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In Room Dining Server Duties and Responsibilities

For the most part, in room dining servers perform the same core duties and responsibilities, regardless of the hotel where they work:

Take Guest Orders In room dining servers take hotel guests' room service food orders, typically over the phone. They accurately write down the request and deliver it to the kitchen workers.

Prepare Guest Orders After the food has been cooked, in room dining servers are responsible for preparing the order and placing it on the food cart in a way that is appealing and secure for delivery.

Deliver Guest Orders In room dining servers are responsible for delivering the guest's in room dining service directly to the guest's room. They bring the food cart into the room and supply silverware and condiments to the guest, as needed.

Collect and Clean Dirty Dishes Once they are done eating, guests leave their dirty dishes in the hallway or in their room, and in room dining servers are responsible for collecting and cleaning those dishes. They may also need to bring additional dishes to the guest, as requested.

Complete Payment for Orders After the food is delivered, in room dining servers are responsible for completing the payment process for the order. This typically includes delivering a check and asking the hotel guest how they would like to pay for the order.


In Room Dining Server Skills and Qualifications

In room dining servers are efficient and work at a fast pace. They juggle multiple orders at once and can ensure all orders are delivered in a timely manner to each hotel guest. Employers look for candidates who are organized and who work well with people. While some experience in a kitchen may be beneficial, most employers don't hold any formal requirements for this position. Based on job postings we analyzed, successful in room dining servers demonstrate the following skills:
  • Customer Service Skills - In room dining servers are excellent customer service representatives and service guests in a positive and accommodating manner
  • Basic Math Skills - These servers take money from the hotel guest for the in room services and employ basic math to calculate appropriate change
  • Multi-Tasking - Since new room service orders come in simultaneously along with orders coming out of the kitchen, in room dining servers multi-task efficiently and calmly
  • Communication Skills - They also need to communicate with guests, kitchen staff, and fellow servers, so those in this role are confident communicators
  • Time Management - In room dining servers will often experience times of extreme business, so they work well under pressure and budget their time as to complete all guest requests

In Room Dining Server Education and Training

Most employers don't require in room dining servers to have any kind of formal education past a high school diploma or GED. However, employers may consider candidates who are taking hotel management classes more highly than others. s with most entry-level jobs, in room dining servers typically attend job-specific training after getting hired. This often involves learning the hotel's POS system and guest management software, along with the overall procedures for taking and delivering room service orders.

In Room Dining Server Salary and Outlook

In room dining servers typically fall under the umbrella of "Food and Beverage Serving," as categorized by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). For this job, the BLS lists a median pay of $9.44 per hour, with the top 10 percent earning as much as $12.98 per hour and the lowest 10 percent earning as little as $8.13 per hour. However, in room dining servers also make tips from hotel guests, and that income can vary greatly depending on hotel guest demographics and the specific shift the employee works. In room dining servers can expect to receive standard benefits from their employer, depending on their full- or part-time status, which usually includes time off and some level of healthcare benefits. In room dining servers may also receive seasonal bonuses based on the hotel's overall financial performance.

Helpful Resources

Interested in pursuing a career as an in room dining server? If so, check out these helpful resources to learn more about this hospitality position:

Hospitality and Travel Industry LinkedIn Group - This is the top LinkedIn group for hospitality and travel professionals. With over 289,000 members, you're sure to find someone who can give you valuable advice and insight into the world of being an

in room dining server. Joining this group can also give you network connections to potential employers and colleagues.

The Renegade Server: Uncommon Strategies for Making More Money in 21st Century Food Service - This book by Tim Kirkland focuses on outlining the different ways you can make more money as a server. The practices listed in this book can be applied to any food service position, and in room dining servers can learn how to increase tips and gain repeat customers.

Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality - This book provides a unique insight into the overall industry that is hospitality. It details experiences that author Jacob Tomsky had as a

valet parking attendant, a room cleaner, an in room dining server, and more. If you want to learn more about how hotels operate in a casual and insightful way, this book can help you out.

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