Food Server Job Description, Skills, and Salary
Are you searching for a food server job description? Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of a food server. Feel free to use our food server job description template to produce your own food server job description. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as a food server.
Who is a Food Server?
A food server usually referred to as a waiter or waitress, is in charge of receiving orders from customers at restaurants and bringing them their meals. They have to interact with the kitchen workers, explain the menu to the clients, and balance the meals as they transport them to the right table.
Employees in the food service industry need to be able to multitask successfully while still providing excellent customer service. They frequently operate in hectic settings where they must multitask while attending to the requirements of their customers—taking orders, making beverages and food, clearing dishes, etc.
Food Server Job Description
What is a food server job description? A food server job description is simply a list of duties and responsibilities of a food server in an organization. Below are the food server job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a food server job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.
The job description of a food server includes all of the following:
- Prepare bespoke orders, such as tailored salads or sandwiches, following client requests.
- Sanitize the dining room, tables, and chairs after each use.
- Serve customers at their tables in a restaurant or other dining place food from a menu.
- Greet visitors and, if necessary, help them find seats.
- Take orders for food and beverages from patrons, relay the information to the kitchen, and then deliver the orders to clients’ tables in a restaurant or bar,
- Set up and take down tables, as well as other serving utensils such as plates, cutlery, napkins, and glasses.
- Respond to inquiries concerning menu items to assist consumers in making decisions.
- Inform the kitchen staff of any food allergies or particular dietary requirements.
- Make sure that all orders are fulfilled promptly, precisely, and with high-quality food.
- Ensure that diners receive attentive service by checking on them throughout meals and replenishing drinks as necessary.
- Do some cleaning around the kitchen, eating area, and gas station, among other places.
- Set tables, polish glasses, fold napkins, and replace condiments as part of your opening chores.
- Participate in pre-shift and general meetings to learn about current promotions and stock-related issues, as well as to discuss service and product-related issues.
- Assist management and hostesses in welcoming, seating, and providing visitors with food and wine menus.
- Make sure drinks are delivered quickly and are constantly refilled.
- Be precise when entering orders into the point of sale (POS) software.
- Provide visitors with their check; upon departure, sincerely greet and thank them on request.
- Perform closing tasks including sweeping and vacuuming, as well as getting the linens ready for laundry service pickup.
The basic requirements for the role of a food server are as follows:
- Education: Although entry-level food servers normally do not need formal education, some companies do prefer candidates with at least a high school diploma or a GED in addition to employment experience. Degrees in a variety of fields, such as communication, culinary arts, and hospitality management is suitable for this role. Aspiring food servers can also enroll in technical programs to gain extra knowledge in management, bartending, customer service, and safe food handling.
- Training: While on the job, food servers pick up the unique procedures and technology relevant to their position. This training may span one to three weeks and is often included in the onboarding process for new hires. To gain the confidence necessary to do jobs independently, training frequently entails observing experienced food servers in action and executing activities under close supervision. Experienced food servers may be able to transfer their customer service, patience, and time management skills to a new position.
- Certifications: Professionals can demonstrate their qualifications and develop their abilities by earning certifications. To increase their theoretical and practical understanding of their duties, assess their abilities, and develop their careers, food servers might obtain certifications. The following are some of the most popular certifications for this field:
- Food Handler Certificate: The certificate program, which is run by the National Registry of Food Safety Professionals, can be finished online or in a classroom. The extensive curriculum gives food handlers knowledge that will enable them to securely handle food intended for human consumption. It addresses issues like cross-contamination, personal hygiene, temperature management, cleaning and sanitizing, and pests. The 40-question exam that concludes the course guarantees that the certificate bearer has mastered the fundamentals of food safety.
- Food Safety Manager Certification: This curriculum, which is also taught by the NRFSP, assesses the knowledge and abilities of beginning food managers. A five-year certification is available after completing an 80-question exam. The promotion of food safety and the prevention of foodborne illness is made possible by holding this certification.
Some of the core competencies required of a food server are as follows:
- Food safety skills: Food safety is a crucial skill for any employee in the food service industry. To safeguard the health and safety of your clients, you should be able to adhere to rigorous food safety protocols. This involves handling food safely, cleaning your hands, and storing food properly.
- Customer service skills: Professionals in the food service industry need to have strong customer service abilities. You should be able to welcome clients, respond to inquiries regarding menu items, and offer suggestions based on client preferences. Additionally, you should be able to respond positively to client complaints and provide solutions that satisfy them.
- Effective communication skills: Another crucial ability for those working in the food service industry is communication. It might be necessary for you to interact with customers, supervisors, and kitchen workers. Speaking clearly and concisely is essential if you want to be sure your message is being understood. You can also be in charge of responding to client inquiries concerning menu items, ingredients, or other food-related subjects.
- Keen attention to detail: The capacity to detect subtle changes in a person’s behavior or environment is known as attention to detail. If you operate in the food industry, you can discover that a customer’s order needs to be changed. You can easily correct the order if you pay attention to detail and can see the alteration. By doing this, you can keep customers satisfied while saving the restaurant time and money.
- Ability to multi-task: Multitasking is a skill that you should have if you want to work as a food server. You should therefore be able to manage multiple tasks at once. For instance, you might be stocking a condiment station, making a drink, and taking orders all at once. It’s crucial to be able to handle this because it’s a typical job responsibility for food servers.
- Social Skills: Servers in restaurants frequently collaborate with a group of waiters and members of the kitchen. To share information regarding clients, food orders, and tables with your employees, it’s critical that you can communicate effectively. When conversing with visitors, you should also be warm and hospitable. Being approachable might help you establish a connection with consumers and give them a pleasant eating experience.
- Stock Management skills: Food servers should be able to manage their inventory, including being aware of how much of each item they currently have and when it will probably run out. This is crucial because a waiter cannot properly take a customer’s order if an item is out of stock. Additionally, it guarantees that the restaurant has adequate ingredients on hand to create meals for patrons.
- Flexibility: Being flexible is having the capacity to change course when necessary. You might need to be adaptable with your schedule and work hours if you work as a waitress in a restaurant. If there is an unexpected surge in business, you might also need to alter your plans for lunch or breaks. Being adaptable might make it simpler for you to cope with new challenges at work and keep your composure in tense circumstances.
- The Use of Point of Sale (POS) Systems: The technology and software that enables a restaurant to process payments are called point-of-sale systems. The operation of these systems should be understood by servers so they can assist clients effectively. For instance, the server should know where to lead a customer who needs to pay with a check or credit card. They could also have to input orders manually into the computer system.
- Patience: Being patient is a trait that can make you a successful restaurant server. Patience might help you maintain your composure and attention during your shift because you might need to serve tables with intricate orders or huge groups of patrons. Additionally, it’s crucial to exercise patience when dealing with consumers because it can facilitate outstanding service and the development of strong bonds.
- Cash handling skills: The capacity to correctly process payments and give change is known as cash handling. You can be expected to receive payment from clients and disperse it appropriately when working as a server. This involves accepting monetary tips and giving the right amount of change. Because they guarantee that your customers pay fairly and that you receive the proper quantity of money, cash management skills are crucial. Additionally, it guarantees that you don’t commit errors when handling transactions.
- Food and beverage expertise: Understanding food and drink allow one to appropriately describe menu items. This entails being aware of the ingredients, cooking techniques, and any dietary restrictions for each dish. A waiter should be able to describe how dishes are created or what components they contain when accepting orders. For instance, the waitress should be aware of which menu items are appropriate for customers with allergies.
- Cleaning and Sanitation: To protect the health of their clients, food servers should be knowledgeable on fundamental cleaning and sanitation practices. You might have to keep your restaurant’s kitchen clean and replenish with supplies in addition to cleaning the tables. This might assist you in staying on top of your server responsibilities and ensuring that your restaurant complies with health requirements.
- Table Service Skills: The capacity of the server to give guests the appropriate food and beverages is a crucial component of table service. Questions on the ingredients, cooking techniques, and dietary requirements of menu items should be answered by servers. For clients to place informed orders, they also need to be able to appropriately define the food. Order tracking may be done by servers using a computer program or ticketing system, which calls for accuracy and attention to detail.
- Interpersonal Competence: Understanding other people’s feelings and being able to communicate with them are interpersonal skills. Since restaurant servers frequently work in teams, having good interpersonal skills will help you get along with your bosses and coworkers. To establish a rapport with clients and make them feel at ease, you also need interpersonal skills. This might help you deliver great service that encourages repeat business.
- Ability to work in a team: Working as a team in a group is known as teamwork. As a server in a restaurant, you’ll probably be assisting numerous other patrons at once. Working effectively with your coworkers can increase your job satisfaction and productivity. When appropriate, you might also need to assign your team members jobs or obligations.
- Customer Service Skills: The capacity to give your clients a satisfying experience is known as customer service. This entails extending a friendly greeting, responding to their inquiries, and meeting their requirements. Building ties with consumers can encourage them to frequent your restaurant again. Additionally, keep in mind that every customer has different tastes and personality traits, so it’s beneficial to pay attention to everyone who enters your restaurant.
- Upselling: The act of recommending an additional good or service to a customer is known as upselling. For instance, you might recommend a customer sample one of your restaurant’s specialty milkshakes if they order a sandwich and fries. This can boost your sales and persuade clients to place larger orders than they had initially planned. It also gives you a chance to practice giving specific descriptions of menu items so you can explain what each dish contains and how it tastes.
How to Become a Food Server
- Begin in a cafeteria, a kiosk, or a fast-food establishment: Look for patterns in the job requirements when you browse local job postings. You must start at a position that requires no prior experience to master the fundamental abilities to provide food to customers. Fast-food establishments, which are known for hiring younger workers who are just entering the employment market, may be the culprit in this case. These positions, which are sometimes seasonal or part-time, teach workers the fundamentals of workplace safety and sanitation as well as customer service, communication, teamwork, and keeping up in a fast-paced atmosphere. You can advance to the next level of food service by developing these talents.
- Obtain necessary credentials: To prepare you for the everyday duties of a food server, you can think about obtaining qualifications in food safety, teamwork, or leadership depending on your prior job experience.
- Create a solid résumé: On a resume, you can list your highest level of education, any pertinent certifications, and your professional experience. Your job experience section should include the names of the companies you’ve worked for, the dates you worked there, and an overview of your duties, contributions, and accomplishments. You can get a job as a food server by demonstrating your career growth and skill development.
- Apply for open serving jobs: Apply for positions you are qualified for based on needed years of experience and skill level after learning about the sector. Emphasizing your new and improved talents can make it more likely that companies will call you for an interview. Summarize your desire for and suitability for a position at that organization in your cover letter.
Where to Work as a Food Server
Food servers work in restaurants, cafeterias, and other places where food is served. They usually work shifts that encompass the evenings and weekends, and during busy times, they could put in extra hours. To prepare breakfast items or prepare the dining room for the day’s meals, some food servers may be needed to work early morning shifts. Long shifts on their feet, and lifting large trays of food or supplies may be necessary for food servers.
Food Server Salary Scale
In the USA, the average wage for a food server is $28,454 per year or $14.59 per hour. Most experienced workers earn up to $39,000 per year, while entry-level roles start at $23,400.
In the United Kingdom, the average gross pay for a food server is £19,759, which equates to a £9 hourly wage. They also receive an average bonus of £1,045. Wage projections are based on anonymous employee and employer responses to a salary survey conducted in the UK. The typical wage for an entry-level food server (with 1-3 years of experience) is £19,759. The average compensation for a senior-level food server (8+ years of experience) is £21,018.
In Canada, a food server makes an average wage of $26,520 per year or $13.60 per hour. Most experienced workers earn up to $31,200 per year, while entry-level roles start at $24,375.
The average gross pay for a food server in Ireland is €24,458, which equates to €12 per hour. Additionally, they receive a €1,294 bonus on average. Wage projections are based on anonymous employee and employer responses to a salary survey conducted in Ireland. The typical wage for a beginning food server (with 1-3 years of experience) is €21,293. The average pay for a senior-level food server (8+ years of service) is €28,422.
In Darwin, Australia, the average food server gross compensation is $40,640, or $20 per hour. This is 4% ($1,840) less than the typical Australian food server pay. Additionally, they receive a $2,150 bonus on average. Salary projections are based on information from a poll of anonymous employees and employers in Darwin, Australia. The typical compensation for a food server at entry level (1-3 years of experience) is $40,172. The average wage for a senior-level food server (8+ years of service) is $47,292.
The average gross pay for food servers in Germany is 25.790 €, which works out to an hourly wage of 12€. They also receive an average bonus of 1.364 euros. Wage projections are based on anonymous employee and employer responses to a salary survey conducted in Germany. The typical wage for a beginning food server (with 1-3 years of experience) is 22.127 euros. The average pay for a senior-level food server (8+ years of service) is €29.963.
In Nigeria, the average monthly salary for a food server is roughly 106,000 NGN. The lowest salary is 50,800 NGN, while the highest is 166,000 NGN (highest).