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:


Example 1

Overview: The Pickle Barrel is looking for Food at our Pickering location. The Pickle Barrel began with a mission. We believed that amazing dining experiences didn’t need to be elitist, so we began a restaurant that combined ‘quality’ with ‘incredible value’. Today we have restaurants all across the Greater Toronto Area, with a menu that offers over 200 items brought to you by over 1,000 employees- with no shortcuts. We promise to put real fresh food on the table every time! We are looking for individuals that are passionate about food, hospitality, and providing their Guests with a Perfect Dining Experience to join our Pickle Barrel family! What you will do in this role: Possess knowledge about our regular and promotional food/beverage menus and communicate and recommend items to Guests. Provide a welcoming smile and genuine hospitality each and every time Get to know our Guests and enhance their personal experience, while flawlessly executing our steps of service Process Guest’s orders and payments in a timely and professional manner Provide responsible alcohol service to all guests Abide by Food Safety regulations and handling procedures and best practices What we are looking for: Bonus points for previous experience as a Server Provincial Responsible Alcohol Service certification is required Excellent communication and social skills Energetic and self-confident with a positive attitude and willingness to learn Ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment Ability to work a flexible schedule Help contribute to a positive Guest experience however necessary Ability to work well independently and as part of a team What’s in it for you: 20% employee discount dining card valid at participating Recipe brands Flexible scheduling Chance to be part of an energetic and dynamic team Competitive wages Fun working environment founded on respect Growth and development opportunities within the restaurant Career advancement opportunities with a company that owns some of Canada’s most iconic restaurant brands Did you know Pickle Barrel’s very own President started off as a busboy? If you are interested in this fantastic opportunity and growing your career, apply online today! Recipe is committed to providing a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace. Celebrating people, being passionate and curious, owning it, and doing the right thing are the values that guide how we build our teams, support our franchisees and create a company that unlocks the full potential of everyone. Recipe is dedicated to providing accommodations in accordance with applicable human rights and accommodation legislation. For individuals that require accommodations please contact

Example 2

_Restobar Busser_ Busy downtown bar seeking Bussers. Hard but rewarding position, some attributes we are looking for are: High energy Positive attitude Attention to detail Fitness (lifting required) Please provide a current resume, priority given to those with relevant experience. Smart serve is required for the role. *As per provincial guidelines all staff are required to be double vaccinated against COVID or provide 2 negative tests each week.* Part-time hours: 25 per week Job Types: Part-time, Permanent Salary: per year Schedule: * 8 hour shift COVID-19 considerations: As per provincial guidelines all customers are required to be double vaccinated against COVID and all staff are required to be double vaccinated against COVID or provide 2 negative tests each week Experience: * restaurant: 1 year (preferred) * customer service: 1 year (preferred) Work remotely: * No

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.

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Food Runner job description FAQs

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

Food Runners are auxiliary staff, helping when a restaurant is particularly busy. They run food from the kitchen to the tables, clear tables, and stock supplies for Servers and kitchen staff. They don’t take orders or handle customer questions. Servers welcome restaurant guests, take their orders, relay their orders to the kitchen, regularly check on tables to make sure guests have everything they need, and manage billing after the meal.

How long do Food Runners work?

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.

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

A Busser’s primary focus is on cleaning tables, refilling water glasses, and washing dishes in the kitchen. A Food Runner’s job is more customer-facing, as they bring food and drinks to customers and are sometimes responsible for telling guests about the dishes. Both positions require liaising with Servers and the kitchen.

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