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Career and Education Opportunities for Dining Room Attendants in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

There are many career and education opportunities for dining room attendants in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area. There are currently 15,300 working dining room attendants in Pennsylvania; this should grow 8% to about 16,450 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 hourly or $16,140 annually on average in Pennsylvania. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $8 per hour or $16,740 annually on average. Compared with people working in the overall category of Service, people working as dining room attendants in Pennsylvania earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Service nationally. Dining room attendants work in a variety of jobs, including: cook, cafeteria worker, and kitchen helper.

The Pittsburgh area is home to eighty-three schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Pittsburgh where you can get a degree as a dining room attendant. The most common level of education 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 Pittsburgh 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

Westmoreland County Community College - Youngwood, PA

Westmoreland County Community College, 145 Pavilion Lane, Youngwood, PA 15697-1895. Westmoreland County Community College is a medium sized college located in Youngwood, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,512 students. Westmoreland County Community College has a less than one year program in Food Service, Waiter/Waitress, & Dining Room Management/Manager which graduated one student in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania photo by Conk 9

Pittsburgh is located in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. It has a population of over 310,037, which has shrunk by 7.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Pittsburgh, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Pittsburgh cost $196,700 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, one hundred eighty-five new homes were built in Pittsburgh, up from one hundred seventeen the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Pittsburgh are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 26.2% of Pittsburgh residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Pittsburgh is 7.8%, which is less than Pennsylvania's average of 8.4%.

The percentage of Pittsburgh residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 71.8%, is more than both the national and state average. Saint Pauls Cathedral, Saint Patrick Roman Cathlic Church and Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church are some of the churches located in Pittsburgh. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the United Methodist Church.

Pittsburgh is home to the Mount Washington Overlook and the Golden Triangle as well as Magee Playground and Kennard Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Shadyside Shopping Center and Allegheny Center Mall. Visitors to Pittsburgh can choose from Best Western University Center, Avalon Motel and Four Points By Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport for temporary stays in the area.