Counter service assistant

Career outlook for

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary

Currently employed in Scotland

Jobs forecast

This information is supplied by LMI For All, where data is currently available for Scotland.

What's it like?

You would serve food and drinks to customers, take money, give people their change and keep the premises clean and welcoming.

You could work in a:

  • Sandwich shop
  • Cafe
  • Fast food outlet
  • Self-service restaurant
  • Deli
  • Canteen

You’d make customers feel welcome and deal with their orders correctly and quickly, including when it is very busy and there are lots of customers to serve.

You’d need to work according to health and safety practices, for example, making sure you handle raw and cooked foods safely.

You would:

  • Serve food and drinks
  • Advise customers about ingredients and the menu
  • Keep eating and serving areas clean and tidy
  • Operate vending machines such as coffee-makers
  • Refill hot food containers and self-serve stations
  • Clear tables, wash dishes and do other cleaning
  • Operate the till - take cash and card payments and give out change and receipts
  • Respond to customer enquiries, comments and complaints

In smaller sandwich shops, you might prepare all food and drinks. In fast food restaurants you would also do basic cooking or re-heating.

Working conditions

Hours

Full time work is available and part time and seasonal work is common. This may include evenings, weekends and split-shifts.

Environment

Restaurants and kitchens can be hot, noisy and very busy, and you would be on your feet for long periods. You would need a high level of personal hygiene and a smart appearance. Your employer may provide a uniform.

UK employment status

Full-time

Part-time

Self employed

Here are some of the skills that people in this job would be most likely to have:

  • Working as part of a team
  • Helping customers
  • Working with your hands
  • Working with numbers

Build your skills

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.

Qualifications

No formal qualifications are required however many employers value a good general education.

Useful subjects

Some employers may want you to have a food hygiene certificate.

Helpful to have

Qualifications and experience that show some knowledge of health and hygiene and customer service skills such as Skills for Work Hospitality (SCQF level 4/5). 

Relevant work-based qualifications such as a Scottish Vocational Qualification in Food Service (SVQ level 2) or be willing to work towards qualifications once in a job.