What does a Food Server do?
Food Servers work at restaurants and catering companies to welcome guests and provide them with an enjoyable dining experience. Their role is to be the guest’s main point of communication with the kitchen and bar. Food Servers work as a team with front-of-house staff to welcome customers, direct them to their seats and take their orders. They engage in friendly conversation with their tables to make them feel comfortable and provide a hospitable environment, delivering food on time and at the correct temperature. Food Servers also maintain cleanliness in the dining room and correct any issues with meals.
Food Server skills and qualifications
Food Servers use a combination of soft skills to help customers and support other restaurant staff, including:
- Excellent customer service, including patience and a friendly demeanor
- Exceptional organization and time management
- Effective written and verbal communication skills
- Great active listening skills
- Ability and willingness to collaborate
- Knowledge of foodservice regulations and proper food handling procedures
- Capability to learn quickly and memorize menu details
- Comfortable working in a fast-paced environment
- Willing to work flexible work schedules that include nights and weekends
- Physically able to be on their feet for extended periods and lift up to 25 pounds unassisted
Food Server salary expectations
A Food Server makes an average of $11.82 per hour. Pay rate may depend on their level of experience, education and geographical location.
Food Server education and training requirements
Many Food Servers are qualified with some high school education on track to complete their diploma, though some candidates have completed their high school education or have earned a GED and may even be in the process of completing higher education. Food Servers typically complete training through previous relevant experience or on-the-job training once hired. Food Server candidates with previous experience may already have a ServSafe certification that demonstrates their knowledge of food handling regulations and best practices. Other candidates may be in the process of or be willing to complete one.
Food Server experience requirements
Entry-level Food Server candidates may not have previous relevant experience but be suitable fr on-the-job training. Entry-level candidates or those with limited to no experience may also provide training and leadership opportunities to more senior employees. Candidates with years of relevant experience, especially in the same industry or setting, are more likely to quickly adjust to their new role and save time on on-the-job training.
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