Food Service Workers


Food Service Workers


Food service workers include waiters (the term waiter refers to both male and female servers) of many different types, as well as counter attendants, dining room attendants, hosts, fast food workers, kitchen assistants, and others. These workers take customers' orders, serve food and beverages, make out customers' checks, and sometimes take payments. These basic duties, however, may vary greatly depending on the specific kind of food service establishment. There are more than 12.5 million food preparation and serving related workers...

Quick Facts


Median Salary



Employment Prospects



Minimum Education Level

High School Diploma



Volunteer or part-time experience serving food





Personality Traits

Hands On


The earnings of food service workers are determined by a number of factors, such as the type, size, and location of the food establishment, union membership, experience and training of the workers, basic wages paid, and, in some cases, tips earned. Estimating the average wage scale is therefore difficult and has a wide margin of error. It should also be noted that half of all food service worke...

Work Environment

Working conditions for food service workers have improved greatly, as more restaurants have been air-conditioned and modernized and many labor-saving techniques have become available. However, this occupational group is still subject to certain work hazards. These may include burns from heat and steam; cuts and injuries from knives, glassware, and other equipment; and sometimes hard falls from ...


Because work schedules can be flexible, part-time work is often available, and because people need little or no training to do this work, the food service industry employs a substantial number of people. Additionally, the demand for restaurants and other eateries continues to grow as our population grows. In particular, the large and growing population of senior citizens, who often prefer to di...