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Career Profile: Dining Room and Cafeteria Attendants and Bartender Helpers

Facilitate food service. Clean tables; remove dirty dishes; replace soiled table linens; set tables; replenish supply of clean linens, silverware, glassware, and dishes; supply service bar with food; and serve items such as water, condiments, and coffee to patrons.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 355,200 people employed as dining room and cafeteria attendants and bartender helpers in the United States. The median annual salary is $27,170. Entry level employees earn approximately $18,430 per year and senior employees earn approximately $37,310 per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • Slice and pit fruit used to garnish drinks.
  • Stock vending machines with food.
  • Stock refrigerating units with wines or bottled beer or replace empty beer kegs.
  • Replenish supplies of food or equipment at steam tables or service bars.
  • Wash glasses or other serving equipment at bars.
  • Carry linens to or from laundry areas.
  • Garnish foods and position them on tables to make them visible and accessible.
  • Mix and prepare flavors for mixed drinks.
  • Carry food, dishes, trays, or silverware from kitchens or supply departments to serving counters.
  • Perform serving, cleaning, or stocking duties in establishments, such as cafeterias or dining rooms, to facilitate customer service.
  • Carry trays from food counters to tables for cafeteria patrons.
  • Stock cabinets or serving areas with condiments and refill condiment containers.
  • Serve food to customers when waiters or waitresses need assistance.
  • Clean and polish counters, shelves, walls, furniture, or equipment in food service areas or other areas of restaurants and mop or vacuum floors.
  • Wipe tables or seats with dampened cloths or replace dirty tablecloths.
  • Set tables with clean linens, condiments, or other supplies.
  • Greet and seat customers.
  • Clean up spilled food or drink or broken dishes and remove empty bottles and trash.
  • Maintain adequate supplies of items, such as clean linens, silverware, glassware, dishes, or trays.
  • Locate items requested by customers.
  • Fill beverage or ice dispensers.
  • Run cash registers.
  • Serve ice water, coffee, rolls, or butter to patrons.
  • Scrape and stack dirty dishes and carry dishes and other tableware to kitchens for cleaning.

Career List

Job Outlook

Total Current Jobs:
Annual Openings:
Increase in Openings by 2031:
Annual Salary Range:
$18,430 - $37,310
Education Requirements:
Some high school