Counter service assistant

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

Average salary (a year)

£12,000 Starter


£19,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

40 to 42 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays on split shifts

How to become a counter service assistant

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly


You could take a course like a Level 1 or 2 Certificate in Food and Beverage Service or Hospitality and Catering.

Entry requirements

You may need:

  • 2 or fewer GCSEs at grades 3 to 1 (D to G) for a level 1 course
  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D) for a level 2 course

More information


You could do an intermediate apprenticeship in customer service or one as a hospitality team member.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, for an intermediate apprenticeship

More information

Direct application

You could apply directly for jobs. Some employers may expect you to have experience in customer service, catering or hospitality work.

You could start with a weekend or temporary job to build up your skills.

More information

Further information

You can get more details about working in counter service from the Hospitality Guild.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • knowledge of food production methods
  • knowledge of public safety and security
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your daily 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

Working environment

You could work at a store or at a restaurant.

Your working environment may be hot and noisy.

You may need to wear a uniform.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a supervisor or manager.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Bar and Waiting Apprentice - Premium Country Pubs - Oatlands Chaser IKL

  • Wage : £130.50 - £246.30 Weekly
  • Location: Weybridge KT13 9RW

Apprentice Retail Sales Adviser

  • Wage : £168.00 Weekly
  • Location: Trowbridge BA14 8AT

Courses In England

Certificate in Hospitality and Catering Principles (Hospitality Services)

  • Provider: Vocational Skills Solutions Limited
  • Start date: 01 November 2019
  • Location: Bury

Hospitality Traineeship - BTEC Certificate in Introduction to the Hospitality Industry QCF

  • Start date: 13 January 2020
  • Location: London

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