Employment Outlook for Food Servers Over the Next 5 Years

Food and beverage servers serve customers at dining establishments such as restaurants, cafeterias, schools, and businesses.

Survey respondents typically anticipate structural labour-market churn at 23% of their companies' current workforce (see Figure 3.1), meaning new jobs should be created while existing ones will likely be shed at roughly equal numbers.

Education and Training

Food Server Jobs demand should experience slight increases over the next five years due to increased dine-in and takeout restaurant popularity; more people needing serviced; as well as expanding dining room space which requires additional staff; thus creating additional server job opportunities.

Employers need to prepare for this increase by ensuring their current food servers are adequately trained. A comprehensive training program should include both classroom and hands-on learning; servers should learn how to correctly prepare each food item they serve in their restaurant and serve it to guests; additionally, training should include customer service skills development and how to handle difficult situations.

Regular training sessions for all roles at your restaurant are crucial in keeping all employees focused on their goals and providing them with the tools to be successful. Training sessions also encourage teamwork and provide positive reinforcement; for example, rewarding top performing servers with free meals or preferred parking spots could be used as rewards. Ongoing training sessions are an invaluable way to build relationships and ensure employee retention.

Survey respondents project an overall structural labour-market churn rate of 23% over the next five years (see Figure 3.1), representing jobs being created and lost within the economy. This estimate represents less job loss than what this dataset can accurately capture; as such it should be taken more as an indicative forecast rather than definitive one.

Work Environment

Food servers work in an extremely fast-paced environment where customer service is the top priority. As part of a team and working under tight deadlines, they must also communicate effectively between their duties. Although being a food server may present its own set of challenges and rewards; developing excellent interpersonal skills and creating lasting connections among colleagues are some of the primary ones. In addition, serving provides invaluable job experience that can be applied across other careers or life circumstances.

Food and beverage serving workers do not need an education degree; however, on-the-job training will help them learn kitchen safety, food handling procedures and general restaurant operations - making the move up the food industry ladder that much simpler.

Entry-level positions such as cafeteria attendants, fast food workers and bartender helpers can be ideal for newcomers entering the workforce. Some of these jobs don't even require prior experience - providing newcomers an ideal chance to develop necessary skills needed for advancement into more specialized roles such as waiters or waitresses.

Some high-end eateries prefer hiring food and beverage servers with formal education or postsecondary training in hospitality management. Some culinary schools even offer degrees dedicated to food service management that can prepare individuals for careers in this sector of food service management.

Healthcare support professions in Minnesota and nationwide are projected to experience the fastest job growth from 2020-2030 compared to what may be lost from labor market changes. These positions could add almost 170,000 new positions between this timeframe.

While projections demonstrate positive employment growth, it is notable that even if employment were to return to its pre-pandemic levels by 2030, Accommodation and Food Services jobs would still fall below their baseline numbers, suggesting this sector has lagged behind others in recovering fully from pandemic illness.


Food and beverage servers recently saw their average hourly pay surpass $15 for the first time ever; however, wages in this sector still remain relatively low compared with other industries. Low wages are often cited as one of the primary reasons people leave restaurant jobs; one survey revealed that over 50% of hospitality workers who had quit stated no amount of increased pay would tempt them back into work.

Therefore, many employees must rely on tips in order to meet their minimum wage needs. Unfortunately, this can make balancing work and home life challenging; particularly if the schedule of your job is unpredictable - in some cases you might only know your schedule the week prior.

Successful customer service skills are required in this role, and you may encounter unhappy customers and incorrect orders that test your patience. Over time, however, you will learn how to address such situations calmly and sensibly.

Some employers provide additional perks beyond a basic salary for their employees, such as free or discounted meals while working at certain restaurants. This can help save you money when purchasing food and drinks after shifts have ended; not all restaurants provide this benefit, however; so make sure that before applying.

Food servers may also qualify for vacation and sick leave benefits, which can come in handy when traveling in the future. Furthermore, servers at certain restaurants often receive discounts on certain merchandise - an invaluable benefit if you're in the market for purchasing something but at an attractive discount price!

Noteworthy is the potential decline of overall employment prospects for this role based on respondents' expectations for structural labour market churn. This means more jobs may be lost than gained over the next five years - an effect most apparent within Accommodation, Food & Leisure; Manufacturing; Retail/Wholesale of Consumer Goods/Supply Chain/Transportation industries.

Work Hours

Food servers play an essential part in providing customers with an exceptional dining experience at restaurants. As they interact with diners before, during, and after their meals they must have strong interpersonal skills as well as being able to work well under pressure while still remaining positive - they may also need to be available for extended shifts as well as weekend and holiday work.

Food service careers can be fast-paced, particularly during peak dining times, so it is crucial that food servers can remain focused while meeting customer satisfaction goals and working well under stress conditions, with an ability to think on their feet and adapt quickly when situations arise.

Food servers' duties typically involve taking orders, serving food and beverages, delivering items directly to tables and answering any related inquiries from diners. They may also assist them with menu selection and answer queries regarding the available menu options or beverages. In some instances, these professionals must also clean their dining area as well as perform tasks that don't involve direct customer contact such as cleaning up.

Food and beverage serving workers are sometimes required to complete additional duties before opening day for business, including refilling salt and pepper shakers, restocking ketchup bottles, rolling silverware, folding napkins, cleaning the bar or dining area and setting tables.

Food and beverage serving workers must prepare carryout orders, often including wrapping or placing food in bags and creating fountain specialties such as milkshakes and ice cream sundaes. In addition, they may create itemized bills before accepting payment at the counter - some even act as carhops, delivering orders directly to parked cars.

Food servers must enjoy working with people to be successful. You should possess excellent customer service skills as well as possess a friendly demeanor and the ability to navigate a hectic dining environment. Restaurant servers tend to be social individuals who thrive when engaging in lively environments - if these qualities describe you, a career as a food server could be just the right fit!

Anthony Harrigill
Anthony Harrigill

Wannabe zombie expert. Proud beer fan. Friendly thinker. Typical coffee maven. Friendly zombie geek.

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