Counter Attendants, Cafeteria, Food Concession, and Coffee Shop

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About the Job

Serve food to diners at counter or from a steam table.

It is also Called

  • Barista
  • Cafe Attendant
  • Cafe Server
  • Cafe Worker
  • Cafeteria Cook
  • Cafeteria Food Server
  • Cafeteria Server
  • Cafeteria Worker
  • Candy Attendant
  • Candy Bar Attendant

What They Do

  • Serve food, beverages, or desserts to customers in such settings as take-out counters of restaurants or lunchrooms, business or industrial establishments, hotel rooms, and cars.
  • Prepare bills for food, using cash registers, calculators, or adding machines, and accept payment or make change.
  • Cook food or prepare food items, such as sandwiches, salads, and ice cream dishes, using standard formulas or following directions.
  • Perform cleaning duties such as sweeping, mopping, and washing dishes, to keep equipment and facilities sanitary.
  • Balance receipts and payments in cash registers.
  • Wrap menu item such as sandwiches, hot entrees, and desserts for serving or for takeout.
  • Scrub and polish counters, steam tables, and other equipment, and clean glasses, dishes, and fountain equipment.
  • Replenish foods at serving stations.
  • Brew coffee and tea, and fill containers with requested beverages.
  • Take customers' orders and write ordered items on tickets, giving ticket stubs to customers when needed to identify filled orders.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: RSE.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Realistic interests, but also prefer Social and Enterprising environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Relationships, but also value Support and Working Conditions in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Sales and Marketing - Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Food Production - Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Education Required

Some of these occupations may require a high school diploma or GED certificate.

LMI Region

Wages

In 2013, the average annual wage in United States was $19,650 with most people making between $16,340 and $25,450

Outlook

0.45%
avg. annual growth

During 2010, this occupation employed approximately 445,000 people in United States. It is projected that there will be 472,000 employed in 2020.

This occupation will have about 2,000 openings due to growth and about 348,000 replacement openings for approximately 350,000 total annual openings.