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Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers, Including Fast Food
SOC Code: 35-3021.00

Perform duties which combine preparing and serving food and nonalcoholic beverages.

Sample of reported job titles: Car Hop, Deli Clerk (Delicatessen Clerk), Deli Worker (Delicatessen Worker), Dietary Aide, Food Service Assistant, Food Service Worker, Prep Cook (Preparation Cook), Sandwich Artist, School Cafeteria Cook, Server


  • Communicate with customers regarding orders, comments, and complaints.
  • Accept payment from customers, and make change as necessary.
  • Request and record customer orders, and compute bills using cash registers, multi counting machines, or pencil and paper.
  • Prepare daily food items, and cook simple foods and beverages, such as sandwiches, salads, soups, pizza, or coffee, using proper safety precautions and sanitary measures.
  • Clean and organize eating, service, and kitchen areas.
  • Monitor and order supplies or food items and restock as necessary to maintain inventory.
  • Serve customers in eating places that specialize in fast service and inexpensive carry-out food.
  • Collect and return dirty dishes to the kitchen for washing.
  • Wash dishes, glassware, and silverware after meals.
  • Notify kitchen personnel of shortages or special orders.
  • Relay food orders to cooks.
  • Prepare and serve cold drinks, or frozen milk drinks or desserts, using drink-dispensing, milkshake, or frozen custard machines.
  • Select food items from serving or storage areas and place them in dishes, on serving trays, or in take-out bags.
  • Cook or reheat food items such as french fries.
  • Perform personnel activities such as supervising and training employees.
  • Distribute food to servers.
  • Pack food, dishes, utensils, tablecloths, and accessories for transportation from catering or food preparation establishments to locations designated by customers.
  • Arrange tables and decorations according to instructions.
  • Serve food and beverages to guests at banquets or other social functions.
  • Provide caterers with assistance in food preparation or service.
  • Plan, prepare, and deliver meals to individuals with special dietary needs.

Technology Skills

  • Data base user interface and query software - Menu and nutrition database software
  • Office suite software - Microsoft Office
  • Point of sale POS software - Intuit QuickBooks Point of Sale; NCR Advanced Checkout Solution; NCR NeighborhoodPOS; The General Store (see all 6 examples)
  • Spreadsheet software - Microsoft Excel

Tools Used

  • Bar code reader equipment - Barcode scanners; Linear imaging scanners; Long range charged coupled device CCD barcode scanners; Point of service scanners
  • Belt conveyors - Food conveyor belts
  • Cappuccino or espresso machines - Espresso machines
  • Carbonated beverage dispenser - Carbonated beverage dispensers
  • Carts - Motorized food transportation carts
  • Cash registers
  • Commercial use broilers - Broilers
  • Commercial use coffee or iced tea makers - Coffee makers
  • Commercial use convection ovens - Convection ovens
  • Commercial use cutlery - Chefs' knives
  • Commercial use deep fryers - Deep fat fryers; Deep wells; Fryers
  • Commercial use dishwashers - Commercial dishwashers
  • Commercial use dough machines - Pastry makers
  • Commercial use electric can openers - Can openers
  • Commercial use food choppers or cubers or dicers - Automatic dicers; Food choppers
  • Commercial use food grinders - Meat grinders
  • Commercial use food processors - Food processors
  • Commercial use food slicers - Automatic slicers; Vertical cutters
  • Commercial use food warmers - Electric warming tables; Steam counters; Steam tables
  • Commercial use graters - Grating equipment
  • Commercial use grills - Grills
  • Commercial use mixers - Mixers
  • Commercial use molds - Patty making machines
  • Commercial use ovens - Commercial cooking ovens
  • Commercial use peelers - Automatic peelers
  • Commercial use ranges - Stoves
  • Commercial use scales - Scales
  • Commercial use scoops - Metal ice cream scoops
  • Commercial use steamers - Steam cookers
  • Commercial use toasters - Toasters
  • Food grade sanitizers - Sanitizing units
  • Ice dispensers - Ice machines
  • Magnetic stripe readers and encoders - Credit card processing machines; Credit card scanners
  • Milk dispensers - Milk dispensing machines
  • Milkshake machines - Milkshake and smoothie machines
  • Non carbonated beverage dispenser - Non-carbonated beverage dispensers
  • Point of sale POS receipt printers - Point of sale POS printers
  • Point of sale POS terminal - Point of sale POS terminals; Point of service workstations
  • Slush machines
  • Soft serve machines - Ice cream/yogurt machines
  • Touch screen monitors


  • 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.
  • Food Production - Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • 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.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.


  • 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.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.


  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).


  • Interest code: CRE
    • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
    • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
    • Enterprising - Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Work Context

  • Spend Time Standing - 99% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Contact With Others - 80% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions - 80% responded “Every day.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team - 71% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Deal With External Customers - 55% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions - 51% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate - 49% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Physical Proximity - 53% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled - 68% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls - 58% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets - 59% responded “Every day.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others - 38% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Spend Time Walking and Running - 51% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Time Pressure - 44% responded “Every day.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety - 46% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results - 33% responded “Very important results.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making - 59% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks - 44% responded “Very important.”
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People - 36% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results - 31% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
  • Level of Competition - 29% responded “Moderately competitive.”
  • Very Hot or Cold Temperatures - 40% responded “Every day.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions - 28% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable - 39% responded “Every day.”


Percentage of RespondentsEducation Level Required
57%Less than high school diploma
29%High school diploma or equivalent
14%Some college, no degree

Work Styles

  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Independence - Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Leadership - Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Social Orientation - Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Innovation - Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.

Work Values

  • Relationships - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
  • Support - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • Working Conditions - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

Wages & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $9.70 hourly, $20,180 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 3,452,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Much faster than average (15% or higher)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 736,000

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