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Working as a Food Server

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 $10.24 an hour? That's $21,293 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.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a food server, we found that a lot of resumes listed 18.2% of food servers included beverage orders, while 14.1% of resumes included guest service, and 9.6% of resumes included customer service. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the food server job title. But what industry to start with? Most food servers actually find jobs in the hospitality and retail industries.

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 29.6% of food servers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 1.5% 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.

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Average Salary$21,293
Job Growth Rate14%

Food Server Career Paths

Top Careers Before Food Server

Cashier
21.8 %
Server
7.9 %

Top Careers After Food Server

Cashier
19.3 %
Server
9.7 %

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Food Server

Food Servers in America make an average salary of $21,293 per year or $10 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $27,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $16,000 per year.
Average Salary
$21,293

Best Paying Cities

City
Average Salary
Huntington, NY
Salary Range23k - 29k$27k$26,605
Bethlehem, PA
Salary Range23k - 28k$26k$25,872
San Diego, CA
Salary Range21k - 26k$24k$23,907
Springfield, MO
Salary Range20k - 25k$23k$22,664
Broomfield, CO
Salary Range19k - 25k$22k$22,355
Dubuque, IA
Salary Range19k - 24k$22k$21,975
$14k
$29k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Food Server
Food Server
Peopleready
Peopleready
01/29/2021
01/29/2021
$20,87001/29/2021
$20,870
Food Server
Food Server
Peopleready
Peopleready
01/29/2021
01/29/2021
$27,13101/29/2021
$27,131
Food Service Server
Food Service Server
Lamont Elementary School District
Lamont Elementary School District
01/28/2021
01/28/2021
$29,55201/28/2021
$29,552
Food Server (Woodland Elementary)
Food Server (Woodland Elementary)
Mariposa County Unified School District and Coe
Mariposa County Unified School District and Coe
01/22/2021
01/22/2021
$29,21801/22/2021
$29,218
Food Service-Lunch Server
Food Service-Lunch Server
Pact Charter School
Pact Charter School
01/19/2021
01/19/2021
$21,03701/19/2021
$21,037
See More Recent Salaries

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Food Server Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Food Server. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Food Server Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Food 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.

View Detailed Information

Food Server Demographics

Gender

female

60.6 %

male

34.1 %

unknown

5.4 %

Ethnicity

White

61.6 %

Hispanic or Latino

20.0 %

Asian

7.4 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

62.7 %

French

6.6 %

Mandarin

3.8 %
See More Demographics

Food Server Education

Majors

Business
17.6 %
Nursing
8.2 %

Degrees

High School Diploma

36.8 %

Bachelors

29.6 %

Associate

17.1 %
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

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%
  • See All Food Server Skills

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 Alaska, New York, Pennsylvania, and Minnesota. Food servers make the most in Alaska with an average salary of $34,244. Whereas in New York and Pennsylvania, they would average $26,489 and $25,583, respectively. While food servers would only make an average of $25,170 in Minnesota, 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. Wyoming

Total Food Server Jobs:
58
Highest 10% Earn:
$28,000
Location Quotient:
1.34
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. Alabama

Total Food Server Jobs:
354
Highest 10% Earn:
$29,000
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. Pennsylvania

Total Food Server Jobs:
1,063
Highest 10% Earn:
$31,000
Location Quotient:
0.96
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
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How Do Food Server Rate Their Jobs?

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5.0

My career January +0000

5.0

Zippia Official LogoMy career January +0000

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

1. McDonald's
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$17,189
Food Servers Hired: 
370+
2. Aramark
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$19,235
Food Servers Hired: 
342+
3. Subway
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$17,984
Food Servers Hired: 
331+
4. Sodexo Operations LLC
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$19,038
Food Servers Hired: 
315+
5. Darden Restaurants
3.7
Avg. Salary: 
$20,048
Food Servers Hired: 
310+
6. Taco Bell
3.9
Avg. Salary: 
$18,963
Food Servers Hired: 
233+

Food Server Videos