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Food Runner Job Description: Top Duties and Requirements

Food Runners, or Expeditors, play a crucial role in restaurants. They act as a liaison between the kitchen staff, front-of-house team, and the restaurant’s guests. Their primary duty is to deliver food to guests, and they work alongside Servers and Bartenders to ensure customer satisfaction.

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Food Runner duties and responsibilities

To make sure customers get the correct order and are happy with their meal, Food Runners need to have some clear duties and responsibilities, including:

  • Delivering food to customers while ensuring they receive the correct order
  • Acting as the primary contact between the front-of-the-house and back-of-the-house staff
  • Setting tables before clients arrive by ensuring napkins, decorations, and utensils are all on the tables
  • Making sure clients with children get special silverware and items meant for kids
  • Restocking side stations with ice, glassware, and other supplies
  • Refilling customers’ drinks when needed
  • Ensuring they meet food safety principles when taking food to clients, and cleaning tables and floors after guests have left
  • Reporting to management as needed
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Food Runner Job Description Examples:

What does a Food Runner do?

A Food Runner performs many tasks, but their main role is to ensure that restaurant guests receive the right order on time. Just like Servers and Chefs, this position is integral in ensuring a smooth and efficient operation between back-of-house and front-of-house areas. Seamless operations between these two lead to high-quality service, which keeps customers happy.

Food Runner skills and qualifications

The nature of their job requires Food Runners to have a variety of skills. Besides a friendly personality, successful Food Runners also need to have some of the following skills and qualifications:

  • Clear understanding of hygiene and food safety regulations
  • Superb communication and interpersonal skills, especially in verbal interactions
  • Exceptional multitasking skills and attention to detail
  • Accurate memory to remember small details to relay the right message and respond accordingly
  • Ability to stay calm when handling difficult clients and stressful situations

Food Runner experience requirements

Food Runners don’t need any previous work experience. However, candidates need to demonstrate they can thrive in fast-paced, high-pressure environments. Food Runners need to work well as part of a team and on individual tasks, and must pay attention to detail to ensure every dish looks its best when it’s served. Look for candidates with experience working in teams at school, extracurricular activities, or in volunteer positions.

Food Runner education and training requirements

Since a Food Runner is an entry-level position, no advanced education is necessary. On-the-job training provides Food Runners with everything they need to know about the restaurant’s dishes and service expectations. Look for candidates with a high school diploma or GED, or you can employ high school students on a part-time basis or over the summer. Candidates need to provide their Food Handler certification, recognized across Canada.

For restaurants that serve alcohol, Food Runners with an alcohol service certification are an asset as they also run drinks and clear tables for guests. This certification is specific to every province and territory. For example, employees in Ontario need a Smart Serve certificate, in Alberta it’s ProServe, and in British Columbia it’s called Serving It Right. If a candidate has their Alberta ProServe but is applying to a job in Ontario, they’ll have to complete the Smart Serve certification before they can legally serve alcohol.

Food Runner salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average wage for a Food Runner in Canada is $14.28 per hour. This amount may vary depending on the company’s location and size, and the candidate’s previous experience and education.

Job description samples for similar positions

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Food Runner job description FAQs

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

Most Food Runners work during peak restaurant hours. However, the duration of work entirely depends on how busy the restaurants is. Restaurants are usually busiest on weekends and evenings, so Food Runners may only work four hours a night, or eight if it’s busy. Some restaurants offer double shifts for Food Runners to work the lunch rush, take a break, and return for the evening shift. Candidates need to be comfortable working on their feet for long periods.

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