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Working As A Food Service Worker

  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Handling and Moving Objects
  • Outdoors/walking/standing

  • $20,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Food Service Worker Do

Food preparation workers perform many routine tasks under the direction of cooks, chefs, or food service managers. Food preparation workers prepare cold foods, slice meat, peel and cut vegetables, brew coffee or tea, and perform many other food service tasks. 

Duties

Food preparation workers typically do the following:

  • Clean and sanitize work areas, equipment, utensils, and dishes
  • Weigh or measure ingredients, such as meats and liquids
  • Prepare fruit and vegetables for cooking
  • Cut meats, poultry, and seafood and prepare them for cooking
  • Mix ingredients for salads
  • Store food in designated containers and storage areas to prevent spoilage
  • Take and record the temperature of food and food storage areas
  • Place food trays over food warmers for immediate service

Food preparation workers perform routine, repetitive tasks under the direction of cooks, chefs, or food service managers. To help cooks and other kitchen staff, they prepare ingredients for dishes by slicing and dicing vegetables and by making salads and cold food items. Other common duties include keeping salad bars and buffet tables stocked and clean.

Food preparation workers retrieve pots and pans, clean and store kitchen equipment, and unload and store food supplies. When needed, they retrieve food and equipment for cooks and chefs. In some kitchens, food preparation workers use a variety of commercial kitchen equipment, such as commercial dishwashers, blenders, slicers, or grinders.

In restaurants, workers stock and use soda machines, coffeemakers, and espresso machines to prepare beverages for customers. In fast-food restaurants, food preparation workers may take customer orders and process payments.

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How To Become A Food Service Worker

Food preparation workers typically learn their skills through on-the-job training. No formal education or previous work experience is required.

Education

There are no formal education requirements for becoming a food preparation worker.

Training

Most food preparation workers learn their skills through short-term on-the-job training, usually lasting several weeks. Trainees typically start by working under the supervision of an experienced worker, who teaches them basic kitchen duties. Training also may include basic sanitation and workplace safety regulations, as well as instructions on how to handle and prepare food.

Important Qualities

Dexterity. Food preparation workers chop vegetables, cut meat, and perform many other tasks with sharp knives. They must have the ability to work quickly and safely with sharp objects.

Listening skills. Food preparation workers must understand customers’ orders and follow directions from cooks, chefs, or food service managers.

Physical stamina. Food preparation workers stand on their feet for long periods while they prepare food, clean work areas, or lift heavy pots from the stove.

Physical strength. Food preparation workers should be strong enough to lift and carry heavy food supply boxes, which often can weigh up to 50 pounds.

Advancement

Advancement opportunities for food preparation workers depend on their training and work experience. Many food preparation workers advance to assistant or line cook positions as they learn basic cooking skills.

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Average Length of Employment
Food Service Aide 2.5 years
Dietary Worker 2.4 years
Cafeteria Worker 2.1 years
Mexican Food Cook 1.9 years
Kitchen Worker 1.8 years
Food Prep 1.7 years
Food Handler 1.7 years
Food Preparer 1.6 years
Kitchen Staff 1.4 years
Mexican Food Maker 1.2 years
Top Careers Before Food Service Worker
Cashier 25.5%
Server 4.3%
Cook 3.7%
Volunteer 3.7%
Internship 3.3%
Waitress 2.7%
Hostess 2.0%
Top Careers After Food Service Worker
Cashier 19.2%
Server 4.9%
Cook 4.9%
Internship 3.3%
Volunteer 2.6%

Do you work as a Food Service Worker?

Average Yearly Salary
$20,000
Show Salaries
$15,000
Min 10%
$20,000
Median 50%
$20,000
Median 50%
$20,000
Median 50%
$20,000
Median 50%
$20,000
Median 50%
$20,000
Median 50%
$20,000
Median 50%
$26,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Denver Public Library
Highest Paying City
Boston, MA
Highest Paying State
Massachusetts
Avg Experience Level
2.2 years
How much does a Food Service Worker make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Food Service Worker in the United States is $20,303 per year or $10 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $15,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $26,000.

The largest raises come from changing jobs.

See what's out there.

Real Food Service Worker Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Food Service Worker Alpine Country Club, Inc. May 17, 2016 $27,987
Food Prep Worker Frank's Pizza of Mt. Arlington, Inc. Sep 16, 2016 $26,270
Food Prep Workers CRU Ack LLC May 05, 2015 $24,835
Food Prep Workers Cape Cod Restaurants, Inc. Apr 01, 2016 $23,354
Food Prep Workers Cape Cod Restaurants, Inc. Apr 13, 2016 $23,354
Food Prep Workers Cape Cod Restaurants, Inc. Apr 11, 2016 $23,354
Food Prep Workers Cape Cod Restaurants, Inc. Apr 01, 2015 $23,228
Food Prep Workers CRU Ack LLC May 11, 2016 $23,207
Food Prep Workers Fella's, Inc. May 01, 2016 $22,894
Food Service Worker Lake Naomi Club May 15, 2016 $22,498
Food Service Worker Lake Naomi Club May 17, 2016 $22,498
Food Service Worker Lake Naomi Club May 01, 2016 $22,498
Food Service Worker Cattle-Ac Steakhouse Dec 20, 2016 $22,206
Food Service Worker Sutton Bay Golf, LLC May 01, 2016 $17,677
Food Service Worker MUY Pizza Southeast LLC Feb 19, 2016 $17,659
Food Service Worker Ocean City Donut Shops, Inc. Apr 01, 2016 $17,489
Food Service Worker El Portal, Inc. Mar 01, 2015 $17,489
Food Service Worker Sutton Bay Golf, LLC Apr 21, 2015 $17,406
Food Service Worker Loma, Inc. Mar 02, 2015 $17,280
Food Service Worker Jalisco of Kingsport, Inc. Mar 02, 2015 $17,280
Food Service Worker Tres Rancheros Inc. Feb 01, 2015 $17,218
Food Service Worker MUY Pizza Tejas LLC Apr 04, 2016 $16,827
Food Service Worker MUY Pizza Tejas LLC Sep 29, 2015 $16,827
Food Service Worker MUY Pizza Southeast LLC Aug 12, 2016 $16,827
Food Service Worker MUY Pizza Tejas LLC Sep 30, 2015 $16,827
Food Service Worker MUY Pizza Houston, LLC Aug 12, 2016 $16,827
Food Service Worker MUY Pizza Houston, LLC Nov 16, 2016 $16,827
Food Service Worker MUY Pizza Tejas LLC Oct 26, 2016 $16,827

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Top Skills for A Food Service Worker

  1. Food Preparation
  2. Kitchen Equipment
  3. Customer Service
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provided excellent customer service by working numerous food preparation stations - Maintained composure and positive attitude in fast-paced and time-intensive environments
  • Prepared dining areas, thoroughly cleaned and sterilized kitchen equipment and appliances, and extensively contributed to proper food storage procedures.
  • Exhibit a professional attitude, exceptional customer service and courtesy when assisting customers and interacting with co-workers and supervisors.
  • Pack meal trays into food carts, transport loaded carts to proper location, collected trays and carts upon completed meals.
  • Receive and store food supplies, equipment, and utensils in refrigerators * Place food trays over food warmers for immediate service

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Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Food Service Workers

  1. Vermont
  2. Maine
  3. Rhode Island
  4. West Virginia
  5. Alaska
  6. Massachusetts
  7. South Dakota
  8. Indiana
  9. North Dakota
  10. Nebraska
  • (61 jobs)
  • (99 jobs)
  • (80 jobs)
  • (74 jobs)
  • (37 jobs)
  • (486 jobs)
  • (62 jobs)
  • (429 jobs)
  • (43 jobs)
  • (95 jobs)

Food Service Worker 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 60,904 Food Service Worker 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 Service Worker Resume

View Resume Examples

Food Service Worker Demographics

Gender

Female

60.9%

Male

33.9%

Unknown

5.1%
Ethnicity

White

63.5%

Hispanic or Latino

15.0%

Black or African American

12.0%

Asian

6.1%

Unknown

3.3%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

65.1%

French

7.2%

German

5.0%

Chinese

3.2%

Mandarin

2.9%

Japanese

2.5%

Russian

1.9%

Tagalog

1.9%

Portuguese

1.8%

Italian

1.3%

Vietnamese

1.1%

Cantonese

1.1%

Korean

0.9%

Polish

0.9%

Arabic

0.9%

Hmong

0.7%

Hindi

0.5%

Swedish

0.4%

Swahili

0.4%

Hebrew

0.3%
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Food Service Worker Education

Schools

Everest Institute

7.4%

Ashford University

7.1%

Pennsylvania State University

7.1%

Community College of Philadelphia

6.6%

University of California - Davis

6.2%

Kaplan University

5.7%

Bowling Green State University

5.7%

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

5.2%

Liberty University

4.5%

Houston Community College

4.4%

Johnson & Wales University

4.2%

Central Texas College

4.2%

Monroe Community College

4.2%

Essex County College

4.1%

University of California - Berkeley

4.0%

Washington State University

4.0%

Prince George's Community College

4.0%

Bryant and Stratton College

4.0%

University of California - San Diego

3.9%

College of Lake County

3.8%
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Majors

Business

15.7%

Nursing

8.2%

Medical Assisting Services

8.1%

General Studies

7.8%

Criminal Justice

7.5%

Psychology

6.8%

Health Care Administration

6.5%

Culinary Arts

6.5%

Accounting

4.1%

Liberal Arts

3.8%

Computer Science

3.1%

Hospitality Management

3.0%

Education

2.6%

Biology

2.5%

Cosmetology

2.5%

Communication

2.4%

Food And Nutrition

2.3%

Nursing Assistants

2.3%

Human Services

2.2%

Pharmacy

2.0%
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Degrees

High School Diploma

43.3%

Bachelors

20.7%

Associate

16.3%

Diploma

8.9%

Certificate

8.7%

Masters

1.3%

License

0.7%

Doctorate

0.1%
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Top Food Service Worker Employers

Jobs From Top Food Service Worker Employers

Food Service Worker Videos

Food Worker Training Video - English

Personal Habits of a Food Service Worker

A Day in the Life of a Cafeteria Worker

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Updated May 18, 2020