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Job and Career Opportunities in Fast Food & Casual Dining Restaurants

Overview
Restaurant Workers Needed!
Qualifications, Education & Training
Entry Level Jobs
Helpful Services
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Overview

The fast-food restaurant has been one of the fastest growing industries in the United States.
Fast-food businesses now constitute more than 40 percent of the Nation's restaurants.

Fast-food restaurants rely heavily for their work force on teenagers and others with little work experience, or those looking for part-time employment.

Food and beverage serving and related workers perform a variety of customer service, food preparation, and cleaning duties in full-service restaurants, casual dining eateries, fast food and other eating and drinking places.
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Fast Food & Casual Dining Restaurant Workers Needed!

Combined food preparation and serving workers, including fast food, are employed primarily by fast-food restaurants. They take food and beverage orders, retrieve items when ready, fill drink cups, and accept payment. They also may heat food items and assemble salads and sandwiches.

Counter attendants take orders and serve food over a counter in snack bars, cafeterias, movie theaters, and coffee shops. They fill cups with coffee, soda, and other beverages, and may prepare fountain specialties, such as milkshakes and ice cream sundaes. Counter attendants take carryout orders from diners and wrap or place items in containers. They clean counters, write itemized bills, and sometimes accept payment.

Dining room and cafeteria attendants and bartender helpers—sometimes collectively referred to as bus staff—help waiters, waitresses, and bartenders by cleaning and setting tables, removing dirty dishes, and keeping serving areas stocked with supplies. They also may help waiters and waitresses by bringing meals out of the kitchen, distributing dishes to diners, filling water glasses, and delivering condiments. Cafeteria attendants stock serving tables with food trays, dishes, and silverware. They may carry trays to dining tables for patrons. Bartender helpers keep bar equipment clean and glasses washed.

Hosts and hostesses welcome customers and keep reservation and waiting lists. They may direct customers to coatrooms, restrooms, or to a waiting area until their table is ready. Hosts and hostesses assign guests to tables suitable for the size of their group, escort patrons to their seats, and provide menus. They also take reservations, arrange parties, and help with other requests.

These are just a few of the many jobs and careers available in this industry.
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Qualifications, Education and Training

Typically, most food and beverage service jobs are entry level and do not require a high school diploma or equivalent. The majority of workers receive short-term on-the-job training.

All new employees receive some training from their employer. They typically learn basic customer service, kitchen safety, and safe food-handling procedures and sanitation.

Some employers, particularly those in fast-food restaurants, teach new workers using self-study programs, online programs, audiovisual presentations, or instructional booklets that explain food preparation and service skills. But most food and beverage serving and related workers pick up their skills by watching and working with more experienced workers.

Some full-service restaurants also provide new dining room employees with classroom training that alternates with periods of on-the-job work experience. These training programs communicate the operating philosophy of the restaurant, help new employees establish a personal rapport with other staff, teach formal serving techniques, and instill a desire to work as a team.
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Entry Level Jobs

There are several jobs in this field that don’t seem to require a High School Diploma/GED though they may require you to be an adult teen 18 or older.

The job titles of food and beverage serving and related workers vary depending on where they work and what they do. The following are types of food and beverage serving and related workers:

  • Food Server
  • Food Preparation Worker
  • Crew Member
  • Crew Associate
  • Counter Attendant
  • Dining Room Attendant
  • Cafeteria Attendant
  • Waiter & Waitress
  • Bartender Helper
  • Host & Hostess
  • Cook

If you are interested in pursuing a job in this field, search for these types of job titles in the database and from our supporters on the right.

Look for positions that are entry level.
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Helpful Services

For more information on jobs and careers in this field visit:
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Food and Beverage Serving and Related Workers, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/food-preparation-and-serving/food-and-beverage-serving-and-related-workers.htm

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