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Counter service assistant

Alternative titles for this job include Crew member, fast-food service assistant, food and beverage server

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

Average salary (a year)

£12,500 Starter


£21,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

40 to 42 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays on split shifts

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

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), or equivalent, for a level 1 course
  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, 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, or equivalent, 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 find out more about working in catering from Caterer.com.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

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

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In this role you will:

  • welcome customers and take their food and drink orders
  • handle raw and cooked food following food hygiene rules
  • set up and keep all eating and serving areas clean and tidy
  • bring food and drink to the table or take-away point
  • give advice about food content and menu choices and make sure customers have everything they need
  • work quickly and accurately to maximise sales
  • hand over or close down a clean and safe restaurant service area at the end of shift
  • operate a till and vending machines
  • handle 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

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a supervisor or manager.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Apprentice Hospitality Team Member - Dartmouth

  • Wage: £17,290.00 Annually
  • Location: Dartmouth

Bar and Waiting Apprentice

  • Wage: £11,856.00 Annually
  • Location: Not known

Courses In England

Hospitality Level 3 Diploma

  • Start date: 11 September 2024
  • Location: Chichester

Hospitality Management - HNC

  • Start date: 09 September 2024
  • Location: Blackpool

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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