Restaurant and Food Service Industry Job Skills – The Balance Careers

Are you interested in working for a restaurant or in the food service industry?

Working in restaurants or the foodservice industry can give you the experience needed and the opportunity to develop your skills for other professions.

There are basic skills you need to have before applying to a restaurant or food service industry job.

This article covers all information relating to the skills needed for the restaurant and food service industry jobs.

The restaurant and food service industry is a sub-industry within the hospitality industry.

Most people will only think of waiters and cooks but restaurants and food services include food preparation, table preparation, event planning, cleaning, and so much more.

Restaurants and food service jobs are always available, easy to apply, and pay very well.

Restaurants and food service workers get the minimum wage or salary and still get tips depending on the establishment they work for.

But working in a restaurant or as a food server can be physically tasking because you are always on your feet, carrying heavy foods and drinks, interacting with different personalities and you still have to be diplomatic.

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Restaurant and Food Service Industry Job Skills

Restaurant and food service skills comprise various abilities involved in food preparation, customer service, and restaurant management.

There are different roles in the restaurant and food service industry.

There are different types of workers in the restaurant and foodservice industry that work together to create a nice experience for the customers.

The chef, server, cooks, bartenders, and hosts all make use of restaurant and food service skills.

Although the type of establishment matters, there are certain knowledge and skills that are needed before being employed in a restaurant or food service industry job.

Types Of Restaurant And Food Service Industry Job Skills

Restaurants and food service industry jobs do not necessarily require any formal education, but there are some required skill sets that employers look out for.

Some of the top skills needed to work in a restaurant and food service job include:

  1. Customer Service

Customer service skills are important for everyone working in a restaurant or food service job including those who don’t interact with the customers.

The host or hostess and waiter staff must create a welcoming and relaxing environment for the customers.

Most times why people visit a particular restaurant consistently is because of their good customer service skills.

Customer service skills include:

  • Customer Relations
  • Detail Oriented
  • Directing Customers
  • Engaging with Public
  • Being Friendly
  • Integrating with Customers
  • Being Patient
  • Excellent People Skills
  • Verbal Communication
  • Service-Oriented
  1. Friendliness

Food servers and restaurant workers must always be friendly, positive, and cheerful at all times no matter how stressed they are.

The customer’s dining experience depends on your mood and how you show care towards them.

Being pleasant, friendly, cheerful, positive, and enjoyable are important skills to have in the restaurant and foodservice industry.

Other friendliness skills include:

  • Your Enthusiasm
  • High-Stress Tolerance
  • Be Resilient
  • Dress Appearance
  • Show Courtesy
  • Be hospitable
  1. Communication

When working in the restaurant and food service industry, you need to communicate clearly with both customers and your colleagues.

You need to listen attentively to customers, pay attention to little details, and relay the information to the cook or management correctly.

You also need to memorize certain aspects of the menu, or the restaurant’s facts to tell the customers.

Communication skills also include:

  • Team player
  • Collaboration skill
  • Humor
  • Actively listening
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Excellent verbal communication skills
  • Note Taking
  • Excellent Memory
  1. Problem Solving

Working in the restaurant and food service industry, you will need to solve problems; ems on the spot.

Even if you can’t deal with the customers, you must still make the customer feel heard and understood.

You also need to be creative in solving the issue.

Problem-solving skills include:

  • Proactiveness
  • Decision making
  • Problem Sensitivity
  • Logical Thinking
  • Integrity
  • Empathy
  1. Physical Speed and Strength

Working in a restaurant or food service industry, you might need to carry a heavy load effectively without causing damage.

The skill to move at a fast steady pace without causing distraction is needed in the restaurant and food service industry.

Physical speed and strength skills include:

  • Ability to Learn Quickly
  • Enthusiastic
  • Multitasking skills
  • Fast Worker
  • Flexible
  • Working Quickly
  • Serving
  • Short Order Cooking
  1. Focus

Working in a restaurant or food service industry, you’ll need to be focused.

The environment has a lot of distractions and it’s easy to lose focus on customers and their demands.

The ability to be focused is very important in the restaurant and food service industry.

Focusing skills include:

  • Approachability
  • Circumstantial Awareness
  • Diligence
  • Efficiency
  • Multi-tasking skills
  • Thoroughness
  1. Safety Consciousness

Restaurants and food service industries can be dangerous places.

As a worker, you have to be safety conscious so you won’t be involved in a thermal burn, chemical burn, or accidents.

And not just yourself, you need to keep your customers safe so they will keep coming.

  1. Attention to Detail

Paying attention to detail is closely related to being safety conscious.

When working in restaurants or the food service industry, you must remember to pay attention to little details.

These skills include:

  • Attentive
  • Situational Awareness
  • Active listening
  • Compliance
  • Cashing Out Customers
  • Cleaning Tables
  • Clearing Food
  • Enter Orders
  • Food Expediting
  • Food Allergies
  • Handling Money
  • Receive and Process Phone Orders
  • Resolve Guest Concerns
  • Waiting on Tables

Other Restaurant and Food Service Skills

Some other skills used in the restaurant and food service industry include:

  • Assisting the Cook
  • Bussing
  • Cooking
  • Dishwashing
  • Employee Relations
  • Food Knowledge
  • Bartending
  • Hiring
  • Interviewing
  • Inventory Management
  • Maintain Workstation
  • Maintain Table Appearance
  • Math
  • Operate Fryer
  • Operate Grill
  • Operate Oven
  • Ordering Supplies
  • Point of Sale Systems
  • Presenting Menus
  • Refilling Condiments
  • Register Operation
  • Reservation Scheduling
  • Sanitation Procedures
  • Taking Orders
  • Willing to Learn
  • Teamwork
  • Supervising
  • Persistence
  • Customer services
  • Bar Tending
  • Delivery Orders
  • Bus Tables
  • Compliance
  • Money Handling
  • Basic Math
  • Sales
  • Multilingual
  • Dexterity
  • Personal Ethics
  • Judgment
  • Patience
  • Diplomacy
  • Fast Learning
  • Quality Awareness
  • Calm
  • Observation
  • Desire to Exceed Expectations
  • Presentation
  • Agility
  • Central Reservations Systems (CRS)
  • Payment Processing
  • Taking Reservations

How To Improve Restaurant and Food Service Industry Job Skills

Restaurant and food service industry job skills are improved with practice and training.

Some ways to improve your restaurant and food service industry include:

 1. Work

Working as a host, you must have a good manner of approach towards your guests, good communication skills, skills to welcome your guests, be fluent in English while having a conversation with them, serve them the restaurant menu and take their orders. 

Be on watch with your guests and increase customer service while guests places orders.

2. Become a server

You as a server must be able to work under pressure, multitask fully and be able to deliver orders placed on time.

While being in the position of a server you have to work with the kitchen units as a team to be able to satisfy your customers.

3. Work in the kitchen

Workers in the kitchen sector do not see customers but the cooks and errand workers in the kitchen are highly valuable to the restaurant.

To be a worker in the kitchen sector you have to be multitaskable and proactive because the kitchen environment is handled by professionals that can be able to manage cooking times and multi dishes that must be prepared for the restaurant to keep on moving.

4. Earn certifications

Being able to gain the certifications as a food service worker, this implies you should have knowledge about what you are doing and it increases your professional skills.

5. Become a food service manager

Before becoming a food service manager, you have to have some qualifications and experience in a food service company.

Management skill should be one of the qualifications you possess, this will give you an edge to manage a team of employees and customers on the day to day affairs of the company for a better outcome and turn over of customers.

Hospitality is also a qualification that is needed from a food service manager because the health and safety of a customer should be at its standard to avoid bad reputation to the company.

Have a great day.

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