Food Server Job Description: Top Duties and Requirements

A Food Server, or Waitstaff, serves food and drinks to customers in restaurants. Their duties include recoding meal and beverage orders, describing special menu items to patrons, and processing customers’ payments.

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Food Server duties and responsibilities

Duties and responsibilities of a Food Server vary from place to place. To excel as a Food Server, they must provide a positive customer service experience by greeting guests and creating a welcoming atmosphere. Some of a Food Server’s day-to-day duties include:

  • Offering a warm welcome to customers and directing them to their respective seating areas
  • Accurately relaying customers’ orders and specific requests to the kitchen staff
  • Accommodating families by providing booster seats, children’s menus, and high chairs 
  • Informing customers of daily special menu items
  • Ensuring customers are receiving the correct orders before delivering meals to the tables
  • Taking food and beverage orders and relaying them to the Cooks 
  • Presenting guests with their bills and processing payments
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Food Server Job Description Examples:


Example 1

*Job Overview* Provides superior customer service at the SIRCH Bakery Counter, Bistro and Marketplace. Enhances the restaurant-goer’s experience by maintaining superior customer service. *Duties AND *Fiscal*  Responsible for the correct operation of the POS system  Balances all daily and nightly cash drawers and POS *Space*  Responsible for cleanliness and general appearance of: entry, counter, cash area, cappuccino and coffee areas, tables, floor and rugs, bathrooms, walls and windows (in collaboration with the Front of House Coordinator), blinds on windows *Marketplace*  Assist with selection of product sharing knowledge of local vendors products  Cash out and bag products for customers with marketplace purchases  Check and maintain supplies for retail sales and take-out food service *Food*  Makes coffee and keeps the thermoses fresh during peak hours  Prepares cappuccino & espresso drinks for customers  Maintains bakery goods displays  Liaises with the kitchen staff to ensure an efficient and seamless service  Ensures food is delivered promptly so it is still hot (if applicable)  Is knowledgeable about product information, ingredients in all dishes and baked goods and can explain to customers  Aware of any allergens in any foods and cautions customers (if appropriate) *Customer Service*  Manage walk-in, online and telephone reservations  Greet all guests warmly on arrival  Take orders, serve meals and clear tables  Encourage other sales (if appropriate)  Respond quickly and sympathetically to any customer concerns Contract length: 12 months Part-time hours: 20 - 35 per week Application deadline: 2022-02-03 Job Types: Full-time, Part-time, Fixed term contract Salary: $18.00-$20.00 per hour Schedule: * Day shift COVID-19 considerations: Need to be double vaccinated, wear a mask and follow the outlined COVID protocols. Experience: * Server: 1 year (preferred) Work remotely: * No

Example 2

Position TITLE: Food Preparer Reports TO: SHIFT Manager Position Summary: A Food Preparer greets and serves guests, prepares food, maintains food safety and sanitation standards, and handles or processes light paperwork. Exceptional customer service is a major component of this position. TASKS AND 1. Prepares food neatly, accurately, and in a timely way. 2. Demonstrates a complete understanding of menu items and explains it to guests accurately. Exhibits a cheerful and helpful manner when dealing with guests. 3. Checks products in sandwich unit area and restocks items to ensure a sufficient supply throughout the shift. 4. Cleans as directed. 5. Greets guests and prepares their orders, uses Point of Sale system/cash register to record the order and computes the amount of the bill, collects payment from guests and makes change. 6. Understands and adheres to all quality standards, formulas and procedures as outlined in the Operations Manual. 7. Accounts for all forms of money, bread, etc. during the shift 8. Understands and adheres to proper food handling, safety and sanitization standards while preparing food, serving food, and clean up. 9. Maintains professional appearance and grooming standards as outlined in the Operations Manual. 10. Performs light paperwork duties as assigned. Part-time hours: 20 per week Job Type: Part-time Salary: $15.00-$15.10 per hour Additional pay: * Tips Schedule: * 8 hour shift * Day shift * Holidays * Monday to Friday * Weekend availability COVID-19 considerations: Standard COVID protocols laid by Ontario Health Food and Safety being followed. Work remotely: * No

Example 3

Need Experienced Food and beverage server. Bangladeshi, Indian cuisine background would be an asset. will train the right person. Will be responsible for taking care of customers from greeting to good bye and everything in between to make them feel special. Job Types: Full-time, Permanent Salary: $14.00-$16.00 per hour COVID-19 considerations: all customer are required to wear masks and show the 2nd dose of Covid certificate and ID. All the surfaces are sanitized in regular basis. Part-time hours: 30 per week Job Types: Full-time, Part-time, Permanent Salary: $15.00-$16.00 per hour Additional pay: * Bonus pay * Tips Benefits: * Discounted or free food * Store discount Schedule: * 10 hour shift * 8 hour shift * Day shift * Holidays * Monday to Friday * Night shift * Weekend availability Experience: * serving: 1 year (preferred) * Smart Serve, SIR or equivalent (preferred) Work remotely: * No

Example 4

*Company description* We are a poke shop opened in the core of Downtown Victoria. We serve Hawaiian poke bowls topped with fresh sashimi. *Job description* Ideal Qualifications: - Customer service experience - Outgoing and friendly attitude -Team player - Strong work ethic - Flexible and able to multitask - Able to work on both weekdays and weekends Bonus: - Culinary or restaurant background - Food Safe Level 1 certification - Basic knowledge of Poke If you are interested and have the skill set necessary to succeed in this role, please send your resume and specify your work availability. Our management team will contact you to schedule an interview for qualified applicants. Thank you and we look forward to hearing from you! Part-time hours: 16 per week Job Types: Full-time, Part-time Salary: $15.20 per hour Additional pay: * Tips Benefits: * Discounted or free food Schedule: * Day shift * Night shift * Weekend availability Experience: * serving: 1 year (preferred) * proof of vaccination (preferred) Work remotely: * No

Example 5

*_Shorthills Villa Retirement Community is a family owned senior-living centre located in the heart of Fonthill, Ontario. We are seeking a part-time server to add to our team._* *Responsibilities: * * Engage residents in pleasant conversation * Serve residents with food and beverage as requested * Setting tables in accordance with Shorthills Villa standards * Sanitizing tables, surfaces and light vacuuming after food service * Communicating resident complaints about food / service to food manager to better accommodate resident needs * May be asked to perform other tasks as needed * * Food handlers certificate * Strong communication and teamwork skills * Strong organization and time management skills * Able to resolve problems quickly and effectively Job Types: Full-time, Part-time, Permanent Salary: From $14.86 per hour Work remotely: * No

What does a Food Server do?

Food servers work in dining establishments, acting as the main contact between Cooks and customers. They’re responsible for providing a satisfying customer service experience by bringing patrons their drinks, meals, condiments, and other requested items. If the customer receives food or beverages they didn’t order or has comments about their meal, the Food Server communicates the message to the Cook and apologizes for any inconvenience. Food Servers clear dishes, silverware, and glassware out of guests’ way as they finish meals. When they’re done eating, the Food Server provides customers with the bill and processes cash or credit card purchases.  

Food Server skills and qualifications

There are a few key strengths a Food Server should have to meet guests’ needs and provide a one-of-a-kind dining experience. Skills and qualifications a successful Food Server should possess include:

  • Strong memory to accurately recall menu items and their ingredients 
  • Polite and professional attitude towards customers and team members
  • Excellent verbal communication abilities to engage in conversation and friendly rapport with customers
  • Ability to quickly and logically solve problems that might arise 
  • Physical stamina for extended periods in a fast-paced environment
  • Flexibility to work varying shift schedules, including weekends, nights, and holidays
  • Effective attention to detail to ensure customer orders are correct

Food Server experience requirements

Most positions typically don’t require candidates with extensive experience, but some may prefer those with one to two years in a host or food server role. Candidates with experience working with people in a customer service or hospitality setting may also stand out. Impressive candidates usually have experience communicating with customers on a daily basis and collaborating with team members.

Food Server education and training requirements

Typically, most Food Server positions don’t require pre-existing training or a formal educational background, though some may prefer or require a high school diploma. Some upscale dining facilities may prefer candidates with an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in a related field, like hospitality or communications. Food Servers can hold certifications in various food handling safety techniques, which can also be earned through on-the-job training.

Food Server Salary Expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average pay for a Food Server in Canada is $17.55 per hour. This figure typically varies depending on the geographical location, company pay rates, the employee’s experience level.

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Food Server job description FAQs

Who does a Food Server report to?

Food Servers generally report to the Restaurant Manager, who assigns them tables, schedules their shifts, and gives them any other tasks to complete. If a Food Server needs assistance with a disgruntled guest, the Restaurant Manager will address and resolve the situation. Restaurant Managers will monitor Food Servers’ performance and provide feedback and guidance on ways to improve. 

What's the difference between a Food Server and a Host?

Though they both interact with customers and work together on a team, there are a few key differences between Food Servers and Hosts. A Restaurant Host is usually the first employee customers see, as they are stationed near the door and welcome guests. After learning how many are in their party, the Host will lead customers to an open table and distribute menus. The Food Server then greets the customers and assists them throughout the rest of their dining experience. 

Hosts rarely take customers’ orders but may sometimes help serve food or process payments during busier shifts. Smaller establishments may not have Hosts on staff, so the Food Server may also greet guests and lead them to their tables before taking their order. 

What settings do Food Servers typically work in?

Food Servers can work in a wide variety of dining establishments. Some may work in five-star restaurants, where they must wear a uniform or their own professional attire. Others can serve in small-town restaurants or in restaurant chains, where the environment is typically more casual. They may work non-traditional hours, like weekends, evenings, or holidays, whenever the restaurant is open.

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