Food Runner Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Food Runner, or Server Assistant assists waitstaff and makes sure customers get a superior dining experience. Their primary duties include delivering food orders from the kitchen to customers’ tables, acting as the point of contact between staff at the front of the house (FOH) and back of the house (BOH) and setting up tables.


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Food Runner duties and responsibilities

A Food Runner plays various roles depending on the type of restaurant and the staffing protocol. Some of their duties and responsibilities include:

  • Setting up the front line with the  small wares, plate ware and equipment needed to effectively serve all food items
  • Keeping the station restocked, cleaning small, large trays and tray stands, reading order tickets and placing them onto the ticket minder
  • Tracking cooking times on all food orders and checking them for plate presentation, appearance and the proper degree of doneness
  • Garnishing finished entrees according to the restaurant’s procedures and specifications and assisting servers as needed, to improve the dining experience of guests
  • Performing all job duties while complying to all safety practices and guidelines and reporting any accidents or injuries and unsafe act or condition to the Chef or other Manager on duty
  • Completing closing duties correctly at the end of each shift and assisting the Chef and other kitchen employees in keeping the kitchen clean and with closing duties
  • Performing all side work in the front and back of the restaurant as scheduled or assigned by the management
  • Delivering orders to guests’ tables while the food is still hot and notifying waitstaff when orders are ready


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Food Runner Job Description Examples:


Example 1

Intent and passionate to create an unforgettable experience for our diners, we are looking for a Food Runner with a fabulous and engaging personality to join our Cyan Restaurant team…[website] are fizzing with anticipation and excitement for the next stage of our own journey…Is it time to start the next chapter in yours? Don’t let the exciting opportunity to be part of the #exceptionalteam at Cyan, pass you by! Cyan, based at The Grand, is at the centre of a thousand tales, the location of a million memories and a champion for all things Brighton & Hove. We’re progressive, independent, and free-spirited - it’s just the fabric of the building that’s historic, not our approach to business! If you’re looking for the look no further! The primary focus for you as a Food Runner is to support the Waiters, ensuring that we deliver fantastic, personal and memorable service to every guest. Tasks involve preparing items ready for service, communicating with the kitchen team and running food from the kitchen and presenting this with flair and style to our diners. In return for your passion and commitment, we offer a great package including share of the service charge, complimentary gym facilities, hotel recognition scheme and incentive programme (including cinema tickets, free dinner & afternoon tea, cash rewards), discounted use of hotel facilities, workplace pension & life assurance, employee assistance programme, and a high street, local attraction & retail perks and discount programme. You will have previous service experience in a fast-paced restaurant - a desire to execute a perfectly engaged service focused on the diner every time - and a positive relentless to be at your best every day! We’re looking for Food Runners who have: a proven track record in great teamwork a genuine passion for food and drink fantastic attention to detail the ability to communicate clearly and openly with colleagues and guests the ability to multitask and work under pressure If you are truly passionate about delivering the highest standards and see yourself as part of a diverse, award winning team who deliver amazing hospitality consistently, then apply now - this IS a step worth taking! Indfoh

Example 2

The Ivy Collection can open many doors in your career. Whether you are looking for progression or stability, our restaurants will expose you to a diverse team and a fast pace service. Our Runners are invaluable members of the entire operation. The team at all levels rely on the Runner position to ensure they have the support needed to deliver the service. We are proud of our teams, packed with diversity in cultures, experience, strengths and backgrounds. If you love people, love the hospitality industry and want to push yourself, join The Ivy Collection today and we will open many doors for your career. Our Runners will enjoy these benefits:
  • Generous discount off your entire bill (including drinks), when dining at any Ivy Collection Restaurant
  • Unrivalled opportunities for progression across the UK and Ireland. The majority of our Runners have been internally progressed and developed to senior positions
  • Recommend a friend scheme with great bonuses per individual referral
  • 28 days holiday, increasing with length of service
  • Exclusive access to our discounts including money off gym memberships, travel, online shopping, gadgets and much more.
  • A place at The Ivy Academy. Giving you a full company induction and training for your first days with us, ensuring you have the correct basic skills for the role.
  • Reward programmes, long service awards and staff recognition and incentives
  • Staff food served exactly as they are to the guest from the menu plus a dish of the week. The Ivy Collection is a market leading prestigious restaurant group. With a rich history and long-standing reputation within the hospitality industry, we have grown from strength to strength opening our iconic all-day dining restaurants across the UK and As we continue to expand, we offer structured career paths and effective hospitality training at every level to ensure your development and confidence grows with the collection. Indfoh
  • What does a Food Runner do?

    A Food Runner’s primary responsibility is to assist Bartenders and Waitstaff at restaurants. They help busy Waitpersons deliver orders to customers on time. In some restaurants, that means literally running food orders from the kitchen to the customer’s table. Although it may seem simple, it’s an important job that ensures that restaurant’s efficient and smooth operation. When Food Runners deliver the food, they may also check to see if the guests have everything they need and can serve any additional food items. 


    Food Runner skills and qualifications

    A successful Food Runner candidate will need various prerequisite skills and qualifications to perform their duties effectively. These include:

    • Multitasking skills to ensure guests get their orders quickly
    • Organisational skills to easily locate bar patrons and tables to fulfil orders
    • Excellent verbal and written communication skills to ensure customers’ requests are met
    • Ability to remain on their feet for several hours
    • Interpersonal skills
    • Attention to detail
    • Ability to remain calm under stressful situations
    • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment


    Food Runner experience requirements

    Food Runners usually need to have previous experience in the food industry, but some employers do not require candidates to have any experience at all. Often a Food Runner is usually the first job people get when they first enter the workforce. Working as a Food Runner is one of the paths to becoming a Waiter. 


    Food Runner education and training

    A Food Runner usually needs a General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE). Some employers require candidates to have a Higher National Diploma (HND). Newly hired Food Runners may need to go through a training programme, where they shadow an experienced Server or Waiter and have an opportunity to learn menu items. Full-service restaurants may have Food Runners complete classroom training in restaurant philosophy and formal serving techniques. They may also require Food Runners to complete food safety training. 


    Food Runner salary expectations

    According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Food Runner in the UK, is £9.00 per hour. This figure varies depending on factors, including experience, location and company. 


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    Food Runner job description FAQs


    What is the difference between a Food Runner and a Waiter?

    Food runners assist Waiters with bringing food from the kitchen to guests’ tables. They do not handle payments or take orders. A Waiter, on the other hand, takes food orders and serve food and beverages to guests. They also handle payments.


    What should you look for in a Food Runner CV?

    Look for a strong employment history. The more experience a candidate has as a Food Runner, the more skill the candidate will have in providing assistance and responding to requests. It also means that candidates can move faster, as they are more comfortable at doing this in their previous jobs. Moving quickly means that more guests will be served and the Food Runner can potentially receive more tips. 


    Who does a Food Runner report to?

    Depending on the type and size of the restaurant, Food Runners may report to their assigned Waitperson for the day. They may also report to the Lead Waiter and possibly to the Manager. 

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