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Food Preparation and Serving Worker

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No standard requirement

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What They Do

Fast Food and Counter Workers Career Video

About This Career

Performs duties such as taking orders and serving food and beverages. Serves customers at counter or from a steam table. May take payment. May prepare food and beverages.

This career is part of the Hospitality and Tourism cluster Restaurants and Food/Beverage Services pathway.

A person in this career:

  • Communicates with customers regarding orders, comments, and complaints.
  • Scrubs and polishes counters, steam tables, and other equipment, and cleans glasses, dishes, and fountain equipment.
  • Accepts payment from customers, and makes change as necessary.
  • Performs cleaning duties, such as sweeping, mopping, and washing dishes, to keep equipment and facilities sanitary.
  • Requests and records customer orders, and computes bills, using cash registers, multi-counting machines, or pencil and paper.
  • Balances receipts and payments in cash registers.
  • Serves 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.
  • Prepares daily food items, and cooks simple foods and beverages, such as sandwiches, salads, soups, pizza, or coffee, using proper safety precautions and sanitary measures.
  • Cleans and organizes eating, service, and kitchen areas.
  • Monitors and orders supplies or food items, and restocks as necessary to maintain inventory.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves walking or running more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Rotating shift work
  • Weekend work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Concession Cashier
  • Food Service Aide
  • Snack Bar Attendant
  • Deli Worker (Delicatessen Worker)
  • Food Service Assistant
  • Food Service Worker — Duties include responsibility for instructing subordinate food service workers in dining hall techniques and methods; for maintaining high standards of cleanliness; and for assuring that patrons are served in a pleasant and courteous manner.
  • School Cafeteria Cook
  • Food Server
  • Cafe Server
  • Cafeteria Server


  • Email Support
  • 1-800-GO-TO-XAP (1-800-468-6927)
    From outside the U.S., please call +1 (424) 750-3900
  • North Dakota Career Resource Network
    ndcrn@nd.gov | (701) 328-9733