Food Server

Last Updated:
June 29, 2023

Job Description Overview

A Food Server in the Hospitality industry is responsible for ensuring that the customers have a pleasant dining experience. Food Servers must be knowledgeable about the menu and be able to provide customers with recommendations on dishes based on their preferences. They also take orders, serve food and drinks, and clear tables. Food Servers must possess excellent customer service skills, be able to work well under pressure, and have a positive attitude. Additionally, they must be able to multitask effectively and work as part of a team. The role of a Food Server in a restaurant is critical to the success of the business, as they are responsible for ensuring that customers leave satisfied and eager to return. Overall, a Food Server job description requires a person with excellent communication skills, a love for people, and a passion for the hospitality industry.

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Take orders from customers and input them into the electronic system.
  • Serve food and drinks to customers at tables or counters.
  • Ensure that customers have everything they need, such as utensils, napkins, and condiments.
  • Answer any questions customers may have about the menu items or restaurant policies.
  • Clear tables and prepare them for the next customers.
  • Work with kitchen staff to ensure that the correct food is delivered to the correct table in a timely manner.
  • Handle cash and process payments for meals.
  • Maintain a clean and tidy restaurant by wiping down tables and chairs, sweeping, and mopping floors.

Experience and Education Requirements

To become a food server, you typically need a high school diploma or equivalent. Some employers prefer previous experience working in a restaurant or hospitality environment. You should be familiar with menu items and able to make recommendations to customers. You'll also need to have good communication skills and be able to work well in a team environment. Basic math skills are important for handling payments, making change, and calculating tips. Many food servers receive on-the-job training to learn specific policies and procedures for their workplace. A positive attitude, friendliness, and the ability to provide excellent customer service are all key traits for success in this job.

Salary Range

The expected salary range for a Food Server in the hospitality industry varies depending on several factors like location, experience, skill set, and the type of establishment. In the US, the average salary for a Food Server is around $22,000 to $32,000 per year, according to Payscale. The starting salary for entry-level positions can be as low as $16,000 per year, while experienced servers in high-end restaurants can earn up to $45,000 per year.

In other countries, the expected salary range can differ depending on the cost of living and cultural norms. For instance, in Canada, the average salary for a Food Server is around CAD 21,000 to CAD 33,000 per year, according to Wow Jobs.

Ultimately, it's essential to note that factors such as experience, performance, and location do carry significant weight in determining the salary for a Food Server. Therefore, ensure that you negotiate your salary package to reflect your qualifications and experience.


  • Payscale (
  • Wow Jobs (

Career Outlook

The career outlook for a food server in the hospitality industry is expected to remain steady over the next five years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of food servers is projected to grow 6% from 2019 to 2029, which is about the average for all occupations. One of the reasons for this growth is due to an increase in demand for fast and convenient food services.

Moreover, as hospitality businesses continue to expand, there will be a steady demand for food servers. This profession provides an opportunity for individuals with no prior experience to gain entry-level experience and develop their customer service, communication, and organizational skills. With the right training and work ethic, food servers can advance to supervisory or management roles within the industry.

In conclusion, despite the pandemic's impact on the hospitality industry, the demand for food servers is expected to remain stable as the economy continues to recover.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What does a Food Server do?

A: A Food Server takes orders, serves food and drinks, and handles payments to customers in restaurants, cafes, and other food establishments.

Q: What skills does a Food Server need?

A: Food Servers should have excellent communication and customer service skills, be physically fit and able to stand for extended periods, and have the ability to multitask in a fast-paced environment.

Q: What are the work hours like for a Food Server?

A: The work hours for a Food Server are often flexible, as many restaurants are open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Some may work part-time, full-time, or during peak hours, which can include evenings, weekends, and holidays.

Q: Is training required to become a Food Server?

A: Most Food Servers receive on-the-job training, where they learn about food safety, menu items, and customer service. Some establishments may require certification or training for specific roles, such as serving alcohol.

Q: How much can a Food Server expect to make in tips?

A: The amount a Food Server can make in tips varies greatly depending on the establishment, location, and season. Some servers may earn a significant portion of their income from tips, which can range from 15-20% of the total bill.

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