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Become An Order Taker

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Working As An Order Taker

  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Getting Information
  • Training and Teaching Others
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Outdoors/walking/standing

  • Repetitive

  • $18,125

    Average Salary

What Does An Order Taker Do

Food and beverage serving and related workers perform a variety of customer service, food preparation, and cleaning duties in restaurants, cafeterias, and other eating and drinking establishments.

Duties

Food and beverage serving and related workers typically do the following:

  • Greet customers and answer their questions about menu items and specials
  • Take food or drink orders from customers
  • Prepare food and drink orders, such as sandwiches, salads, and coffee
  • Relay customers’ orders to other kitchen staff
  • Serve food and drinks to customers at a counter, at a stand, or in a hotel room
  • Clean assigned work areas, dining tables, or serving counters
  • Replenish and stock service stations, cabinets, and tables
  • Set tables or prepare food trays for new customers

Food and beverage serving and related workers are the front line of customer service in restaurants, cafeterias, and other food service establishments. Depending on the establishment, they take customers’ food and drink orders and serve food and beverages.

Most work as part of a team, helping coworkers to improve workflow and customer service. The job titles of food and beverage serving and related workers vary with where they work and what they do.

The following are examples of types of food and beverage serving and related workers: 

Combined food preparation and serving workers, including fast food, are employed primarily by fast-food restaurants. They take food and beverage orders, prepare or retrieve items when ready, fill cups with beverages, and accept customers’ payments. They also heat food items and make salads and sandwiches.

Counter attendants take orders and serve food over a counter in snack bars, cafeterias, movie theaters, and coffee shops. They fill cups with coffee, soda, and other beverages, and may prepare fountain specialties, such as milkshakes and ice cream sundaes. Counter attendants take carryout orders from diners and wrap or place items in containers. They clean counters, prepare itemized bills, and accept customers’ payments.

Food servers, nonrestaurant, serve food to customers outside of a restaurant environment. Many deliver room service meals in hotels or meals to hospital rooms. Some act as carhops, bringing orders to customers in parked cars.

Dining room and cafeteria attendants and bartender helpers—sometimes collectively referred to as bus staff—help waiters, waitresses, and bartenders by cleaning and setting tables, removing dirty dishes, and keeping serving areas stocked with supplies. They also may help waiters and waitresses by bringing meals out of the kitchen, distributing dishes to diners, filling water glasses, and delivering condiments. Cafeteria attendants stock serving tables with food trays, dishes, and silverware. They sometimes carry trays to dining tables for customers. Bartender helpers keep bar equipment clean and glasses washed. 

Hosts and hostesses greet customers and manage reservation and waiting lists. They may direct customers to coatrooms, restrooms, or a waiting area until their table is ready. Hosts and hostesses assign guests to tables suitable for the size of their group, escort patrons to their seats, and provide menus. They also take reservations over the phone, arrange parties, and help with other customers’ requests.

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How To Become An Order Taker

Most food and beverage service jobs are entry-level jobs and do not require a high school diploma. The majority of workers receive short-term on-the-job training.

Most states require workers, such as nonrestaurant servers, who serve alcoholic beverages to be 18 years of age or older.

Education

There are no formal education requirements for becoming a food and beverage serving worker.

Training

Most workers learn their skills through short-term on-the-job training, usually lasting several weeks. Training includes basic customer service, kitchen safety, safe food-handling procedures, and good sanitation habits.

Some employers, particularly those in fast-food restaurants, teach new workers with the use of self-study programs, online programs, audiovisual presentations, or instructional booklets that explain food preparation and service procedures. However, most food and beverage serving and related workers learn their skills by watching and working with more experienced workers.

Some full-service restaurants provide new dining room employees with classroom training sessions that alternate with periods of on-the-job work experience. The training communicates the operating philosophy of the restaurant, helps new employees establish a personal rapport with other staff, teaches employees formal serving techniques, and instills a desire in the staff to work as a team.

Some nonrestaurant servers and bartender helpers who work in establishments where alcohol is served may need training on state and local laws concerning the sale of alcoholic beverages. Some states, counties, and cities mandate such training, which typically lasts a few hours and can be taken online or in-house.

Advancement

Advancement opportunities are limited to those who remain on the job for a long time. However, some dining room and cafeteria attendants and bartender helpers may advance to waiter, waitress, or bartender positions as they learn the basics of serving food or preparing drinks.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Food and beverage serving and related workers must listen carefully to their customers’ orders and relay them correctly to the kitchen staff so that the orders are prepared to the customers’ request.

Customer-service skills. Food service establishments rely on good food and customer service to keep customers and succeed in a competitive industry. As a result, workers should be courteous and be able to attend to customers’ requests.

Physical stamina. Food and beverage serving and related workers spend most of their worktime standing, carrying heavy trays, cleaning work areas, and attending to customers’ needs.

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Order Taker Jobs

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Order Taker Career Paths

Order Taker
Dietary Aide Home Health Aid Security Officer
Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Shift Manager Office Manager General Manager
Area Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Night Auditor Front Desk Supervisor
Assistant General Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Customer Care Representative Recruiter Career Counselor
Career Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Cleaner Handyman Chef
Dietary Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Dietary Aide Security Officer Account Manager
District Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Packer Forklift Operator Maintenance Technician
Facilities Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Delivery Driver Service Technician Assistant Service Manager
Food And Beverage Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Operations Manager General Manager
Food Service Director
9 Yearsyrs
Delivery Driver Self-Employed Food Service Worker
Food Service Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Machine Operator Production Technician Food Service Worker
Food Service Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Machine Operator Forklift Operator Carpenter
General Contractor
6 Yearsyrs
Home Health Aid Technician Service Manager
General Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Account Manager Account Executive
Marketing Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Shift Manager General Manager Account Executive
Sales Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Shift Leader General Manager Account Executive
Sales/Marketing
5 Yearsyrs
Home Health Aid Security Officer Technician
Service Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Shift Leader Technician Operations Manager
Site Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Driver Instructor
Training Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Packer Material Handler Forklift Operator
Warehouse Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Order Taker Demographics

Gender

Female

73.7%

Male

23.9%

Unknown

2.4%
Ethnicity

White

59.0%

Hispanic or Latino

19.6%

Black or African American

10.7%

Asian

7.4%

Unknown

3.3%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

61.5%

Portuguese

6.4%

French

5.1%

Russian

3.8%

Arabic

3.8%

Filipino

2.6%

Japanese

2.6%

German

2.6%

Tagalog

2.6%

Mandarin

2.6%

Italian

2.6%

Chinese

1.3%

Braille

1.3%

Cantonese

1.3%
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Order Taker Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

12.9%

University of North Texas

6.9%

Southwest Tennessee Community College

5.9%

Kaplan University

5.9%

University of Texas at Arlington

5.0%

Columbia College Chicago

5.0%

American InterContinental University

5.0%

Red Rocks Community College

5.0%

College of Southern Nevada

5.0%

University of South Florida

4.0%

Central Piedmont Community College

4.0%

Ultimate Medical Academy - Clearwater

4.0%

Ashford University

4.0%

Texas State University

4.0%

Nassau Community College

4.0%

Houston Community College

4.0%

The Academy

4.0%

Rasmussen College

4.0%

Miami Dade College

4.0%

University of Central Florida

4.0%
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Majors

Business

19.3%

Psychology

8.5%

Nursing

8.1%

General Studies

7.0%

Criminal Justice

6.5%

Accounting

6.5%

Health Care Administration

6.1%

Medical Assisting Services

5.6%

English

4.0%

Culinary Arts

3.1%

Communication

3.1%

Education

2.9%

Liberal Arts

2.7%

Nursing Assistants

2.7%

Elementary Education

2.7%

Cosmetology

2.5%

Computer Science

2.5%

Management

2.2%

Graphic Design

2.2%

Early Childhood Education

2.0%
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Degrees

Other

43.5%

Bachelors

27.9%

Associate

17.3%

Certificate

5.9%

Masters

2.5%

Diploma

1.8%

License

0.9%

Doctorate

0.2%
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Top Skills for An Order Taker

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  1. Record Customer Orders
  2. Kitchen Equipment
  3. Delivery Orders
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Request and record customer orders, and compute bills using cash registers, multicounting machines, or pencil and paper.
  • Prepare delivery orders for drivers, including bagging drinks, plates and utensils and side items.
  • Maintain sanitation and followed FIFO and food safety policy.
  • Take food orders and relay orders to kitchens or serving counters so they can be filled.
  • Coordinated with servers and kitchen staff to ensure accurate and expedient room service orders.

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Top Order Taker Employers

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