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Counter service assistant

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.

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Last updated: 14 December 2016