Overall employment of food and beverage serving and related workers is projected to grow 12 percent from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Employment growth will vary by specialty.
Nonrestaurant servers, such as those who deliver food trays in hotels, hospitals, residential care facilities, and at catered events, are expected to have about as fast as average employment growth. Combined food preparation and serving workers, which includes fast-food workers, will also have about as fast as average employment growth. Because these workers are essential to the operation of a food-serving establishment, they will continue to be in demand.
Employment growth of dining room and cafeteria attendants, counter attendants, and hosts and hostesses is expected to be slower than the average. Despite slower than average employment growth, these workers will still be needed to perform important duties at food-serving establishments as a growing population continues to eat outside of the home.
Job opportunities for food and beverage serving and related workers are expected to be excellent, because of the large number of workers who need to be replaced.
Workers with related work experience and excellent customer-service skills should have the best job opportunities at upscale restaurants. Still, those seeking positions at these establishments may face competition, as potential earnings from tips are greatest, so the number of job applicants often exceeds the number of job openings.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition