Food Server Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Food Server, or Waiter, plays an important role in the food and hospitality industry. Their duties include taking orders, serving food and drinks to customers in cafes and restaurants and processing payments. 


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Food Server duties and responsibilities

The primary duty of a Food Server is to ensure that customers get the best dining experience through effective customer service. Examples of their duties and responsibilities include:

  • Welcome customers and show them to their tables.
  • Keep the dining area orderly.
  • Work with the kitchen staff and other employees to provide customers excellent dining experience.
  • Answer customers’ questions and resolve complaints and concerns amicably.


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What does a Food Server do?

A Food Server takes and serves orders and also ensures that customers get a satisfactory dining experience. Some of their duties include keeping the dining area neat, including cleaning tables and rearranging seats. They welcome guests to the restaurant or cafe and ensure they are seated comfortably. Food Servers present menus to diners and recommend food and drinks. They also take their orders, ensure the kitchen staff prepare the food correctly and on time, issue bills and handle payments. Other duties include to answer customers’ questions, handle complaints and resolve concerns.  


Food Server skills and qualifications 

A successful Food Server candidate will have prerequisite skills and qualifications needed to perform effectively on the job. These skills and qualifications include: 

  • Excellent customer service skills
  • Knowledge of the food and hospitality industry rules and regulations
  • Excellent verbal communication skills and active listening skills
  • Attention to detail, patience and trustworthiness
  • Basic math knowledge
  • A good memory to take accurate orders
  • Ability to work under pressure and accept criticism
  • Experience in cashiering duties


Food server experience requirements

Most Food Server positions do not have specific experience requirements because of the seasonal and entry-level nature of the job. However, candidates with food service or Waiter experience are preferable. Employers typically provide on-the-job training to familiarise Food Servers with the policies of their company. It is essential for Food Server candidates to know basic food handling procedures. Some employers require Server candidates to have experience with intercontinental cuisines and wine to cater to upscale customers. 


Food Server education and training requirements

Food Servers do not require educational qualifications. However, candidates with a Level 1 Award in Introduction to Employment in the Hospitality Industry or Level 1 Certificate in Food and Beverage Service are preferable. Food Service candidates can also be employed if they have completed a hospitality team member intermediate apprenticeship. Experience in the food and hospitality industry can be used instead of academic credentials. It is also beneficial if the candidate has worked in a customer service role. Food Servers can take courses on food safety and hygiene, winery, food preparation and others. 


Food Server salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for Food Server candidates is £9.23 per hour. Actual pay may depend on the time of year, the employer, the candidate’s experience, the job specific duties and responsibilities for the position and the location of the job. 


Job description samples for similar positions 

Here are job description samples for similar positions if you are not looking to employ Food Servers: 


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Food Server job description FAQs


What qualities make a good Food Server?

Highly successful Food Servers know how to deliver a pleasant experience for guests at all times. They are respectful, cheerful and always maintain a positive attitude when dealing with diners and coworkers. Food Servers should also be professional when communicating with guests. They must be dignified, trustworthy and patient. These professionals have to possess sound judgment when attending to guests as this allows them to gauge the diner’s mood regarding food service. Servers must be hardworking, hospitable, sincere and physically strong. 


What should you look for in a Food Server CV?

When reviewing a Food Server’s CV, check for experience in a related role in food serving or bar tending. The ideal candidate should also have customer service experience, as this makes it easier to work with guests. Food Server CVs should emphasize knowledge of the food and hospitality industry’s guiding principles. The candidate should be knowledgeable about food handling and health and safety regulations. It helps if the candidate has professional certifications related to the food industry. The skills section should highlight excellent verbal communication skills. 


How can you make your Food Server job description stand out?

To create a compelling Food Server job description, start with a captivating headline. Describe how the Food Server position will contribute to your company’s ability to provide excellent customer service to guests. Mention the skills, qualifications and experience requirements so that only qualified candidates will apply. It is also important to describe the job duties and responsibilities so that candidates know what to expect if you employ them.

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