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The food service specialists monitor food preparation, ensuring that the guests get their correct orders, providing them the best dining experience and satisfaction. A food service specialist takes the guests' orders, processes their payments, and serves their orders timely and efficiently. They also monitor the stock inventories, coordinate with suppliers and third-party vendors for stock requests, and assist with kitchen duties as needed, especially on high volume days. A food service specialist must have a broad knowledge of the food services industry, analyzing the current food trends to make suggestions for menus, and responding to the guests' concerns.

Food Service Specialist Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real food service specialist resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Regulate temperatures of ovens, broilers, and grills.
  • Apply a vast number or USDA and USDC Standards/Specifications to determine compliance with contractual requirements.
  • Maintain a safe work environment for the preparation of food through sanitation and HACCP procedures.
  • Inspect prepared foods place on the serving line to ensure temperature and quality follow ServSafe protocols.
  • Utilize the techniques of roasting, broiling, frying, grilling, steaming, and baking.
  • Ensure that food purchase and procure for multiple units is in accordance with DOD and USDA standards and contractual documents.
  • Prepare meats for cooking, which may consist of frying, baking, and roasting of all types of meats.
  • Inspect foods before, during and after the cooking process using hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP).
  • Ensure proper hygiene and sanitation using ServSafe procedures.
  • Supervise junior sailors to ensure accuracy of work performance.
  • Conduct radio/computer communications to helicopter pilots in combat and support.
  • Supervise other sailors in the everyday sanitation and food service facility.
  • Meet regulatory requirements by inspecting cleanliness of uniforms and equipment for daily operations.
  • Maintain cleanliness in the food preparation area while providing customer satisfaction through quality products
  • Perform nutrition assessment screenings of individual patients for nutritional requirements and restrictions; provide recommendations on food item selection.

Food Service Specialist Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 33% of Food Service Specialists are proficient in Kitchen Equipment, Preventive Maintenance, and MOS. They’re also known for soft skills such as Physical strength, Dexterity, and Physical stamina.

We break down the percentage of Food Service Specialists that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Kitchen Equipment, 33%

    Trained personnel in correct sanitation procedures, proper food preparation and the operation/maintenance of valuable kitchen equipment.

  • Preventive Maintenance, 24%

    Maintained and conducted Preventive Maintenance on Garrison and Field equipment/vehicles ensuring all equipment was up to standard.

  • MOS, 9%

    Provided valuable training to subordinates ensuring MOS proficiency.

  • Customer Service, 7%

    Demonstrated excellent customer service- Conducted routine maintenance on equipment- Prepared food to industry standards- Trained new employees on operations of the shop

  • Cleanliness, 4%

    Maintained inside and outside facility cleanliness, along-side food preparation safety precautions.

  • Patients, 4%

    Followed established clinic procedures for referring patients for follow-up treatment and other clinic appointments when dietitian request for further treatment.

"kitchen equipment," "preventive maintenance," and "mos" aren't the only skills we found food service specialists list on their resumes. In fact, there's a whole list of food service specialist responsibilities that we found, including:

  • The most important skills for a food service specialist to have in this position are physical strength. In this excerpt that we gathered from a food service specialist resume, you'll understand why: "food preparation workers should be strong enough to lift and carry heavy food supply boxes, which often can weigh up to 50 pounds." According to resumes we found, physical strength can be used by a food service specialist in order to "created daily strength reports, facilitated responsibilities by orientating tasks reports, and the training of new food service operations specialist. "
  • While it may not be the most important skill, we found that many food service specialist duties rely on dexterity. This example from a food service specialist explains why: "food preparation workers chop vegetables, cut meat, and perform many other tasks with sharp knives." This resume example is just one of many ways food service specialists are able to utilize dexterity: "inventory control trained in operation of 2 ton trucks, 5 ton trucks, and forklifts. "
  • Another skill that is quite popular among food service specialists is physical stamina. This skill is very critical to fulfilling every day responsibilities as is shown in this example from a food service specialist resume: "food preparation workers stand on their feet for long periods while they prepare food, clean work areas, or lift heavy pots from the stove." This example from a resume shows how this skill is used: "demonstrated skills necessary for survival in a combat environment, included marksmanship, physical conditioning, and combat techniques. "
  • In order for certain food service specialist responsibilities to be completed, the job requires the skill "listening skills." According to a food service specialist resume, "food preparation workers must understand customers’ orders and follow directions from cooks, chefs, or food service managers." As an example, this snippet was taken directly from a resume about how this skill applies: "gained proficiency in customer service skills through listening, communicating, problem solving, troubleshooting and delivering results. "
  • See the full list of food service specialist skills.

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    What Pastry Cooks Do

    The Pastry Cook's responsibilities include preparing quality pastry items such as breakfast items, desserts, breads, ice creams, creams, simple syrups, amenities, and others. They are also responsible for minimizing waste and maintaining control to attain forecasted food cost.

    In this section, we compare the average food service specialist annual salary with that of a pastry cook. Typically, pastry cooks earn a $5,572 higher salary than food service specialists earn annually.

    While their salaries may differ, one common ground between food service specialists and pastry cooks are a few of the skills required in each craft. In both careers, employees bring forth skills like kitchen equipment, customer service, and cleanliness.

    These skill sets are where the common ground ends though. A food service specialist responsibility is more likely to require skills like "preventive maintenance," "mos," "patients," and "servsafe." Whereas a pastry cook requires skills like "culinary," "quality standards," "food safety," and "food preparation." Just by understanding these different skills you can see how different these careers are.

    Pastry cooks tend to make the most money in the hospitality industry by averaging a salary of $36,443. In contrast, food service specialists make the biggest average salary of $39,427 in the government industry.

    On average, pastry cooks reach similar levels of education than food service specialists. Pastry cooks are 1.5% less likely to earn a Master's Degree and 0.0% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

    What Are The Duties Of a Line Cook?

    Line cooks are responsible for preparing meals for guests or employers. The term line cook brings to mind an assembly line. This is apt because line cooks are usually assigned to a specific station to work on a specific part of a meal or a preparation process. They are part of a bigger group of cooks in the restaurant. This is done so that meal preparation is more efficient. Line cooks are responsible for preparing ingredients, ensuring that the pantry is well-stocked, and doing their assigned activity in the line. They are expected to be good team players, have experience as a cook, and be able to follow recipes and provide alternatives when necessary.

    Now we're going to look at the line cook profession. On average, line cooks earn a $3,608 higher salary than food service specialists a year.

    Not everything about these jobs is different. Take their skills, for example. Food service specialists and line cooks both include similar skills like "kitchen equipment," "customer service," and "cleanliness" on their resumes.

    But both careers also use different skills, according to real food service specialist resumes. While food service specialist responsibilities can utilize skills like "preventive maintenance," "mos," "patients," and "servsafe," some line cooks use skills like "culinary," "team work," "quality food," and "quality standards."

    Line cooks may earn a higher salary than food service specialists, but line cooks earn the most pay in the hospitality industry with an average salary of $32,363. On the other side of things, food service specialists receive higher paychecks in the government industry where they earn an average of $39,427.

    On the topic of education, line cooks earn similar levels of education than food service specialists. In general, they're 1.7% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.0% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    How a Chef/Kitchen Manager Compares

    A kitchen manager or chef is someone who oversees the overall operations in the kitchen as well as the food operations. Kitchen managers make certain that food and related products are well prepared, cooked, and served to customers. They maintain a fully-stocked kitchen inventory and comply with the cleanliness and safety standards. It is their responsibility to manage the kitchen staff and aid them in delivering quality food at the right time. They need to possess management skills, leadership skills, and attention to detail.

    Let's now take a look at the chef/kitchen manager profession. On average, these workers make higher salaries than food service specialists with a $20,129 difference per year.

    Using food service specialists and chef/kitchen managers resumes, we found that both professions have similar skills such as "kitchen equipment," "servsafe," and "sanitation standards," but the other skills required are very different.

    As mentioned, these two careers differ between other skills that are required for performing the work exceedingly well. For example, gathering from food service specialists resumes, they are more likely to have skills like "preventive maintenance," "mos," "customer service," and "cleanliness." But a chef/kitchen manager might have skills like "kitchen operations," "culinary," "wine," and "quality standards."

    Chef/kitchen managers make a very good living in the hospitality industry with an average annual salary of $44,258. Whereas food service specialists are paid the highest salary in the government industry with the average being $39,427.

    Chef/kitchen managers are known to earn similar educational levels when compared to food service specialists. Additionally, they're 1.1% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 0.0% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    Description Of a Shift Leader

    Shift leaders are tenured or experienced employees who are assigned to oversee employees in specific work shifts. They manage team members who are assigned in their shift. They also ensure that business goals are met. Shift leaders check whether team members are working, and they ensure that they always comply with company policies and guidelines. They also monitor the performance of their employees and coach them should the employees need help in any area of their work. Shift leaders should have good communication skills, decision-making skills, and interpersonal skills.

    Now, we'll look at shift leaders, who generally average a higher pay when compared to food service specialists annual salary. In fact, the difference is about $4,555 per year.

    While both food service specialists and shift leaders complete day-to-day tasks using similar skills like customer service, cleanliness, and patients, the two careers also vary in other skills.

    Even though a few skill sets overlap, there are some differences that are important to note. For one, a food service specialist might have more use for skills like "kitchen equipment," "preventive maintenance," "mos," and "food handling." Meanwhile, some shift leaders might include skills like "customer complaints," "cash handling," "management," and "store operations" on their resume.

    In general, shift leaders make a higher salary in the manufacturing industry with an average of $36,581. The highest food service specialist annual salary stems from the government industry.

    Shift leaders reach similar levels of education when compared to food service specialists. The difference is that they're 0.9% more likely to earn a Master's Degree less, and 0.0% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.