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More Than 2,500 Bartenders in Boston. Beer Me.

The food service and accommodations industry makes up a serious chunk of Boston's economy.

How much do we like our hotels, restaurants and bars in Boston? Enough that the accommodation and food service industry employs nearly 50,000 people within The Hub proper.

According to data from the Boston Redevelopment Authority, hotels, bars and restaurants make up the city’s sixth-largest sector, with nearly as many workers as Boston’s legendary educational services industry.

The biggest chunk of those workers handle our food—9,592 bring it to our tables, 8,580 are classified as “combined food preparation and serving workers” (such as fast food workers), and another 3,225 are designated as cooks. Another 1,958 are classified as “food preparation workers,” and 3,016 serve us our coffee.

Amid all those numbers, a blessed 2,631 serve us our beer and spirits.

While we may love (some of) our bartenders and servers, it may not be the best line of work for them.

About 45 percent of the city’s food and hotel workers have yet to attain a high school diploma, and they earn about 88 percent of the average for workers with similar education levels. Workers with some college or an associates degree earned about 65 percent as the average person of their education level.

But, once a person gets a degree, they’re unlikely to remain part of Boston’s hotel and food service sector: less than 6 percent of the city’s hotel and restaurant workers have a degree from an institution greater than a high school. 

See the attached report for more.

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