Skills Food And Beverage Server near Vancouver (BC)

Find out what skills you typically need to work as a food and beverage server in Canada. These skills are applicable to all Food and beverage servers (NOC 6513).

Skills and knowledge

The following skills and knowledge are usually required in this occupation.

Essential skills

See how the 9 essential skills apply to this occupation.

Reading
  • Read short notes from co-workers, e.g. read short notes from managers to learn about food and drink specials. (1)
  • Read short text entries on a variety of forms, e.g. read information contained in reservation forms to learn about the size of parties and dietary requirements. (1)
  • Read a variety of bulletins, glossaries, brochures and memos, e.g. read bulletins to learn about upcoming events and changes to policies and procedures. (2)
  • May read letters and comment cards from customers to learn about suggestions for improving food service. (2)
  • Read safety-related instructions and procedures, e.g. read instructions on Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) to learn how to safely handle sanitizers. (2)
  • Read instructions, e.g. read instructions and digital instrument displays to learn how to complete credit card authorizations and use point-of-sale equipment to issue discounts. (2)
  • Read policies and procedures, e.g. read policies to learn about dress codes, customer service guidelines and operating procedures. (2)
  • May read equipment manuals, e.g. read instruction manuals to learn how to enter food orders and generate invoices using point-of-sale equipment. (3)
  • May read training manuals, e.g. read training manuals to learn about serving alcohol, first aid procedures and occupational health and safety. (3)
  • May read government regulations, e.g. read regulations governing the sale of alcoholic beverages to customers. (3)
Reading Summary
Type of Text Purpose for Reading
To scan for specific information/To locate information To skim for overall meaning, to get the 'gist' To read the full text to understand or to learn To read the full text to critique or to evaluate
Forms  
Labels    
Notes, Letters, Memos  
Manuals, Specifications, Regulations  
Reports, Books, Journals      
Document use
  • Recognize symbols and icons, e.g. identify hazard symbols on Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) labels. (1)
  • Scan labels, price lists and bills, e.g. scan labels on wine to determine vintages and scan price lists to determine the cost of meals and beverages. (1)
  • Locate and enter information in a variety of lists and tables, e.g. locate menu items on lists and locate the dates and times of shifts on schedules. (2)
  • May scan assembly drawings, e.g. scan assembly drawings to learn how to assemble blenders and complete minor repairs to point-of-sale equipment. (2)
  • May scan floor plans, e.g. scan floor plans to determine the set-up for special events and the location of emergency exits. (2)
  • May complete a variety of forms, e.g. enter dates, quantities and sales into daily sales forms. (2)
Purpose for Document Use
  • Read signs, labels or lists.
  • Complete forms by marking check boxes, recording numerical information or entering words, phrases, sentences or text of a paragraph or more. The list of specific tasks varies depending on what was reported.
  • Read completed forms containing check boxes, numerical entries, phrases, addresses, sentences or text of a paragraph or more. The list of specific tasks varies depending on what was reported.
  • Read tables, schedules or other table-like text (e.g. read work shift schedules).
  • Enter information on tables, schedules or other table-like text.
  • Read assembly drawings (e.g. those found in service and parts manuals).
Writing
  • May write food choices and prices on menu boards and other displays. (1)
  • Write reminders and short notes to co-workers, e.g. write short notes to other servers about the availability of menu items. (1)
  • May write incident reports, e.g. complete incident reports to describe events involving thefts and hostile customers. (2)
  • May write instructions, e.g. write step-by-step instructions to explain set-up procedures to co-workers. (2)
Writing Summary
Type Purpose for Writing
To organize/to remember To keep a record/to document To inform/to request information To persuade/to justify a request To present an analysis or comparison To present an evaluation or critique To entertain
Text requiring less than one paragraph of new text        
Text rarely requiring more than one paragraph          
Longer text              
NumeracyMoney Math
  • May receive cash, credit and debit card payments from customers and make change. (1)
  • May prepare customers¿ bills, e.g. total customers¿ food and beverage purchases and add discounts and taxes. (2)
  • May calculate tip out amounts for co-workers, such as bus persons, bartenders and cooks. (2)
Measurement and Calculation Math
  • May measure distances using basic tools, e.g. measure the distance between tables using tape measures. (1)
  • May take measurements using weigh scales and graduated containers, e.g. may use shot glasses to measure ingredients for drinks. (1)
  • May calculate ingredient quantities when modifying drink recipes, e.g. calculate ingredients for double and triple drink recipe yields. (2)
Data Analysis Math
  • May review sales data to establish information, such as the popularity of menu items and the number of customers served. (1)
  • May calculate average sales of products, such as alcohol, over a set period of time. (2)
Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate customer wait times by considering room capacities, the number of customers currently being served and booked reservations. (1)
  • Estimate the length of time it will take to prepare and serve food orders. (2)
  • Estimate the body weight of customers to determine the allowable number of alcoholic beverages to serve. (2)
  • Estimate the amount of stock, such as lemons, limes, juices, cereals, teas and coffees, needed for shifts. (2)
Mathematical Foundations Used

Whole Numbers
Read and write, count, round off, add or subtract, multiply or divide whole numbers, e.g. count the number of place settings required for parties.

Integers
Read and write, add or subtract, multiply or divide integers, e.g. use integers to reconcile sales printouts that contain cash shortages.

Fractions
Read and write, add or subtract fractions, multiply or divide by a fraction, multiply or divide fractions, e.g. use fractions to measure ingredient quantities when preparing drinks and specialty coffees.

Decimals
Read and write, round off, add or subtract decimals, multiply or divide by a decimal, multiply or divide decimals, e.g. use decimals to prepare bills and provide change.

Percent
Read and write percentages, calculate percentages, e.g. calculate discounts to be taken off food orders.

Measurement Conversions
Perform measurement conversions, e.g. convert millilitres to ounces when calculating amount of wine served during a shift.

Summary Calculations
Calculate averages, e.g. calculate the average number of bottles of wine sold per month.

Statistics and Probability
Use statistics and probability, e.g. use summaries from point-of-sale systems to determine highest daily sales, number of customers served, or sales counts for menu items; use year-over-year sales to estimate customer counts.

Measurement Instruments Used

Measure:
  • Time, using timers, clocks and watches.
  • Distance or dimensions, using tape measures.
  • Liquid volume, using shooter and shot glasses and graduated mixing containers.
  • Weight or mass, using scales.
Oral communication
  • Greet customers in person and respond to questions over the telephone. (1)
  • Exchange information with helpers, co-workers, suppliers and supervisors, e.g. speak with helpers and other food and beverage servers to coordinate the delivery of large food orders to customers. (2)
  • Talk with customers to discuss menu items and to take their orders, e.g. explain menu items and food and drink specials to customers. (2)
  • May talk to dissatisfied customers to resolve conflicts, e.g. talk with dissatisfied customers to learn about and resolve complaints. (3)
  • May provide detailed instructions to co-workers, e.g. describe and demonstrate proper guest service practices to new wait staff. (3)
Oral Communication Summary
Type Purpose for Oral Communication (Part I)
To greet To take messages To provide/receive information, explanation, direction To seek, obtain information To co-ordinate work with that of others To reassure, comfort
Listening (little or no interaction)        
Speaking (little or no interaction)          
Interact with co-workers  
Interact with those you supervise or direct  
Interact with supervisor/manager    
Interact with peers and colleagues from other organization            
Interact with customers/clients/ public  
Interact with suppliers, servicers    
Participate in group discussion      
Present information to a small group        
Present information to a large group            
Oral Communication Summary
Type Purpose for Oral Communication (Part II)
To discuss (exchange information, opinions) To persuade To facilitate, animate To instruct, instill understanding, knowledge To negotiate, resolve conflict To entertain
Listening (little or no interaction)            
Speaking (little or no interaction)            
Interact with co-workers        
Interact with those you supervise or direct      
Interact with supervisor/manager        
Interact with peers and colleagues from other organization            
Interact with customers/clients/ public    
Interact with suppliers, servicers          
Participate in group discussion          
Present information to a small group            
Present information to a large group            
ThinkingProblem Solving
  • May deliver the wrong orders to customers. They check to see how much of the food and beverages have been consumed and then offer replacements, refunds and credits. (1)
  • May find that work backs up when restaurant is busy. They help speed up processes by coordinating the activities of their co-workers. (2)
  • May encounter complaints from customers that their food was not prepared properly. They determine how to satisfy the customers and maintain goodwill. (2)
  • May experience equipment breakdowns and power outages. They continue with service and complete invoices manually. (2)
  • May encounter intoxicated customers. They refuse additional liquor service as politely as possible and offer food and coffee as an alternative.(2)
Decision Making
  • Decide when to approach customers to take their orders.(1)
  • Decide where to seat customers, based on the availability of tables and the number of customers already being served.(1)
  • May, in the absence of supervisors, decide the location and arrangement of tables.(2)
  • Decide which customers to serve first when serving more than one at a time.(2)
  • Decide if customers have consumed too much alcohol and, if so, suspend service to those customers.(2)
  • Decide when to contact supervisors to deal with an angry customer who cannot be consoled.(2)
Critical Thinking
  • Evaluate the cleanliness of linens, plates and eating utensils.(1)
  • Judge the quality and appearance of meals.(1)
  • Assess the authenticity of identification used to verify age of customers who wish to consume alcohol.(2)
  • Evaluate the quality of their service. They consider the accuracy and speed of service and the satisfaction levels of customers.(2)
  • Evaluate the sobriety of customers. They consider signs of drunkenness, such as slurred speech and the number of alcoholic beverages consumed.(2)
Job Task Planning and Organizing

Food and beverage servers follow regular step-by-step procedures for opening and closing. They perform some tasks in advance of need, such as folding napkins, making roll-ups, getting extra cutlery or butter, filling water pitchers or making coffee. They receive assignments from their supervisors or managers and coordinate tasks with co-workers to determine who will work in each section and complete different tasks. Much of their work is in response to customer demand; therefore, their work plans are often interrupted by new customers or by additional requests from customers who have already been served. Organization is important when the establishment is busy and many orders must be filled quickly.(2)

Significant Use of Memory
  • Remember the names, prices, availabilities and ingredients of food and drink items.
  • Remember the menu preferences of regular customers.
  • Remember drink and drink orders of customers.
  • Remember codes and number systems, which help them place orders promptly and accurately.
Finding Information
  • Learn about the ingredients of food and drinks by reading recipes and menus and by speaking with co-workers, such as cooks and supervisors.(2)
  • Find out about events and the special needs of customers by reading reservation information and speaking with customers and supervisors.(2)
  • Learn how to troubleshoot equipment faults by reading manuals and speaking with co-workers and repairers.(2)
Digital technologyInternet
  • May use the Internet and search engines to access training courses and seminars offered by suppliers, employers and training organizations. (2)
  • May use the Internet and search engines to source information about products, such as wines, and locate new drink recipes. (2)
  • May use the Internet and search engines to access information on local events and attractions. (2)
Other Digital Technology
  • May operate point-of-sale equipment, such as electronic cash registers and touch-screens, to tally purchases and create customers' bills. (1)
  • May use specialized restaurant management software to place food orders, tally purchases and generate customers' bills. (1)
  • May use calculators and personal digital assistant (PDA) devices to complete numeracy-related tasks. (1)
Additional informationWorking with Others

Food and beverage servers work independently, coordinating their activities with co-workers as needed. At times, they may work alone or with a partner or helper. Generally, they are part of a team with other servers, kitchen and bar staff, supervisors and managers.

Participation in Supervisory or Leadership Activities
  • Participate in formal discussions about work processes or product improvement.
  • Have opportunities to make suggestions on improving work processes.
  • Monitor the work performance of others.
  • Inform other workers or demonstrate to them how tasks are performed.
  • Orient new employees.
  • Make hiring recommendations.
  • Assign routine tasks to other workers.
  • Identify training that is required by, or would be useful for, other workers.
  • Deal with other workers' grievances or complaints.
Continuous Learning

Food and beverage servers learn on the job and through their participation in government-sponsored courses, such as Smart Serve, Serving it Right, Food Safe and Responsible Beverage Server. They also learn through certification programs for food and beverage servers or courses, such as the mandatory Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) course, and may also take first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and occupational health and safety courses. Many food and beverage servers attend wine tasting or wine appreciation seminars, as well as food tasting courses. Some food and beverage servers participate in cross training for bartender or banquet server positions in order to maximize their usefulness.

How Learning Occurs
  • As part of regular work activity.
  • From co-workers.
  • Through training offered in the workplace.
  • Through reading or other forms of self-study.
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