How to Get a Food Runner Job

Everyone knows waiters and waitresses are an important part of the service staff in most restaurants, but there is an often necessary but overlooked position that many people don’t realize exists, the job of a food runner.

What is a Food Runner?

A food runner is pretty much what the name implies, a person who runs food from the kitchen to restaurant tables, although they usually have more duties than just this one task. Often a food runner is an assistant to the waitstaff; in addition to taking food to diners, they may have to fill drink orders, clear plates, or just check up on guests if their server is busy to make sure they don’t need anything.

It is often a job that has many duties, as when their assistance is not needed from the waitstaff, they may be asked to assist in the kitchen or even other front of the house duties such as refilling sugar baskets or rolling silverware. They must be a jack of all trades in the restaurant business.

A food runner is someone that may or may not have experience waiting tables, and this is often a job that is acquired before becoming an actual server, especially in fine dining establishments.

A food runner is the last member of the staff to see a dish before it is sent to the customer, so because of this they must know what the finished dishes are supposed to look like.

A good food runner has excellent customer service skills as well as good communications skills, as they will not only be interacting with customers, but they also must be able to get through to the service staff in an efficient and professional manner. They must also be able to work on their feet for hours on end, and be able to lift large loads, as they will be responsible for carrying heavy trays of food from the kitchen, through the dining room, and finally to the customer.

Like most restaurant jobs, a food runner must be able to work at a fast pace while getting the job done efficiently. They must be friendly and courteous with a neat and clean appearance since diners will see them handling their plates of food.  Restaurant jobs are fast paced and highly stressful, so to be a good food runner in a busy restaurant, you must be able to work well under pressure, while communicating effectively to the staff.

A food runner may receive a small hourly wage while splitting tips with waitstaff, so being highly motivated is an important part of success in this position.

How Can I Become a Food Runner?

In a five-star restaurant, becoming a food runner may require previous experience waiting tables, while in more casual restaurants less experience may be needed. Education wise, usually nothing is required other than a high school diploma, although in high end establishments a lot of the service staff do these jobs a career and have degrees in food service or hospitality.

In many instances, you can simply walk in and apply for a server position and if those positions aren’t available or management feels you aren’t quite qualified to be a server, you may be offered the position of food runner in order to prove yourself and work your way up.

If you have a service oriented attitude and a friendly personality, you can often greatly benefit from a job as a food runner, as it is a great way to get a head start in the restaurant and service industries.

More Information about Food Runners:

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