We're building a new service – your feedback will help us to improve it.

Counter service assistant

BETATry an improved version of this page

  1. More about how to get into this career
  2. We've included current opportunities to help you with your next steps
Try it out

Counter service assistants greet, serve and take payment from customers buying food and drink. 

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £12,000 to £19,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: Variable per week

1. Entry requirements

There are no set entry requirements, but previous experience in hospitality, catering or customer service, or a qualification in hospitality or catering, may be useful.

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • a polite and friendly manner
  • flexibility
  • the ability to work under pressure
  • numeracy skills to handle cash and stock
  • the ability to follow health and safety practices

3. What you'll do

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • giving advice about food content and menu choices
  • handling raw and cooked food safely
  • working quickly and accurately to maximise sales
  • keeping eating and serving areas clean and tidy
  • operating a till and vending machines
  • handling customer enquiries and complaints
Depending on the type of outlet, you may do basic cooking or re-heating, or prepare all food and drinks.

4. Salary

Starter: £12,000 to £15,000

Experienced: £16,500

Highly Experienced: £19,000

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

As well as full time work, part time and seasonal work is common, including evenings, weekends and split-shifts. 

Restaurants and kitchens can be hot, noisy and busy, and you’ll be on your feet for long periods.

You’ll need a high level of personal hygiene and a smart appearance. 

Your employer may provide a uniform.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a supervisor or manager.

Related careers

You may be interested in:

Last updated: 02 April 2018