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 are employed in restaurants, hotels, bars, taverns, private clubs, banquet halls and similar establishments.

Job Outlook

Good

Read more

  • Estimate decline slightly employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 55 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Moderate rate of unemployment in 2016

Compared to: All Sales and Service

  • Estimate Decline slightly employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 5260 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Moderate rate of unemployment in 2016

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 decline slightly over the next few years, which may affect the number of new opportunities available (yet overall job prospects are still considered good due to other factors). With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key 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. Also, a fair portion of the workforce is self-employed, so having the option to "work for yourself" may appeal to some individuals’ interests/motivations.

The median employment income for 23% of Food and Beverage Servers who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $20,266. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

$11.00

Minimum

$12.00

Median

$20.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$2,992

Minimum

$11,065

Median

$24,708

Maximum

Compared to: All Sales and Service

Hourly Pay

$10.70

Minimum

$12.50

Median

$21.17

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 are employed in restaurants, hotels, bars, taverns, private clubs, banquet halls and similar establishments.

Job duties

Food and beverage servers perform some or all of the following duties:

  • 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

To work in these jobs, 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

  • Completion of 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

4,440

employed in 2016

44.7%

employed full-time

0.7%

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

59.4%

employed full-time

6.2%

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

13.1%

Northern

13.0%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

10.7%

Annapolis Valley

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

Northern

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

95.4%

Accommodation and Food Services

3.3%

Information, Culture & Recreation

0.3%

Other Industries

0.3%

Health Care and Social Assistance

0.2%

Educational Services

What is the age of Employment?

46.6%

15-24

22.4%

25-34

12.2%

35-44

10.2%

45-54

6.8%

55-64

1.4%

65+

Compared to: All Sales and Service

35.7%

25-34

28.6%

35-44

21.4%

55-64

Top levels of education

46.7%

High school

$16,577 median annual income
17.4%

Bachelor's degree

$13,727 median annual income
16.1%

College certificate or diploma

$16,873 median annual income
11.9%

Less than high school

$7,964 median annual income
3.5%

Trades certificate

$15,330 median annual income

Compared to: All Sales and Service

40.4%

High school

$12,982 median annual income
19.9%

College certificate or diploma

$19,514 median annual income
18.8%

Less than high school

$9,486 median annual income
10.0%

Bachelor's degree

$20,807 median annual income
8.0%

Trades certificate

$18,797 median annual income

Education & training

Adult high school/secondary diploma programs

This program is typically offered at the high school level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that defines the prescribed requirements, specified by the appropriate jurisdiction, for the completion of and graduation from a secondary school program of academic subject matter offered for adult learners outside of the regular secondary school program. This does not include adult compensatory education programs resulting in completion of a high school equivalency certificate or diploma.

Institutions providing this program

Universite Sainte-Anne

Siège Social: 1695, Route 1

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0

(902) 769-2114

Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus

50 Elliott Road

Lawrencetown, NS B0S 1M0

(902) 825-3491

Nova Scotia Community College - Cumberland Campus

PO Box 550, 1 Main Street

Springhill, NS B0M 1X0

(902) 597-3737

Nova Scotia Community College - Akerley Campus

21 Woodlawn Road

Dartmouth, NS B2W 2R7

(902) 491-4900

Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus

372 Pleasant Street

Yarmouth, NS B5A 2L2

(902) 742-3501

Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus

236 Belcher Street

Kentville, NS B4N 0A6

(902) 678-7341

Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus

75 High Street

Bridgewater, NS B4V 1V8

(902) 543-4608

Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus

5685 Leeds Street

Halifax, NS B3K 2T3

(902) 491-6722

Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries

PO Box 820, 39 Acadia Avenue

Stellarton, NS B0K 1S0

(902) 752-2002

Nova Scotia Community College - Shelburne Campus

PO Box 760, 1575 Lake Road

Shelburne, NS B0T 1W0

(902) 875-8640

Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute

226 Reeves Street

Port Hawkesbury, NS B9A 2A2

(902) 625-2380

Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus

PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6J7

(902) 563-2450

Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus

36 Arthur Street

Truro, NS B2N 1X5

(902) 893-5385

Employment requirements & contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile

Contacts

Restaurant Association of Nova Scotia
2830 Agricola Street Unit 1
Halifax, NS B3K 4E4
Tel: (800) 665-3463
Fax: (902) 429-0659
Nova Scotia Tourism Talent
2089 Maitland Street
Halifax, NS B3K 2Z8
Tel: (800) 948-4267
Fax: (902) 422-0184
Nova Scotia Tourism Human Resource Sector Council
2089 Maitland Street
Halifax, NS B3K 2Z8
Tel: (902) 422-5853
Fax: (902) 422-0184

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.

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