Jobs in Demand: Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers, including Fast Food

picture of pizza delivery driver wearing mask

Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers were among the first workers affected by the emergence of COVID-19 and subsequent executive orders that closed the businesses that employ these workers.  As many restaurants and bars have re-opened, these workers are in high demand on the front lines doing specific tasks such as taking customer orders, relaying that to the cooks, and cleaning and organizing eating, service and kitchen areas. 

The main tasks for food preparation and serving workers include, but are not limited to, communicating with customers and accepting payment from them, gathering food items from storage, cooking and reheating items, serving food to customers, and washing dishes, glassware and silverware after meals.  Because jobs in this occupational group require large amounts of social interaction, it is necessary for workers in this occupation to have strong interpersonal and communication skills, problem-solving skills, and stress tolerance. Occupations in this group can also require basic technology skills, such as Point of Sales software or operating cash registers.    

Hourly wages in food preparation and serving are on the lower end of the wage spectrum, especially for newer workers.  The median hourly wage was $11.92, and half of all workers were earning between $10.87 and $13.43 per hour.

With many eating places re-opening and consumers eager to dine out, there is considerable demand for food preparation and serving workers. It had the highest number of current postings (June through July) on the National Labor Exchange, as well as 4,700 postings according to DEED’s 4th Quarter 2019 Job Vacancy Survey, with a median wage offer of $11.84 per hour. 

Not only are there a lot of these jobs available, they are also relatively easy to get. Job seekers who want to get started in food preparation and serving do not need any formal education and can get started with a high school diploma or less. Food prep workers are trained on-the-job and get up to speed very quickly – training starts immediately and workers can be performing basic tasks within hours.

If you are interested in more information about opportunities in food preparation and serving related jobs, check out Jobs in Demand here on the website for wage ranges, educational and training requirements, current open positions in Minnesota and more.  

Need help developing your job search strategy, updating your resume or preparing for interviews? Contact staff at a CareerForce location near you!