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Duties & Responsibilities of Service Crews

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Service crew members are workers in the food service industry who are responsible for preparing and serving food to customers. Service crew workers normally work in a team oriented environment where each person is assigned a specific task. Food service work is numerically one of the largest occupations in the United States. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there were 5,122,600 service crew members in 2016. Many jobs are part time or offer flexible hours. This makes food service a good choice for students, retirees, people seeking a second job and others who want extra income.

Service Crew Job Description

The service crew job description covers all of the tasks needed to provide people with good customer service including taking orders, preparing food, presenting it to the customer and collecting payment. Service crew duties and responsibilities start with greeting customers and taking the order. Some selling is part of the crew member job description. For example, the server taking an order may suggest additional items that will complement the customers food choices. Crew members in the kitchen prepare the food and give it to a server or other customer service worker, who then presents it to the customer. The server or a designated crew member is responsible for collecting payment for the food.

Service crew duties and responsibilities also include cleaning work stations. They may be assigned additional cleaning tasks as well, such as sweeping, mopping, taking out trash and vacuuming carpeted areas. They must also keep an eye on food stock levels and ready to prepare and restock them as necessary. Some restaurant workers are combination crew members, particularly in fast food establishments. These workers typically combine kitchen and direct customer service duties. Other types of service crew jobs include dining room attendants, waiters and waitresses, hosts and hostesses and kitchen workers.

Service Crew Work Environment

The work environment of service crew workers varies. Most jobs are located at a single restaurant, but not all. For example, delivery drivers spend much of their time taking food orders to customers. Restaurants and other eating places employed 74 percent of service crew workers as of 2017. Retail stores and specialty food services each employed another 5 percent. Health and social services organizations provided jobs for 4 percent. Educational institutions also employed 4 percent.

Food service workers spend most of their time standing and walking. They must carry heavy loads, including large platters of food. Following safety rules is important due to the risk of falls, burns and cuts. Some service work full time, but many are part-time employees and may work evenings, weekends and holidays.

Service Crew Education and Training

There are no formal training or schooling perquisites for working on food service crews, making this occupation an good option for high school students. Training normally consists of short on-the-job instruction conducted by managers, co-workers or through online tools. Fine dining restaurants may include formal classwork as well.. Prospective workers may attend vocational schools for a few jobs such as tending bar or specialty cooking.

Service Crew Wages

Most service crew employees are paid an hourly wage, although some also receive tips. The BLS says the median wage for food service workers in 2017 was $9.81. "Median" means half earned more and half earned less. The 10 percent earning the least made under $8.233 per hour, while the highest paid tenth received more than $13.60. Educational institutions had the highest median median wage at $11.08 per hour. Restaurants and other eating places had a median hourly wage of $9.66. Entry level service crew averaged annual pay of $20,159 in 2018. Experienced workers averaged $20,609.

Service Crew Job Growth

The number of service crew jobs is expected to grow by14 percent from 2016 to 2026. This outpaces the projected job growth for all occupations. Growth will be driven by population increases and by a continuing trend towards people eating out or calling for food to be delivered more often. There is a high turnover rate in the food service industry, which means job opportunities should be excellent.


Based in Atlanta, Georgia, William Adkins has been writing professionally since 2008. He writes about career, employment and job preparation issues. Adkins holds master's degrees in history and sociology with a focus on employment and labor from Georgia State University. He has conducted research sponsored by the National Science Foundation to develop career opportunities for people with disabilities.

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