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Details for Counter Attendants, Cafeteria, Food Concession, and Coffee Shop


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


  • Scrub and polish counters, steam tables, and other equipment, and clean glasses, dishes, and fountain equipment.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Prepare food such as sandwiches, salads, and ice cream dishes, using standard formulas or following directions.
  • Wrap menu item such as sandwiches, hot entrees, and desserts for serving or for takeout.
  • Prepare bills for food, using cash registers, calculators, or adding machines, and accept payment or make change.
  • Deliver orders to kitchens, and pick up and serve food when it is ready.
  • Serve salads, vegetables, meat, breads, and cocktails, ladle soups and sauces, portion desserts, and fill beverage cups and glasses.
  • Add relishes and garnishes to food orders, according to instructions.
  • Carve meat.
  • Order items needed to replenish supplies.
  • Set up dining areas for meals and clear them following meals.
  • Brew coffee and tea, and fill containers with requested beverages.
  • Balance receipts and payments in cash registers.
  • Arrange reservations for patrons of dining establishments.


  • 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.

Education, Training, Experience

  • Education - Some of these occupations may require a high school diploma or GED certificate.
  • 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.
  • Experience - 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.



Related Careers

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  • Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers, Including Fast Food
  • Cooks, Fast Food
  • Cooks, Short Order
  • Dining Room and Cafeteria Attendants and Bartender Helpers
  • Food Servers, Nonrestaurant
  • Hotel, Motel, and Resort Desk Clerks
  • Ushers, Lobby Attendants, and Ticket Takers
Wages for this career
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