Counter Attendants, Cafeteria, Food Concession, and Coffee Shop

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Also known as:  Cafe Server, Cafeteria Server, Concession Stand Attendant, Food Counter Worker, Hot Dog Vender, Ice Cream Server, Snack Bar Attendant

ABOUT COUNTER ATTENDANT, CAFETERIA, FOOD CONCESSION, OR COFFEE SHOP CAREERS

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT Expand
If you like working around food, can deal with pressure and are neat and friendly, you probably have the ingredients to work as a counter attendant at a cafeteria, food concession or coffee shop. This is usually an entry-level position for people with high school degrees. Training takes place on the ...
job. An experienced worker will show you how to take an order, prepare food and beverages, and how to properly serve them.

You may have to clean up after patrons, and prepare the dining area for the next customer. You might also be trained to accept payments. That may mean using a cash register or adding machine to total the check and make change.

The work can be tiring. Be prepared to spend many hours on your feet. There can also be stress on the job. Customers can be demanding and impatient. If food isn't served promptly and as specifically ordered, you may have to deal with customer complaints. And since a good part of your pay may come from tips, you need to be able to keep a smile on your face, even after long hours of carrying and bending.

This is a good job for someone who needs flexible hours. You can probably work shifts at night or on weekends, keeping weekdays clear to pursue other goals, such as education. You can also use this job as a first step towards a career in food services, one of America's largest industries.
SNAPSHOT Expand
Serve food to diners at counter or from a steam table.
Leadership
LOW
Critical decision making
LOW
Level of responsibilities
LOW
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
LOW
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
LOW
Communication with others
LOW
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
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DAILY TASKS Expand
Brew coffee and tea, and fill containers with requested beverages.
Scrub and polish counters, steam tables, and other equipment, and clean glasses, dishes, and fountain equipment.
Cook food or prepare food items, such as sandwiches, salads, and ice cream dishes, using standard formulas or following directions.
Perform cleaning duties such as sweeping, mopping, and washing dishes, to keep equipment and facilities sanitary.
Balance receipts and payments in cash registers.
Wrap menu item such as sandwiches, hot entrees, and desserts for serving or for takeout.
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.
Prepare bills for food, using cash registers, calculators, or adding machines, and accept payment or make change.
MAIN ACTIVITIES Expand
Performing for or Working Directly with the Public Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Selling or Influencing Others Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE Expand
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.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
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.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Food Production Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.
Production and Processing Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Education and Training Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
KEY ABILITIES Expand
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).
Oral Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Speech Recognition The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
Speech Clarity The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
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.
Deductive Reasoning The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Inductive Reasoning The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
TOP SKILLS Expand
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.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Social Perceptiveness Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Writing Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Coordination Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
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