Powerful Geography
Food and Beverage Services

Food and Beverage Services

Food and Beverage Services

Main Topic: Human Geography
Secondary Topic: Environment and Society


Overview:  Food and beverage serving and related workers take and prepare orders, clear tables, and do other tasks associated with providing food and drink to customers. They are employed at restaurants, schools, and other dining places. Work shifts often include early mornings, late evenings, weekends, and holidays. They are the front line of customer services in restaurants, cafeterias and other food service establishments and work as a part of a team. Likewise, part-time work is also common in this industry. Generally, they are responsible for greeting and answering customers’ queries, take food orders, prepare food and drinks for the customers, relay customers’ orders to the kitchen staff, serve food and drinks to customers, accept payment and provide customers receipts, clean assigned work areas, stock service stations and pantry as well as set tables.

The following are examples of food and beverage services jobs:

Dining room and cafeteria attendants and bartender helpers, also called the bus staff help waiters and bartenders by cleaning and setting tables removing dirty dishes, and stocking serving areas with supplies. They also may help waiters and waitresses by bringing meals from the kitchen, distributing dishes to diners, filling water glasses, and delivering condiments.

Fast food and counter workers are employed primarily by limited-service restaurants, cafeterias, and snack bars at which customers generally order and pay before eating. These workers take food and beverage orders, prepare or retrieve items, and accept payment. They also heat food items and make salads and sandwiches.

Host and Hostesses greet customers, seat guests, and manage reservations and waiting lists. They also may provide menus, take and prepare to-go orders, and assist with maintaining cleanliness of the dining area.

Non-restaurant food servers provide food to customers outside a restaurant environment. For example, they may deliver room-service orders in hotels or meals to hospital rooms. Some work as carhops at venues such as drive-in movie theaters, bringing orders to customers in parked cars.

An overall knowledge of geography would help food and beverage service staff in their jobs as they would know about seasonal produce, ebb and flow of customers based on the location or if they get tourists or local customers, season or time of the year they are most busy in terms of business, cultural and human geographical knowledge would help them to interact with the customers congenially as this would help them understand the culture and predilections of the customers.

Geographers at work: Human geographers, food geographers, social geographers, business geographers

Recommended College Courses: Human geography, World Geography, Location Analysis, Geography of Food and Agriculture

Skills: Human geography, cultural geography, communication skills, management skills

Occupation Group: Management AND Food Preparation and Serving


Learn more about Food and Beverage Services from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Department of Labor:  https://www.bls.gov/ooh/food-preparation-and-serving/food-and-beverage-serving-and-related-workers.htm#tab-1

Written by Binay Thapa