The food service industry requires a large number of workers capable of speaking directly with customers. The industry typically divides the filed into front-of-the-house workers and back-of-the-house workers. Back-of-the-house workers include chefs and any other worker who remains out of sight of diners. Front-of-the-house workers include waiters, waitresses, bartenders and counter attendants. Food service workers perform a number of tasks, including taking orders, delivering food to tables, preparing food and cleaning around the restaurant. As the food industry grows, food service workers will find that they have the qualification necessary for positions as fast food cooks, kitchen helpers and in a wide range of catering jobs.
Food Service Worker Education Requirements
Food service workers do not require any specialized training. Those working in the back of the house undergo on-the-job training with a trained chef while front-of-the-house workers shadow other employees until they feel confident performing the job. Less than half of all workers attended college or have a college degree, and more than 60 percent of workers have some type of high school education. Some larger and more expensive restaurants require that chefs and those working in the back of the house have some culinary training or experience.
Food Service Worker Job Market
Statistics show that the job outlook for food service workers will increase by 12 percent from 2012 to 2022. This average rate of growth will introduce an additional 523,400 jobs. As of 2012, more than 4.4 million people worked in food service positions across the United States. Fast food restaurants and sit-down restaurants witness a high turnover rate of employees every year. As workers continue moving between restaurants and leaving for other jobs, these restaurants will need employees trained in front-of-the-house and back-of-the-house operations.
Food Service Salary
Food service jobs come with an hourly salary, and the median pay for these positions is $8.84 an hour, which is $18,400 a year. Some positions, including bartenders and busboys, receive a percentage of the tips that servers earn in addition to their regular salaries.