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Career and Education Opportunities for Dining Room Attendants in Detroit, Michigan

If you want to be a dining room attendant, the Detroit, Michigan area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 13,250 working dining room attendants in Michigan; this should grow 8% to about 14,280 working dining room attendants in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for dining room attendants are expected to grow by about 5.5%. In general, dining room attendants facilitate food service.

The income of a dining room attendant is about $7 per hour or $16,470 annually on average in Michigan. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $8 per hour or $16,740 per year on average. Incomes for dining room attendants are not quite as good as in the overall category of Service in Michigan, and not quite as good as the overall Service category nationally. Dining room attendants work in a variety of jobs, including: line server, food service attendant, and cafeteria helper.

There are seventy-three schools of higher education in the Detroit area, including one within twenty-five miles of Detroit where you can get a degree to start your career as a dining room attendant. Given that the most common education level for dining room attendants is less than a high school diploma, you can expect to spend only a short time training to become a dining room attendant if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Dining Room Attendant

Dining Room Attendant video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, dining room attendants facilitate food service. They also clean tables, carry dirty dishes, replace soiled table linens; set tables; replenish supply of clean linens, silverware, and dishes; supply service bar with food, and serve water, butter, and coffee to patrons.

Dining room attendants clean and polish counters, shelves and equipment in food service areas and other areas of restaurants, and mop and vacuum floors. They also clean up spilled food, drink and broken dishes, and remove empty bottles and trash. Equally important, dining room attendants have to scrape and stack dirty dishes, and carry dishes and other tableware to kitchens for cleaning. They are often called upon to maintain adequate supplies of items such as clean linens and trays. They are expected to stock cabinets and serving areas with condiments, and refill condiment containers as needed. Finally, dining room attendants serve ice water and butter to customers.

Every day, dining room attendants are expected to be able to move quickly in order to hold onto or control objects and devices. They need to control objects and devices with precise control. It is also important that they use lower back and abdominal strength.

It is important for dining room attendants to perform serving and stocking duties in establishments such as cafeterias or dining rooms so as to facilitate customer service. They are often called upon to wipe tables and seats with dampened cloths, and remove dirty tablecloths. They also fill beverage and ice dispensers. They are sometimes expected to set tables with clean linens and other supplies. Somewhat less frequently, dining room attendants are also expected to slice and pit fruit used to garnish drinks.

Dining room attendants sometimes are asked to carry linens to and from laundry areas. They also have to be able to mix and ready flavors for mixed drinks And finally, they sometimes have to carry linens to and from laundry areas.

Like many other jobs, dining room attendants must believe in cooperation and coordination and have a strong concern for others.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Detroit include:

  • Chef. Direct the preparation, seasoning, and cooking of salads, soups, or other foods. May plan and price menu items, order supplies, and keep records and accounts. May participate in cooking.
  • Counter Clerk. Serve food to diners at counter or from a steam table.
  • Fast Food Cook. Prepare and cook food in fast food restaurants with limited menus. Duties of the cooks are limited to preparation of a few basic items and normally involve operating large-volume single-purpose cooking equipment.
  • Food Service Aide. Perform a variety of food preparation duties other than cooking, such as preparing cold foods and shellfish, slicing meat, and brewing coffee or tea.
  • Host Coordinator. Welcome patrons, seat them at tables or in lounge, and help ensure quality of facilities and service.
  • Institutional Cook. Prepare and cook large quantities of food for institutions, such as schools, hospitals, or cafeterias.
  • Short Order Cook. Prepare and cook to order a variety of foods that require only a short preparation time. May take orders from customers and serve patrons at counters or tables.
  • Waiter. Take orders and serve food and beverages to patrons at tables in dining establishment.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Dining Room Attendant Training

Henry Ford Community College - Dearborn, MI

Henry Ford Community College, 5101 Evergreen Rd, Dearborn, MI 48128-1495. Henry Ford Community College is a large college located in Dearborn, Michigan. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,571 students. Henry Ford Community College has a less than one year program in Food Service, Waiter/Waitress, & Dining Room Management/Manager which graduated one student in 2008.


Quality Coffee Certification Program: The purpose of QCCP is to provide operators with sales tools and knowledge that will help them begin or enhance their own quality coffee program for their customers.

For more information, see the National Automatic Merchandising Association website.

ServSafe Alcohol: The ServSafe Alcohol program outlines effective responsible alcohol service practices for all front-of-the-house staff, including bartenders, waiters, hosts, busers, security and valets.

For more information, see the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation website.


Detroit, Michigan
Detroit, Michigan photo by Durova

Detroit is located in Wayne County, Michigan. It has a population of over 912,062, which has shrunk by 4.1% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Detroit, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Detroit are priced at $108,900 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, eighty-five new homes were built in Detroit, down from one hundred fifty-four the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Detroit are health care, educational services, and transportation equipment. For men, it is transportation equipment, construction, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average commute to work is about 28 minutes. More than 11.0% of Detroit residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 4.2%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Detroit is 27.0%, which is greater than Michigan's average of 14.3%.

The percentage of Detroit residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.7%, is less than both the national and state average. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Detroit is home to the Memorial Park Marina and the Detroit Golf Club as well as Chene Park and Mallett Playground. Visitors to Detroit can choose from Corktown Inn, Clark's Motel and Days Inn of Downtown Detroit for temporary stays in the area.