FOOD PREPARERS/SERVERS take orders from customers, prepare food, and serve food at counters or to people seated at tables. They work in cafeterias, restaurants, coffee shops, and fast food stores. They may carve meat, dish out vegetables, fill beverages, and keep areas clean. Food preparers and servers prepare some short-order items, such as sandwiches, hamburgers, and salads, and wrap or package orders for carry out. They keep counters, displays, refrigerators, salad bars, and steam tables stocked. They may also take payment and make change.
Salary, Size & Growth
- $23,000 average per year ($11.00 per hour)
- A very large occupation (1,454,600 workers in 2010)
- Expected to grow moderately (0.7% per year)
There are no specific educational requirements for FOOD PREPARERS/SERVERS, and completion of high school is generally not needed. For many people, a job as a food preparer and server is a source of immediate income, rather than a career. Many of these workers are full-time students or homemakers. Food preparers and servers jobs are a major source of part-time employment for high school and college students. State laws often require that food preparers and servers obtain health certificates showing that they are free from communicable diseases.