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Counter Attendants, Cafeteria, Food Concession, and Coffee Shop
SOC Code: 35-3022.00

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

Sample of reported job titles: Cafe Server, Cafeteria Server, Cafeteria Worker, Food Server, Food Service Assistant, Food Service Worker, Line Server, Sandwich Artist, Server, Snack Bar Attendant


  • Scrub and polish counters, steam tables, and other equipment, and clean glasses, dishes, and fountain equipment.
  • Prepare bills for food, using cash registers, calculators, or adding machines, and accept payment or make change.
  • Perform cleaning duties such as sweeping, mopping, and washing dishes, to keep equipment and facilities sanitary.
  • Balance receipts and payments in cash registers.
  • 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.
  • Cook food or prepare food items, such as sandwiches, salads, and ice cream dishes, using standard formulas or following directions.
  • Brew coffee and tea, and fill containers with requested beverages.
  • Wrap menu item such as sandwiches, hot entrees, and desserts for serving or for takeout.
  • Replenish foods at serving stations.
  • Take customers' orders and write ordered items on tickets, giving ticket stubs to customers when needed to identify filled orders.
  • Serve salads, vegetables, meat, breads, and cocktails, ladle soups and sauces, portion desserts, and fill beverage cups and glasses.
  • Set up dining areas for meals and clear them following meals.
  • Carve meat.
  • Add relishes and garnishes to food orders, according to instructions.
  • Order items needed to replenish supplies.
  • Deliver orders to kitchens, and pick up and serve food when it is ready.

Technology Skills

  • Data base user interface and query software - Data entry software
  • Operating system software - Microsoft Windows
  • Point of sale POS software - Aldelo Systems Aldelo for Restaurants Pro; Foodman Home-Delivery; Plexis Software Plexis POS; RestaurantPlus PRO

Tools Used

  • Cappuccino or espresso machines - Cappuccino makers; Espresso machines
  • Carbonated beverage dispenser - Carbonated beverage dispensers; Soda machines
  • Cash registers
  • Commercial use blenders - Blenders; Milk frothers
  • Commercial use coffee grinders - Commercial coffee grinders
  • Commercial use coffee or iced tea makers - Commercial coffeemakers
  • Commercial use cutlery - Chefs' knives
  • Commercial use dishwashers - Commercial dishwashers; Commercial glasswashers
  • Commercial use food slicers - Commercial food slicers; Slicing machines
  • Commercial use food warmers - Steam tables
  • Commercial use grills - Commercial kitchen grills
  • Commercial use heat lamps - Infrared heat lamps
  • Commercial use microwave ovens - Commercial microwave ovens
  • Commercial use mixers - Mixers
  • Commercial use ranges - Electric ovens; Electric stoves; Gas ovens; Gas stoves
  • Commercial use scales - Portion scales
  • Desktop computers
  • Domestic kitchen or food thermometers - Food thermometers
  • Ice dispensers - Ice machines; Ice-making machines
  • Intercom systems
  • Laser printers - Ticket printers
  • Magnetic stripe readers and encoders - Credit card machines; Credit card processing machines
  • Milkshake machines - Milkshake and smoothie machines
  • Non carbonated beverage dispenser - Juice dispensers
  • Personal computers
  • Pocket calculator - Handheld calculators
  • Point of sale POS terminal - Point of sale POS computer terminals
  • Soft serve machines - Soft-serve ice cream 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.
  • 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.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • 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.


  • 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.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.


  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness - The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • 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).
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Trunk Strength - The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without 'giving out' or fatiguing.


  • Interest code: RSE
    • 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.
    • Social - Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to 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

  • Contact With Others - 91% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Spend Time Standing - 85% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions - 71% responded “Every day.”
  • Deal With External Customers - 63% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team - 59% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Spend Time Walking and Running - 73% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled - 77% responded “Every day.”
  • Telephone - 12% responded “Never.”
  • Physical Proximity - 60% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People - 52% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions - 39% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions - 56% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making - 58% responded “Every day.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work - 32% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety - 42% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable - 60% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls - 58% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results - 39% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others - 45% responded “Important.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate - 50% responded “Important.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results - 44% responded “Very important results.”
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings - 27% responded “Every day.”
  • Time Pressure - 36% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Public Speaking - 43% responded “Every day.”

Work Styles

  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • 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.
  • Social Orientation - Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Leadership - Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.

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)
    • $10.23 hourly, $21,280 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 505,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Average (5% to 9%)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 113,200

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