Food and Beverage Servers

(NOC 6513)

in All Sales and Service

Food and beverage servers take patrons' food and beverage orders and serve orders to patrons. They work in restaurants, hotels, bars, taverns, private clubs, banquet halls, and similar businesses.

Job Outlook

Good

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  • Estimate Strong growth employment change, 2021-2023
  • Estimate 690 openings due to growth and retirements, 2021-2023
  • Estimate Moderate rate of unemployment in 2022

Compared to: All Sales and Service

  • Estimate 10325 employment change, 2021-2023
  • Estimate 17495 openings due to growth and retirements, 2021-2023
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “good”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is better than average when compared to other occupations in Nova Scotia. This is a fairly large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities occur fairly regularly. The number employed in this occupation is expected to grow significantly over the next few years, which will provide additional opportunities for employment. With a small percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are not expected to be a major contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Food and Beverage Servers may either be working full-time or part-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs may either be permanent or temporary positions, as both are common. With employment conditions being seasonal in nature, periods of downtime or layoff throughout the year are fairly common.

Restaurants in some areas of the province have experienced difficulty recruiting servers following closures related to COVID-19 containment measures. Some former workers in this occupation have retrained for other careers. Prospects are good for individuals looking for work as a server, however some conditions of employment may be a deterrent to applicants, such as long or irregular hours and seasonality.

Hourly Pay

$13.35

Minimum

$14.00

Median

$20.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$2,992

Minimum

$11,065

Median

$24,708

Maximum

Compared to: All Sales and Service

Hourly Pay

$12.95

Minimum

$15.00

Median

$25.60

Maximum

Annual Pay

$2,949

Minimum

$16,629

Median

$45,086

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Food and beverage servers take patrons' food and beverage orders and serve orders to patrons. They work in restaurants, hotels, bars, taverns, private clubs, banquet halls, and similar businesses.

Job duties

Food and beverage servers:

  • Greet patrons, present menus, make recommendations and answer questions regarding food and beverages.
  • Take orders and relay to kitchen and bar staff.
  • Recommend wines that complement patrons' meals.
  • Serve food and beverages.
  • Prepare and serve specialty foods at patrons' tables.
  • Present bill to patrons and accept payment.
  • Order and maintain inventory of wines and wine glassware.
  • Perform sensory evaluation of wines.

Sample job titles

  • banquet server
  • bar service waiter/waitress
  • cocktail waiter/waitress
  • food and beverage server
  • headwaiter/headwaitress - food and beverage services
  • sommelier
  • waiter/waitress - food and beverage services
  • wine server
  • wine steward

Skills

  • You should be friendly, well-spoken, well-groomed, and enthusiastic about the service. Good organizational and mathematical skills are necessary. You must be pleasant to both your customers and co-workers, even when working under pressure. The ability to remember details and orders is essential. You must also be able to move gracefully and quickly. Food and beverage servers are on their feet most of the time and often have to carry heavy trays of food, dishes, and glassware, requiring physical fitness and stamina. For some positions, knowledge of a second language is an asset.

Job requirements

  • High school may be required.
  • Formal waiters/waitresses may require completion of a one- or two-year apprenticeship program or college or vocational school courses.
  • On-the-job training is usually provided.
  • Wine stewards may require courses in wine selection and service or experience as a captain waiter/waitress or formal waiter/waitress.
  • Responsible beverage service certification is usually required for employees serving alcoholic beverages.

Other considerations

  • These jobs are heavily influenced by tourism activity; therefore, employment levels tend to vary throughout the year and peak in the summer months. Also, many job openings are created each year as workers in these positions change jobs. However, due to the limited entry requirements, there are often many people available to fill these positions. They may work 40 hours or more per week, and many are expected to work evenings, weekends, and holidays. Tips usually supplement the wages of people employed in these jobs.

By the numbers

Quick look

5,945

employed in 2016

42.1%

employed full-time

0.8%

self employed

82.4%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
17.6%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
26.6

median age

Compared to: All Sales and Service

102,605

employed in 2016

56.4%

employed full-time

5.8%

self employed

60.1%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
39.9%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
37

median age

Where will I likely work?

51.5%

Halifax

$12,387 median annual income
13.1%

North Shore

$9,212 median annual income
13.0%

Cape Breton

$9,139 median annual income
11.8%

Southern

$10,716 median annual income
10.7%

Annapolis Valley

$12,625 median annual income

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

North Shore

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

95.7%

Accommodation and food services

3.3%

Arts, entertainment and recreation

0.3%

Health care and social assistance

0.2%

Wholesale trade

0.2%

Transportation and warehousing

What is the age of Employment?

44.0%

15-24

26.0%

25-34

12.0%

35-44

11.0%

45-54

7.0%

55-64

1.0%

65+

Compared to: All Sales and Service

30.0%

15-24

17.2%

45-54

17.2%

25-34

16.1%

55-64

13.8%

35-44

Top levels of education

46.0%

High school

$10,406 median annual income
17.2%

Bachelor

$10,598 median annual income
15.7%

College Diploma

$14,528 median annual income
13.0%

Less than high school

$8,211 median annual income
3.6%

Trade Certification

$13,913 median annual income

Compared to: All Sales and Service

39.8%

High school

$15,705 median annual income
19.7%

Less than high school

$9,866 median annual income
19.5%

College Diploma

$20,644 median annual income
9.9%

Bachelor

$21,262 median annual income
8.0%

Trade Certification

$21,234 median annual income

Education & training

High School Diploma or Equivalent

High School Program

Adults without a high school diploma can contact the Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning (NSSAL) for tuition-free programming across the province. NSSAL oversees adult education programs in Nova Scotia. NSSAL partners with the Nova Scotia Community College, Adult High Schools, Université Sainte-Anne, and community-based learning organizations to deliver programs. NSSAL offers clear, accessible pathways from adult basic education to a high school credential or GED.

Institutions providing this program

Universite Sainte-Anne

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS

Nova Scotia Community College

Various, NS

Adult High Schools

Various, NS

Community Learning Organizations

Various, NS

Employment requirements & contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile

Contacts

Restaurant Association of Nova Scotia
Halifax, NS
Nova Scotia Tourism Talent
Halifax, NS
Nova Scotia Tourism Human Resource Sector Council
Halifax, NS

Additional resources