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


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

National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.

Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
3,159,700 employed

Projected (2024):
3,503,200 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

Alternate Titles:

  • Cafe Worker
  • Car Hop
  • Cashier
  • Caterer's Aide
  • Caterers Helper
  • Catering Assistant
  • Cook
  • Cook and Waitress/Waiter
  • Counter Attendant
  • Crew Member
  • Deli Clerk (Delicatessen Clerk)
  • Deli Cook (Delicatessen Cook)
  • Deli Manager (Delicatessen Manager)
  • Deli Worker (Delicatessen Worker)
  • Dietary Aide
  • Dishwasher
  • Drive Thru Window Order Taker
  • Fast Food Cashier
  • Fast Food Server
  • Fast Food Worker
  • Food Server, Kitchen
  • Food Service Aide
  • Food Service Specialist
  • Food Service Worker
  • Front Line Worker
  • Line Server
  • Mess Attendant
  • Oyster Preparer
  • Prep Cook (Preparation Cook)
  • Prep-Cook
  • Raw Shellfish Preparer
  • Restaurant Crew Member
  • Restaurant Team Member
  • Restaurant Worker
  • Salad Counter Attendant
  • School Cafeteria Cook
  • Server
  • Team Member
  • Waiter and Cook
  • Waitress

  • Job Zone One: Little or No Preparation Needed


    Little or no previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, a person can become a waiter or waitress even if he/she has never worked before.


    Some of these occupations may require a high school diploma or GED certificate.

    Job Training:

    Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few days to a few months of training. Usually, an experienced worker could show you how to do the job.

    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Mathematics
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Instructing
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Technology Design
  • Programming
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Troubleshooting
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Financial Resources
  • Management of Material Resources
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Production and Processing
  • Food Production
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Design
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Chemistry
  • Psychology
  • Medicine and Dentistry
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Foreign Language
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media
  • Transportation

  • Tasks:

  • 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.
  • Serve customers in eating places that specialize in fast service and inexpensive carry-out food.
  • 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.
  • Notify kitchen personnel of shortages or special orders.
  • Cook or reheat food items such as french fries.
  • Wash dishes, glassware, and silverware after meals.
  • Collect and return dirty dishes to the kitchen for washing.
  • Relay food orders to cooks.
  • Distribute food to servers.
  • Serve food and beverages to guests at banquets or other social functions.
  • Provide caterers with assistance in food preparation or service.
  • 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.
  • Clean and organize eating, service, and kitchen areas.
  • Communicate with customers regarding orders, comments, and complaints.
  • 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.
  • Perform personnel activities such as supervising and training employees.
  • Monitor and order supplies or food items and restock as necessary to maintain inventory.
  • Plan, prepare, and deliver meals to individuals with special dietary needs.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • Automatic dicers
  • Automatic peelers
  • Automatic slicers
  • Barcode scanners
  • Broilers
  • Can openers
  • Carbonated beverage dispensers
  • Cash registers
  • Chefs' knives
  • Coffee makers
  • Commercial cooking ovens
  • Commercial dishwashers
  • Convection ovens
  • Credit card processing machines
  • Credit card scanners
  • Deep fat fryers
  • Deep wells
  • Electric warming tables
  • Espresso machines
  • Food choppers
  • Food conveyor belts
  • Food processors
  • Fryers
  • Grating equipment
  • Grills
  • Ice cream/yogurt machines
  • Ice machines
  • Linear imaging scanners
  • Long range charged coupled device CCD barcode scanners
  • Meat grinders
  • Metal ice cream scoops
  • Milk dispensing machines
  • Milkshake and smoothie machines
  • Mixers
  • Motorized food transportation carts
  • Non-carbonated beverage dispensers
  • Pastry makers
  • Patty making machines
  • Point of sale POS printers
  • Point of sale POS terminals
  • Point of service scanners
  • Point of service workstations
  • Sanitizing units
  • Scales
  • Slush machines
  • Steam cookers
  • Steam counters
  • Steam tables
  • Stoves
  • Toasters
  • Touch screen monitors
  • Vertical cutters
  • Compris software
  • ICVERIFY software
  • Intuit QuickBooks Point of Sale
  • Menu and nutrition database software
  • MICROS Systems HSI Profits Series
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office software
  • NCR Advanced Checkout Solution
  • NCR NeighborhoodPOS
  • Point of sale POS software
  • The General Store software

  • food preparation and serving related

    industry stats

    SOC: 35-0000

    Total Employed: 12,577,080

    Average Annual Salary: $22,850