23 Restaurant Positions and How to Find the Right Staff

The food service industry is a broad field that employs millions of people in the United States alone. Jobs in the foodservice industry range from entry-level to highly skilled positions requiring years of experience and training. Hiring great staff is essential for the success of any restaurant, large or small.

Different positions within a restaurant have different duties and responsibilities, so it is important to ensure that these are filled by the right people. Before starting to hire, familiarize yourself with the different types of positions in a restaurant so that you can find the best candidates. Knowing the different roles within a restaurant will help you run your business more effectively.

This article will explore various positions available in restaurants, as well as their corresponding job descriptions and pay rates. By understanding each position’s different roles and responsibilities, you can better decide which would be the best fit for you.

Whether you’re looking to hire staff or want to work in a fast food restaurant or a fine dining establishment, this article will provide the information you need to get started.

List of Restaurant Positions and Duties

The type of restaurant and business model will dictate how many staff are needed. Generally, restaurants need to hire people for various positions to run efficiently. Some positions may be responsible for handling customers, others for preparing food, and others for managing finances. Knowing the different responsibilities of each position can help you make better decisions about staffing your restaurant.

1. Restaurant Owner & Operator

The restaurant owner is the head boss and is responsible for the overall operation of the restaurant. This includes everything from hiring and training staff to creating and executing marketing plans to managing finances. The owner must also ensure that the restaurant meets all health and safety regulations. In addition, the owner is typically responsible for developing relationships with suppliers and customers.

Skills Required:

  • Hiring and training staff
  • Creating and executing marketing plans
  • Managing finances
  • Ensuring that the restaurant meets all health and safety regulations
  • Developing relationships with suppliers and customers

Median Income: The median income for a restaurant owner is $60,000. Half of all restaurant owners earn more than this amount, and half earn less. Restaurant owners typically earn a salary plus bonuses and profits from the business. The exact amount depends on the size and success of the restaurant.

2. General Manager

The general manager of a restaurant is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the establishment. They oversee all staff and ensure that customers are satisfied with their experience. The general manager may also be responsible for ordering supplies, managing finances, and marketing the restaurant. A successful general manager must have excellent leadership skills and work well under pressure.

Skills Required:

  • Great at talking with others and getting the point across
  • Very good at keeping things in order and on track
  • Can work well even when there is a lot of pressure or stress
  • Quick at finding solutions to problems that arise
  • Have a lot of experience in this field/area

Median hourly pay rate: $18.00 to $25.00

3. Assistant Manager

The assistant manager for a restaurant is responsible for helping the manager with day-to-day tasks, such as keeping track of inventory, scheduling shifts, and dealing with customer complaints. They also help oversee other employees’ work and ensure that the restaurant runs smoothly. Excellent communication and organizational skills are essential for this position.

Skills Required:

  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work collaboratively as well as under pressure
  • Experience in the food and beverage industry, preferably in a high volume or fast-paced environment.
  • Assistant Manager is a less experienced General manager

Median hourly pay rate: $18.00 to $20.00

4. Executive Chef

The executive chef is responsible for the overall operation of the kitchen, including menu development, food preparation, and staff management. They work closely with the restaurant’s owner or manager to ensure that the dining experience meets the guests’ expectations. In addition, they also play a key role in identifying new trends and dishes to keep the menu fresh and exciting.

Skills Required:

  • A passion for food and cooking
  • Creativity in the kitchen
  • Leadership skills to manage a team of cooks
  • Excellent time management skills
  • The ability to work well under pressure
  • Attention to detail
  • High standards for food quality
  • The ability to stay calm in a busy kitchen environment
  • Good communication skills to relay orders to cooks
  • The ability to think on your feet and come up with creative solutions to problems that may arise in the kitchen

Median hourly pay rate: $35.00 to $60.00

Executive Chef and Sous Chef

5. Sous Chef (Assistant Chef)

A sous chef is a kitchen manager in charge of food preparation. They work under the head chef to ensure that all dishes are prepared correctly and on time. Sous chefs often oversee a team of cooks and help with menu planning. They may also be responsible for ordering supplies and maintaining inventory.

The job duties of a sous chef can vary depending on the size and type of restaurant. In a small establishment, the sous chef may be responsible for all aspects of food preparation. In a larger restaurant, they may specialize in a particular area such as appetizers, desserts, or seafood.

Skills Required:

  • Work well under pressure and have excellent time management skills
  • Delegate tasks and oversee the kitchen staff efficiently
  • Handle multiple tasks at once and think on their feet
  • Excellent culinary skills and ability to create new and innovative dishes
  • Excellent communication skills to manage the kitchen staff effectively

Median hourly pay rate: $25.00 to $40.00

6. Pastry Chef

The pastry chef is responsible for creating and executing all desserts for the restaurant. This includes creating new and innovative desserts and overseeing the production of all pastries. The pastry chef must have excellent culinary skills and be able to work under pressure. They must also be able to manage a team of assistants effectively. In addition, the pastry chef should be able to develop new recipes and menu items.

Skills Required:

  • Pastry experience or education
  • A good sense of taste and smell
  • Creativity in terms of design
  • The ability to work quickly and efficiently under pressure
  • Attention to detail
  • Good organizational skills
  • Physical stamina and agility
  • A clean and tidy work ethic
  • Good people skills for customer interaction

Median hourly pay rate: $25.00 to $35.00

7. F&B Manager (Food & Beverage)

A food and beverage manager is responsible for the overall operation of a restaurant’s food and beverage department. They typically oversee all aspects of the department for larger restaurants, including menu development, kitchen staff management, food and beverage procurement from distributors, and dining room operations.

They may also be responsible for developing and implementing marketing and promotional strategies. A food and beverage manager should have a strong knowledge of food and beverage safety procedures and excellent customer service skills. They must also be able to effectively manage a team of staff and troubleshoot any problems that may arise.

Skills Required:

  • Ability to effectively manage a team of food and beverage staff
  • Strong working knowledge of food and beverage safety procedures
  • Excellent customer service skills
  • Ability to develop and implement creative marketing strategies
  • Strong financial management skills
  • Ability to troubleshoot and resolve problems promptly
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work well under pressure and meet deadlines
  • A positive and professional attitude

Median hourly pay rate: $30.00 to $40.00

8. Kitchen Manager

A kitchen manager is responsible for the overall operation of the back of the house and kitchen. They ensure that the kitchen runs smoothly and efficiently. They supervise the kitchen staff, including cooks and dishwashers, and ensure they are properly trained. Additionally, kitchen managers develop menus, order supplies, and oversee food preparation.

They also work with the front-of-house staff to ensure that the restaurant runs smoothly. Kitchen managers must be able to handle multiple tasks at once and think on their feet. They should also have excellent communication and interpersonal skills.

Skills Required:

  • Manage kitchen staff and maintain a well-organized kitchen
  • Develop recipes and oversee food preparation
  • Estimate food costs and portion sizes
  • Order supplies and equipment as needed
  • Oversee sanitation practices in the kitchen
  • Resolve conflicts among kitchen staff
  • Maintain a safe and clean work environment
  • Train new kitchen staff members
  • Work long hours, often under pressure

Median hourly pay rate: $20.00 to $30.00

9. Sommelier

A sommelier is a wine expert who works in a restaurant and helps customers choose the right wines to go with their meal. A good sommelier will have a deep knowledge of wines and how they pair with different foods. They will also be able to recommend wines based on the customer’s budget and preferences.

A sommelier’s job can be quite demanding, as they are often required to work long hours on their feet. They must also remain calm and professional, even when dealing with difficult customers.

Skills Required:

  • Experience and/or formal education
  • A comprehensive understanding of different types of wines
  • Ability to make recommendations based on customer preferences
  • The ability to properly store and serve wine
  • The ability to open and pour wine without spilling it

A sommelier typically earns a salary plus a commission on the sales of wine. The average salary for a sommelier in the United States is $50,000 annually.

Median hourly pay rate: $25.00 to $35.00

10. Server / Waiter

A server at a restaurant is a front-of-house staff member responsible for greeting and seating guests, taking orders, delivering food and beverages, handling payments, and providing excellent customer service. They may also be responsible for cleaning tables and setting up dining areas. A server’s duties vary depending on the establishment they work in, but their ultimate goal is to ensure that guests have a positive dining experience.

Excellent customer service is essential for servers, as they are the face of the restaurant. They should be friendly, attentive, and quick to resolve any problems. Servers must also be efficient in taking orders and delivering food and drinks promptly. Sometimes, they may be responsible for preparing food items or cocktails.

Skills Required:

  • Ability to remember orders and accurately relay them to the kitchen
  • Speed and efficiency in serving customers
  • Handle difficult customer service inquiries and complaints in a professional manner
  • Excellent organizational skills to keep the dining area clean and tidy
  • Work well under pressure in a fast-paced environment
  • Flexible in terms of hours and days worked, as restaurant servers often have to work nights and weekends
  • Works well as part of a team, ensuring that all customers have a positive dining experience

Median hourly pay rate: $3.50 to $12.00 (plus tips)

Restaurant Server

11. Host/Hostess

A restaurant host or hostess is responsible for greeting and seating guests, taking phone calls, and managing reservations. They may also be responsible for light cleaning duties and running errands. A successful hostess will be able to multi-task and handle a fast-paced environment. They will also have excellent customer service skills.

Restaurant hosts or hostesses typically work in the evenings and on weekends. Some restaurants may require their host or hostesses to wear a uniform.

Skills Required:

  • The ability to multi-task and handle a fast-paced environment
  • Excellent customer service skills
  • The ability to stay calm under pressure

Median hourly pay rate: $8.00 to $11.00

12. Bartender

A bartender at a restaurant is responsible for taking orders from customers and serving them alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. They are also responsible for keeping the bar area clean and stocked with supplies. Bartenders must be able to multitask and have excellent customer service skills.

Skills Required:

  • Able to keep a fast pace while making drinks
  • Ability to upsell customers
  • Knowledge of different drink recipes
  • Keep track of customer orders
  • Maintain cleanliness around the work area
  • Communicate well with co-workers and customers
  • Able to work in a fast-paced environment
  • Ability to multitask
  • Available to work nights and weekends

Median hourly pay rate: $8.00 to $13.00 (plus tips)

13. Barback

A barback is responsible for keeping the bar area clean and organized, stocking supplies, and assisting the bartenders. They may also be responsible for preparing simple drinks and handling customer inquiries.

Barbacks typically work in fast-paced environments and must be able to keep up with the job’s demands. Excellent customer service skills are a must, as is the ability to lift heavy objects and stand for long periods of time.

Skills Required:

  • Ability to lift heavy objects and carry them long distances
  • Ability to work quickly and efficiently under pressure
  • Excellent customer service skills
  • Great organizational skills
  • Ability to multitask and keep track of multiple orders at once
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Ability to troubleshoot and problem solve on the fly

Median hourly pay rate: $8.00 to $11.00 (plus a small portion of tips)

14. Barista

A barista at a restaurant is responsible for preparing and serving coffee and other hot beverages. They may also be responsible for cleaning the equipment used to make the beverages and keeping the work area clean.

A barista typically works in a fast-paced environment like a bakery or coffee shop and must be able to multitask effectively. As baristas often interact with customers, good customer service skills are also important.

Skills Required:

  • The ability to make coffee drinks quickly and efficiently
  • A good sense of customer service
  • Basic knowledge of different coffee drinks
  • The ability to work in a fast-paced environment
  • Physical stamina to be on your feet for long periods of time
  • Attention to detail
  • A pleasant and friendly demeanor

Median hourly pay rate: $9.00 to $12.00 (plus shared tips)

15. Drive-thru Operator

The drive-thru operator is responsible for taking orders from customers and entering them into the restaurant’s computer system. They must accurately take down the customer’s order and input it into the system, handle payments and provide change if necessary.

The drive-through operator must also be able to upsell customers on menu items and ensure that their order is correct before it is sent to the kitchen. The drive-thru operator may also be responsible for preparing food items such as drinks and condiments.

Skills Required:

  • The ability to stay calm and efficient during high-pressure situations
  • Excellent customer service skills
  • Great multitasking abilities
  • Strong communication skills
  • The ability to work well under pressure
  • A positive attitude

Median hourly pay rate: $8.00 to $10.00

Cashier in Drive Thru

16. Cashier

A restaurant cashier is responsible for collecting customer payments at the point of sale and ensuring they receive the correct change. They may also be responsible for bagging food items, counting out utensils, and taking phone orders. Cashiers need to be able to work quickly and efficiently while providing excellent customer service. Excellent math skills and the ability to handle money accurately. It’s critical that the cash register always balances.

Some restaurants may require cashiers to take on additional responsibilities such as preparing food, cleaning, and stocking shelves. Being a cashier at a restaurant can be a fast-paced and challenging job, but it can also be very rewarding. Those who can provide excellent customer service and keep the customers happy will be successful in this role.

Skills Required:

  • Excellent customer service skills
  • Ability to handle money and give correct change
  • Ability to multi-task and stay organized
  • Basic math skills
  • Good communication skills
  • Attention to detail

Median hourly pay rate: $8.00 to $10.00

17. Runner

A food runner is responsible for ferrying dishes from the kitchen to the dining room and ensuring they are delivered to the correct table. They must be able to keep track of multiple orders at once and have a strong understanding of the menu to answer any guests’ questions.

Food runners must also be able to maintain a high level of energy and pace throughout their shift to keep up with the demands of the restaurant.

Skills Required:

  • Multi-task and keep track of multiple orders at once
  • A strong understanding of the menu
  • Maintain a high level of energy and pace throughout their shift.

Median hourly pay rate: $9.00 to $12.00

18. Line Cook

A line cook is responsible for preparing food orders promptly and efficiently. Line cooks typically work in restaurants and other food service establishments. Their duties may include prepping ingredients, cooking food according to recipes, and plating dishes. Line cooks must be able to work quickly and efficiently under pressure.

It is also important for line cooks to have a good sense of taste and smell and attention to detail. Additionally, line cooks should have good people skills to interact with customers.

Skills Required:

  • The ability to work quickly and efficiently under pressure
  • Good knife skills
  • The ability to follow directions and recipes accurately
  • Attention to detail
  • Good organizational skills
  • The ability to work well as part of a team
  • Physical stamina and the ability to stand for long periods of time
  • The ability to work in a fast-paced environment
  • Flexibility to work various shifts, including evenings and weekends.

Median hourly pay rate: $10.00 to $15.00

19. Short Order Cook

A short order cook is responsible for preparing food orders promptly and accurately. They must be able to work quickly and efficiently under pressure. Short order cooks must have good knife skills and follow directions accurately. It is also important for short order cooks to have attention to detail and good organizational skills. In addition, short order cooks must be able to maintain a clean and safe work environment.

Skills Required:

  • The ability to work quickly and efficiently under pressure
  • Kitchen work experience
  • The ability to follow recipes correctly

Median hourly pay rate: $12.00 to $18.00

Prep Cook

20. Prep Cook

A prep cook is responsible for preparing food items ahead of time for the cooks who will be cooking the food to order. This includes chopping vegetables, making sauces, and other food preparation tasks as directed by the head cook or chef.

Prep cooks work closely with the cooks and other kitchen staff to ensure that food is prepared promptly and efficiently. They must follow recipes and instructions and work quickly and efficiently under pressure. The prep cook position is an entry-level position, typically one of the first jobs for someone interested in working in a kitchen.

Hours for a prep cook can be long and erratic, and the job can be physically demanding. However, it is also a great way to learn about the inner workings of a kitchen and get a feel for what it is like to work in one.

Skills Required:

  • The ability to follow recipes and cooking instructions
  • Proper food handling and preparation skills
  • The ability to work quickly and efficiently under pressure

Median hourly pay rate: $12.00 to $15.00

21. Fast Food Cook

A fast food cook is responsible for preparing and cooking food in a quick service restaurant. They must be able to follow recipes and cook food to order. Fast food cooks typically work in shifts and may be required to work evenings, weekends, and holidays.

Skills Required:

  • Follow directions and recipes accurately
  • Work quickly and efficiently under pressure
  • Maintain a clean and organized work area

Median hourly pay rate: $9.00 to $12.00

22. Busser

A busser at a restaurant is responsible for cleaning and resetting tables, as well as serving guests water and bread. They may also be responsible for running food to guests, refilling drinks, and helping the host or hostess seat guests. Bussers typically work in the restaurant’s dining room and report to the head waiter or manager.

Skills Required:

  • The ability to work quickly and efficiently
  • Good customer service skills
  • The ability to lift and carry heavy trays of dishes

Median hourly pay rate: $7.00 to $9.00

23. Dishwasher

A dishwasher at a restaurant is responsible for ensuring that all the dishes are clean and sanitized. This includes scrubbing, washing, and rinsing the dishes by hand. The dishwasher may also be responsible for cleaning up any spills or messes in the kitchen. Sometimes, the dishwasher may also be responsible for stocking the dishwashing supplies.

Skills Required:

  • Ability to move quickly and efficiently
  • Ability to lift heavy objects
  • Ability to stand for long periods of time
  • Ability to work in a hot and wet environment
  • Ability to use industrial dishwashing machines
  • Ability to follow instructions carefully
  • Ability to work well under pressure

Median hourly pay rate: Minimum wage

Final Thoughts

As you can see, various positions are available in restaurants. When hiring for any of the above-mentioned restaurant positions, it is important to consider a candidate’s motivation and willingness to learn and adapt.

It is also beneficial to have a mix of younger, motivated people who can be educated about your restaurant’s needs and experienced professionals.

Employee retention is key to the success of a business, so it is important to ensure your staff is happy in their working conditions.

Provide them with the best possible working conditions to encourage retention. Happy employees equal happy customers and more business.

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