food supply every day. For whom?...

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Best States For a Food Server

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a food server. The best states for people in this position are Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont. Food servers make the most in Connecticut with an average salary of $31,932. Whereas in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, they would average $31,701 and $31,567, respectively. While food servers would only make an average of $31,390 in Vermont, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. New Hampshire

Total Food Server Jobs:
342
Highest 10% Earn:
$36,000
Location Quotient:
1.01 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Indiana

Total Food Server Jobs:
1,511
Highest 10% Earn:
$37,000
Location Quotient:
1.19 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Mississippi

Total Food Server Jobs:
503
Highest 10% Earn:
$35,000
Location Quotient:
1.23 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Food Servers

How Do Food Server Rate Their Jobs?

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5.0

My career January 2020

5.0

Zippia Official LogoMy career January 2020

What do you like the most about working as Food Server?

I like food, I believe that food is a comfort and food brings people together, and I like being apart of this. Show More

What do you NOT like?

Many restaurants are corporate or franchisees, and they dont really have good management, which leads to not hiring people on skill, but just to fill the space, which leads to high turn over rates for both FOH, BOH and management. There's no stability Show More

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Top Food Server Employers

Most Common Employers For Food Server

Rank  Company  Average Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Openings  
1Texas Roadhouse$26,783$12.88117
2Aramark$26,091$12.54340
3TGI Fridays$25,843$12.42110
4Darden Restaurants$25,758$12.38320
5Chili's Grill & Bar$25,278$12.15215
6Red Lobster$25,002$12.02139
7Applebee's Canada$24,971$12.01232
8Buffalo Wild Wings$24,925$11.98113
9Denny's$24,800$11.92194
10IHOP$24,643$11.85208

Food Server Videos

Becoming a Food Server FAQs

How long does it take to become a Food Server?

It takes 2 years of professional experience to become a food server. That is the time it takes to learn specific food server skills, but does not account for time spent in formal education.

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