How to Hire a Food Runner

Does your busy restaurant need a food runner? Food runners support your waitstaff and bartenders during busy shifts to ensure orders arrive in a timely manner.

Here are some tips to help you find great food runner candidates and make the right hire for your business.

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Food runners searching for jobs on Indeed*

211,852

Job seekers that clicked food runner jobs

82,144

Resumes for job seekers with food runner experience on Indeed

13,908

Food runner jobs that received clicks

What is the cost of hiring food runner?

  • Common salary in US: $11.61 hourly
  • Typical salaries range from $7.25$23.20 hourly
  • Find more information on Indeed Salary

*Indeed data (US) – April 2021

As of April 2021, food runner jobs in the U.S. are very competitive compared to other job markets, with an average of 15 job seekers per food runner job.

Why hire a food runner?

The need for new staff can affect both your existing team and bottom line. A great food runner hire can help your business by:

• Reviewing food and drink orders for accuracy and presentation before delivery
• Answering any questions and explaining the food and drink features as they’re presented
• Clearing dishes, refilling water and handling guests’ needs

What are the ranks of food runners?

In the restaurant industry, there are many jobs in the waitstaff. Each of these jobs fills a specific role in customer service. These positions include: 

  • Floor manager: The floor manager is responsible for maintaining the waitstaff. They schedule employees, ensure the restaurant complies with safety regulations and answers customers’ requests or complaints. 
  • Expeditor: Expeditors double-check orders to ensure they were fulfilled completely and correctly.
  • WaiterWaiters greet customers at their tables, take food and drink orders, refill drinks, bring food out to the tables and respond to customer concerns. 
  • Bar back: A bar back helps the bartender by removing used glasses and restocking cups and alcohol. 
  • Food runner: A food runner is primarily responsible for bringing food out to tables.
  • BusboyBusboys clear dirty dishes off empty tables, sanitize the surfaces and condiments and set up the table for the next group. 

Where to find food runners

To find the right food runner for your business, consider trying out a few different recruiting strategies:

  • Promote from within. Some employees in other positions in your restaurant, such as busboys, may be interested in moving up to the food runner job. Set up meetings with these individuals to determine if they fit the job. 
  • Hang help wanted signs. Help wanted signs are especially effective for entry-level positions such as food runners. By posting flyers, you can increase awareness of the job and attract potential candidates.
  • Ask around the community. Ask the members of the community if they know any teenagers or young adults who may be interested in taking a food runner position. 
  • Post your job online. Try posting your food runner job on Indeed to find and attract quality food runner candidates.

What are the ranks of food runners?

In the restaurant industry, there are many jobs in the waitstaff. Each of these jobs fills a specific role in customer service. These positions include: 

  • Floor manager: The floor manager is responsible for maintaining the waitstaff. They schedule employees, ensure the restaurant complies with safety regulations and answers customers’ requests or complaints. 
  • Expeditor: Expeditors double-check orders to ensure they were fulfilled completely and correctly.
  • WaiterWaiters greet customers at their tables, take food and drink orders, refill drinks, bring food out to the tables and respond to customer concerns. 
  • Bar back: A bar back helps the bartender by removing used glasses and restocking cups and alcohol. 
  • Food runner: A food runner is primarily responsible for bringing food out to tables.
  • BusboyBusboys clear dirty dishes off empty tables, sanitize the surfaces and condiments and set up the table for the next group. 

Writing a food runner job description

A thoughtful description is important to finding qualified food runner candidates. A food runner job description includes a compelling summary of the role, a detailed list of duties and responsibilities and the required and preferred skills for the position.

When writing your food runner job description, consider including some or all of the following keywords to improve the visibility of your job posting. These are the most popular search terms leading to clicks on food runner jobs, according to Indeed data:

  • Restaurant
  • Busser
  • Server
  • Food runner
  • Teen
  • Hiring immediately
  • Food service
  • Waitress
  • Hostess
  • Country club

Interviewing food runner candidates

Strong candidates for food runner positions will be confident answering questions regarding:

• Maintaining order integrity and accuracy
• Assisting and supporting regular wait and bar staff
• Finding ways to enhance customer experience

Need help coming up with interview questions? See our list of food runner interview questions for examples (with sample answers).

FAQs about how to hire a food runner

Are food runners allowed to take orders?

Food runners bring food and drinks to tables. They can also refill napkins and condiments, but they aren’t permitted to take customers’ orders or payments. 

Do food runners receive tips?

Food runners don’t receive tips directly from the diners. Typically, the waitstaff tip out a portion of their tips to the food runners. 

What do food runners wear?

Food runners usually wear uniforms that are associated with the restaurant they work for. This can include a branded shirt and black pants with pockets and nonslip shoes. 

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