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Food and Beverage Server

Food and beverage servers take and serve customers' food and beverage orders in restaurants and bars.

Also Known As

Server, Waiter / Waitress

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used.

Here is how this occupation has been classified over time.

2006 NOC

  • 6453: Food and Beverage Servers

2006 NOC-S

  • G513: Food and Beverage Servers

2011 NOC

  • 6513: Food and beverage servers

2016 NOC

  • 6513: Food and beverage servers

2021 NOC

  • 65200: Food and beverage servers

2023 OaSIS

  • 65200.00: Food and beverage servers
Updated May 18, 2021

Food and beverage servers' duties vary considerably from one type of establishment to another. In fast food outlets, they often work behind counters and use computerized systems to take orders and tabulate bills. In coffee shops and cocktail lounges, they provide quick and efficient service for customers seated at tables. In formal dining establishments, they carefully observe established rules of service and etiquette, and pace the meal according to customer preference. In general, however, food and beverage servers:

  • Prepare tables or counters for meals
  • Stock the service area with supplies (for example, coffee, glassware)
  • Greet customers, present menus and help customers select menu items
  • Inform customers about daily specials
  • Record and place food or drink orders with the kitchen and bar
  • Pick up and serve orders
  • Check that customers are enjoying their meals and resolve any customer complaints with the help of management
  • Suggest and serve desserts and beverages
  • Clean and maintain appearance of establishment
  • Tabulate and present bills for payment
Working Conditions
Updated May 18, 2021
  • Strength Required Lift up to 10 kg

Working conditions for food and beverage servers vary from one type of food and beverage establishment to another.

Shift work and split shifts built around normal meal times are common in the food service industry. At busy times, food and beverage servers are constantly on their feet and under pressure to serve customers quickly. They take their own meal breaks between busy meal serving times.

Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Food and Beverage Servers

2006 NOC: 6453

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group

Interest in copying to take orders and relay them to kitchen and bar staff; in performing sensory evaluation of wines; and in ordering and maintaining inventory of wines and wine glassware


Interest in serving food and beverages to patrons


Interest in handling the preparation of specialty foods at patrons' tables

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 

It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective, and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes for this NOC group is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn About Interests


Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Traits & Skills
Updated May 18, 2021

Food and beverage servers need:

  • Good health
  • Good grooming
  • Verbal communication skills
  • Memorization skills
  • Sensitivity to customer needs
  • Organizational and multi-tasking skills
  • The ability to serve customers cheerfully, courteously and efficiently
  • The ability to work as part of a team
  • The ability to work with little supervision
  • The ability to work calmly under pressure

Other requirements depend on the environment in which the server works. For example, serving in a coffee shop or cocktail lounge requires the ability to remember many orders and move very quickly.

Food and beverage servers should enjoy having clear rules and organized methods, working with people, and working with tools and equipment.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Food and beverage servers

2016 NOC: 6513

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 227 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Jun 18, 2024 and Jul 18, 2024.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Tasks: Serve food and beverages
Tasks: Present bills to customers and accept payment in cash, credit or debit cards, travellers cheques or room billings
Tasks: Take orders and relay to kitchen and bar staff
Tasks: Greet patrons, present menus, make recommendations and answer questions regarding food and beverages
Tasks: Describe menu items including daily specials for customers
Tasks: Advise on menu selections
Tasks: Clear and clean tables, trays and chairs
Tasks: Prepare and serve specialty food at customers' tables
Experience: Will train
Tasks: Provide customer service
Educational Requirements
Updated May 18, 2021
  • Minimum Education Varies

There are no standard education or training requirements for food and beverage servers. However, server intervention training, food safety training and food allergy training are definite assets when looking for employment.

Food and beverage servers who serve liquor must be at least 18 years of age. In formal dining rooms, food and beverage servers also must:

  • Know proper food service etiquette
  • Use the correct terminology and be able to answer questions about dishes, wines and other beverages
  • Be able to prepare tableside dishes (for example, flambe) at the customer's table if required

Many food and beverage servers start as food service helpers or kitchen helpers (for more information, see the Food Service Helper or Kitchen Helper and Food Assembler occupational profiles). They then go on to learn the necessary skills and knowledge by observing more experienced workers and taking short courses, such as server intervention and food safety courses. Some employers use self-instructional programs to teach new employees food preparation and service skills.

All staff involved in the sale and service of liquor in licensed premises (for example, owners, managers and supervisors, retailers, bartenders and servers, greeters and hosts, and security staff) must have ProServe Liquor Staff Training. This is a provincial government training program designed to ensure liquor service and sales activities are conducted with integrity and in a socially responsible manner. ProServe is available online, as a self-directed program of home study using a video and a manual, or by seminar.

In Alberta, food safety courses are offered by:

Visit the Government of Alberta website or contact 780-427-7164 for a listing of approved food safety training options.

The Government of Alberta awards a Food Sanitation and Hygiene Certification to those who complete approved training and achieve at least 70% on a provincial exam. Food facilities generally must employ at least 1 person who is certified. Where 6 or more people are working on site, at least 1 person present must be certified. Where fewer people are working on site, the certified person may be absent.

Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated May 18, 2021
  • Certification Not Regulated

Certification is not required, as there is currently no legislation regulating this occupation.

However, Tourism HR Canada (formerly the Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council or CTHRC) offers a voluntary Food and Beverage Server certification. Recognized across Canada, this training, which leads to a Tourism Certified Professional (TCP) designation, is accessible from the emerit website.

Employment & Advancement
Updated May 18, 2021

Food and beverage servers are employed in restaurants, coffee shops, bars, clubs, hotels and other retail eating and drinking establishments. There are more part-time positions in this occupation than there are in most occupations, and most food and beverage servers are young.

Experienced food and beverage servers can move to better paying jobs in larger and more formal food establishments. They may advance to lead hand positions such as captain or head waiter / waitress, maitre d' hotel or other supervisory positions (for more information, see the Food and Beverage Service Supervisor in Formal Dining Rooms occupational profile). Although some larger organizations provide management training programs or training on the job for dependable workers who have leadership ability, related post-secondary education and emerit certification are definite assets for advancement.

Industry Concentration

This section shows the industries where the majority of people in this occupation work. The data is based on the 2016 Census.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.

In the 6513: Food and beverage servers occupational group, 93.2% of people work in:

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation
  • Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the industry or industries from the previous list

In Alberta, the 6513: Food and beverage servers occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 2.8% from 2021 to 2025. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 517 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: 2021-2025 Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

There is a relatively high employment turnover rate (particularly in lower priced restaurants) so job openings occur quite frequently. However, competition is keen for positions that offer the opportunity to earn more money in tips.

Related Alberta Job Postings
Wage & Salary
Updated May 18, 2021

Food and beverage servers often are paid just above minimum wage, plus tips.

Servers' incomes from tips are generally higher during peak periods such as summer or holiday seasons than in January and February. In many restaurants, food and beverage servers contribute a portion of their tips to a tip pool which is distributed among all servers, food service helpers, hosts/hostesses and bartenders.

Servers who provide superior customer service, particularly in restaurants where meal prices are higher, generally earn most of their income from tips.

As of June 26, 2019, the minimum wage in Alberta is $15.00 per hour for most workers. For more information, see Minimum Wage.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Food and beverage servers

2016 NOC: 6513
Average Wage
Per Hour
Average Salary
Per Year
Average Hours
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

2021 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 6513 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production), and other forms of compensation.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $15.00 $15.66 $15.10 $15.00
Overall $15.00 $17.65 $15.67 $15.00
Top $15.00 $32.21 $18.40 $16.00

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

Information, Culture, Recreation
Health Care & Social Assistance
Accommodation & Food Services

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
Vacancy Rate
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Personal and Food Services
Other Sources of Information
Updated May 18, 2021

Canadian Association of Foodservice Professionals website:

emerit website:

National Restaurant Association [United States] website:

ProServe Liquor Staff Training website:

Restaurants Canada website:

Tourism HR Canada website:

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2021. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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