Employment Trends in Food Services

Employment Trends

If you are considering a career in food services, you may be wondering about the employment trends for this industry. According to one poll, food service jobs have increased by 49% since January 2008, so it seems to be an industry that is growing. Even though many industries have to cut back during tough economic times, people still have to eat, and eating out seems to be the one luxury they are reluctant to cut. In fact, according to a future forecast of employment trends published by the U.S. Bureau of Statistics, two of the top 10 occupations with highest job growth rate projections (2004-2014) are in food services. They are waiter/waitress and food preparation/serving workers. In addition, limited-service eating places are one of the top industries with highest projected job growth rates.

Types of Jobs

Food services is vast industry that encompasses many jobs. As mentioned previously, restaurants require food servers as well as people to prepare food. These could be actual chefs or cooks; alternatively, they could just be people who come in and prepare things like cole slaw, potato salad, desserts, etc. Restaurants who offer buffet style meals need a great deal of prep before the restaurant opens each day. Depending on the type of restaurant, some might also employ order takers and cashiers. In addition, restaurants require people to clean the tables and wash the dishes as well as managers who oversee the operations.


Also think about the fact that all these restaurants have to be stocked with food that comes from somewhere. So the food services industry requires manufacturers who make the food or suppliers who provide things meat and produce. The industry also needs truck drivers to transport the food from the manufacturers and providers to the restaurants. As a result, there are countless jobs for individuals looking to work in this industry in some capacity, especially if you consider the depth and scope of the types of restaurants available. Just think about it. Besides the countless fast food restaurants, there are donut shops, bagel stores, ice cream places, smoothie specialists, cake shops, etc. You also have theme restaurants that include Chinese, Mexican, Italian as well as those that focus on types of foods like barbeque, chicken, and sushi not to mention breakfast places, sandwich shops, and those places only open for dinner. The list goes on and on.

More Opportunities

If you want to expand your view of what it means to work in food services, think about all the food that is available to purchase in various stores. Again, someone has to provide this food, whether it be large manufacturers, small businesses, or farmers. Just think of all the types of stores as well. In addition to regular grocery stores, there are health food stores, produce markets, specialty food places, convenience stores, etc. And for each of these places, you need to have stockers, cashiers, and managers. As a result, working in stores is yet another opportunity for people interested in working in the food services industry, especially since it employs lots and lots of people. Clearly America is a nation that likes to eat, and as long as there is a demand for food, there will be a need for people to work in the food services industry.