The service industry is that part of the economy that creates services rather than tangible objects. Service industry jobs include banking, communications, retail and restaurant work. Our economy is predominantly a service economy. As of 2008, service jobs accounted for over 80% of total U.S. employment and current trends indicate that this figure will remain steady or increase.
The food industry has tended to dominate the U.S. general service industry. At one time, families purchased fresh produce from local groceries and prepared their meals at home. Today, Americans eat out on average 4 or 5 times a week and the U.S. has the largest food industry in the world. Females who served food used to be called “waitresses” and their male counterparts “waiters,” but the gender-neutral “server” is considered most appropriate now.