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

$11.55

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

$11.55

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%

Wholesale Trade

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.

The Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning (NSSAL) administers, coordinates, and supports the development and delivery of adult education programs through learning partners in Nova Scotia. Our learning partners include the Nova Scotia Community College, Adult High Schools, Université Sainte-Anne, and community-based learning organizations that offer tuition-free programming across the province. NSSAL offers clear, accessible pathways from adult basic education to a high school credential or GED, empowering Nova Scotians to achieve their learning and employment goals.

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 - Adult Learning

PO Box 220

Halifax, NS B3J 2M4

(866) 679-6722

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
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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