Food Service Worker Statistics and Facts in the US

Research Summary. Using a database of 30 million profiles, Zippia estimates demographics and statistics for food service workers in the United States. Our estimates are verified against BLS, Census, and current job openings data for accuracy. After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • There are over 362,695 food service workers currently employed in the United States.
  • 60.9% of all food service workers are women, while only 33.9% are men.
  • The average age of an employed food service worker is 32 years old.
  • The most common ethnicity of food service workers is White (67.4%), followed by Hispanic or Latino (13.4%) and Black or African American (10.9%).
  • The majority of food service workers are located in PA, Philadelphia and NY, New York.
  • Food service workers are paid an average annual salary of $22,006.
  • Food service workers average starting salary is $17,000.
  • In 2021, women earned 99% of what men earned.
  • The top 10% of highest-paid food service workers earn as much as $28,000 or more.
  • 7% of all food service workers are LGBT.
  • Food service workers are more likely to work at private companies in comparison to education companies.

Food Service Worker Statistics By Gender

Among food service workers, 60.9% of them are women compared to 33.9% which are men.

Job Title
  • Female, 60.9%
  • Male, 33.9%
  • Unknown, 5.2%
Job Title
GenderascdescPercentagesascdesc
Female
60.9%
Male
33.9%
Unknown
5.2%

Gender Pay Gap For Food Service Worker

Women Earn 99¢ For Every $1 Earned By Man

male-income
Male Income
$22,090
female-income
Female Income
$21,884

Food Service Worker Gender Over Time

This data shows how men and women predominate in the food service worker position over time.

Male
Female
45%
43%
40%
38%
35%
33%
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
YearascdescMaleascdescFemaleascdesc
2008
38.04%
61.96%
2009
38.08%
61.92%
2010
38.93%
61.07%
2011
39.50%
60.50%
2012
39.33%
60.67%
2013
40.76%
59.24%
2014
40.27%
59.73%
2015
39.82%
60.18%
2016
39.87%
60.13%
2017
39.20%
60.80%
2018
38.87%
61.13%

Food Service Worker Male to Female Ratio

We compared this job title with other job titles to see how gender percentages varied. As you can see, saucier and vacuum kettle cook have the biggest difference in gender.

Compare Jobs
Job Titleascdesc
Maleasc
Femaleascdesc
Diet Clerk16%80%
Dietary Clerk16%80%
School Cafeteria Cook20%77%
Food Service Worker34%61%
Line Cook/Dishwasher79%17%
Vacuum Kettle Cook81%16%
Saucier84%9%
Male
Female
100%
75%
50%
25%
0%
Saucier
Vacuum Kettle Cook
Line Cook/Dishwasher
Food Service Worker
School Cafeteria Cook
Dietary Clerk
Diet Clerk
0%
25%
50%
75%
100%

Food Service Worker Statistics By Race

The most common ethnicity among food service workers is White, which makes up 67.4% of all food service workers. Comparatively, there are 13.4% of the Hispanic or Latino ethnicity and 10.9% of the Black or African American ethnicity.

Job Title
  • White, 67.4%
  • Hispanic or Latino, 13.4%
  • Black or African American, 10.9%
  • Asian, 4.5%
  • Unknown, 2.9%
  • American Indian and Alaska Native, 0.9%
Job Title
Food Service Worker RaceascdescPercentagesascdesc
White
67.4%
Hispanic or Latino
13.4%
Black or African American
10.9%
Asian
4.5%
Unknown
2.9%
American Indian and Alaska Native
0.9%

Food Service Worker Race And Ethnicity Over Time

Using the Census Bureau data, we found out how the percentage of each ethnic category trended between 2008-2018 among food service workers.

  • White
  • Asian
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Black or African American
YearascdescWhiteascdescBlack or African AmericanascdescAsianascdescHispanic or Latinoascdesc
2010
68.62%
11.53%
4.45%
12.84%
2011
67.71%
12.07%
4.70%
12.86%
2012
67.34%
12.37%
4.13%
13.14%
2013
67.31%
11.82%
4.18%
13.72%
2014
66.76%
12.13%
4.40%
13.62%
2015
66.58%
11.87%
4.61%
13.76%
2016
65.75%
11.76%
4.75%
14.30%
2017
66.12%
10.94%
5.11%
14.32%
2018
67.43%
10.92%
4.54%
13.45%

Food Service Worker Wage Gap By Race

Hispanic or latino food service workers have the highest average salary compared to other ethnicities. White food service workers have the lowest average salary at $21,634.
$23,000
$22,000
$21,000
Unknown
White
Black or African American
Asian
Hispanic or Latino
Ethnicityascdesc
Salaryascdesc
Unknown$22,130
White$21,634
Black or African American$21,894
Asian$22,062
Hispanic or Latino$22,215

Average Age of a Food Service Worker

We determined the average age of food service workers based on ethnicity and gender.

Male
Female
RaceascdescMale AgeascdescFemale Ageascdesc
Black or African American
30
31
Unknown
23
23
Asian
34
39
Hispanic or Latino
27
34
White
24
29
American Indian and Alaska Native
27
33

Food Service Worker Age Breakdown

This chart breaks down the ages of food service worker employees. Interestingly enough, the average age of food service workers is 20-30 years old, which represents 41% of the population.

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20-30 years

30-40 years

40+ years


Food Service Worker YearsascdescPercentagesascdesc
20-30 years
41%
30-40 years
16%
40+ years
30%

Types of Food Service Worker Degree Levels

The most common degree for food service workers is high school diploma 44% of food service workers earn that degree. A close second is bachelor's degree with 21% and rounding it off is associate degree with 17%.

Job Title
  • High School Diploma, 44%
  • Bachelors, 21%
  • Associate, 17%
  • Diploma, 11%
  • Other Degrees, 7%
Job Title
Food Service Worker DegreeascdescPercentagesascdesc
High School Diploma
44%
Bachelors
21%
Associate
17%
Diploma
11%
Other Degrees
7%

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Food Service Worker Wage Gap By Education

Food service workers with a Masters degree earn more than those without, at $23,992 annually. With a Bachelors degree, food service workers earn a median annual income of $22,657 compared to $22,490 for food service workers with an Associate degree.
$25,000
$24,000
$23,000
$22,000
$21,000
High School Diploma or Less
Master's Degree
Bachelor's Degree
Some College/ Associate Degree
Educationascdesc
Salaryascdesc
High School Diploma or Less$21,884
Master's Degree$23,992
Bachelor's Degree$22,657
Some College/ Associate Degree$22,490

Food Service Worker Employment Statistics

This section highlights the information we gathered about the types of businesses and industries that employ food service workers. We found that the most common company type is private. In addition, the industry that employs the most food service workers is the hospitality industry.

Company Size

We created this chart to show you the average size of companies that typically hire food service workers.

Compare Jobs

< 50 employees

50 - 100 employees

100 - 500 employees

500 - 1,000 employees

1,000 - 10,000 employees

> 10,000

Company SizeascdescPercentagesascdesc
< 50 employees
2%
50 - 100 employees
1%
100 - 500 employees
8%
500 - 1,000 employees
10%
1,000 - 10,000 employees
49%
> 10,000 employees
31%

The Types Of Companies Food Service Worker Work In

Employees with the food service worker job title have their preferences when it comes to working for a company. For instance, most food service workers prefer to work at private companies over education companies.

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Education

Public

Private

Government

Company TypeascdescPercentagesascdesc
Education
23%
Public
17%
Private
55%
Government
6%

Top Industries Hiring Food Service Workers

Just based on the number of employees within each industry, we were able to determine the most common industries that employ food service workers. Those industries include hospitality, health care and retail.

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Hospitality

Health Care

Retail

Education

Non Profits

IndustryascdescPercentagesascdesc
Hospitality
25%
Health Care
24%
Retail
12%
Education
11%
Non Profits
5%
Fortune 500
5%
Professional
4%
Technology
3%
Finance
2%
Government
2%
Manufacturing
2%
Media
1%
Transportation
1%
Utilities
1%
Start-up
1%
Energy
1%
Agriculture
1%
Insurance
1%

Food Service Worker Turnover And Employment Statistics

Food Service Worker Unemployment Rate Over Time

The Bureau of Labor Statistics came in clutch when it came down to figuring out how the unemployment rate has changed over time. Between 2008 and 2018, this is how the number of food service workers changed.

  • Unemployment rate
YearascdescFood Service Worker Unemployment Rateascdesc
2010
14.59%
2011
13.33%
2012
12.38%
2013
11.18%
2014
9.76%
2015
8.87%
2016
8.75%
2017
8.82%
2018
8.52%

The Average Number of Years That Food Service Worker Stay in a Job

By looking over 60,904 food service workers resumes, we figured out that the average food service worker enjoys staying at their job for Less than 1 year for a percentage of 34%.

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Less than one year

1-2 years

3-4 years

5-7 years

8-10 years

11+ years


Number or YearsascdescPercentagesascdesc
Less than 1 year
34%
1-2 years
30%
3-4 years
13%
5-7 years
14%
8-10 years
4%
11+ years
5%

Comparing The LGBT Ratio of Food Service Workers with Other Job Titles

After finding the gender ratio, we wondered if the percentages of LGBT persons were different as well. Using the data below, you can see how other job titles compare to food service workers.

Compare Jobs
Job Titleascdesc
LGBTasc
Dish Washer7.11%
Food Service Worker7.12%
Kitchen Steward7.39%
Lead Hostess8.08%
Cook House Supervisor8.79%
Bar Waiter/Waitress9.75%
Fountain Worker11.55%

ProfessionascdescPercentages of LGBT ascdesc
Dish Washer
7.11%
Kitchen Steward
7.39%
Lead Hostess
8.08%
Cook House Supervisor
8.79%
Bar Waiter/Waitress
9.75%
Fountain Worker
11.55%

Foreign Languages Spoken By Food Service Workers

The most common foreign language among food service workers is Spanish at 65.1%. The second-most popular foreign language spoken is French at 7.2% and German is the third-most popular at 5.0%.

Job Title
  • Spanish, 65.1%
  • French, 7.2%
  • German, 5.0%
  • Chinese, 3.2%
  • Mandarin, 2.9%
  • Other, 16.6%
Job Title
Foreign LanguageascdescPercentagesascdesc
Spanish
65.1%
French
7.2%
German
5.0%
Chinese
3.2%
Mandarin
2.9%
Other
16.6%

Food Service Worker Jobs

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Food Service Worker Heatmaps

The amount you can make as a food service worker can depend on where you live. For example, the highest salary of food service workers is $25,301. Use our chart to find out where that salary is located.

Where Do Food Service Workers Earn The Most?

The map here shows where food service workers earn the highest salaries in the U.S. The darker areas across the 50 states highlight the highest salaries.

Average Salary

Where Are Food Service Workers Located?

By looking through more than 60,904 resumes, we found that the most popular places for food service workers are PA, Philadelphia and NY, New York.

Number of Food Service Workers

Where Are Food Service Workers In High Demand?

We looked over job openings to determine where in the country food service workers are in the most demand.

Jobs Openings