Food runners are in charge of serving and delivering food to the right table at the appropriate time. You will welcome the customers, providing and explaining the items on the menus to them. You will help the customers relate their issues to the kitchen staff in which you prioritize and process their orders.

If the customer is not happy with the order, you have to help relate the issues to the appropriate quarters to help resolve them if it is something you cannot do yourself. Likewise, you will make sure the table is neat enough to be used by new customers. After being used, you will clean the tables and pack the dirty dishes back to the kitchen for the dishwashers.

Since the food runner will be standing and walking most of the day while simultaneously carrying food orders and dishes, you must have good physical stamina. Not just that, but you must be effective and efficient in finishing tasks by moving and acting fast while moving from the kitchen to the dining table and clearing tables. You will be paid an average of $20,549 yearly.

What Does a Food Runner Do

There are certain skills that many food runners have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed communication skills, customer-service skills and physical stamina.

Learn more about what a Food Runner does

How To Become a Food Runner

If you're interested in becoming a food runner, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 34.6% of food runners have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 1.4% of food runners have master's degrees. Even though some food runners have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Learn More About How To Become a Food Runner

Food Runner Career Paths

Average Salary for a Food Runner

Food Runners in America make an average salary of $25,536 per year or $12 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $34,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $18,000 per year.
Average Food Runner Salary
$25,536 Yearly
$12.28 hourly

What Am I Worth?


Roles and Types of Food Runner

The role of a food runner includes a wide range of responsibilities. These responsibilities can vary based on an individual's specific job, company, or industry.Here are some general food runner responsibilities:

  • Utilize transfer sheets to deliver product. Expedite orders asked for by servers,
  • Maximum of ten responsibilities, in order of percentage of time spent on functions from longest to shortest; do not list anything that doesnot represent at least 10% of the job's time. Please include supervisory responsibilities. Transport food orders from the kitchen to the appropriate guest table. Review order before delivery to ensure accuracy. Perform side duties as required. Maintain thorough knowledge of the menu, current promotions
  • Responsible for fostering a fun environment responsible for being a gracious host to all guests

There are several types of food runner, including:



Be our guest! Sure, server's don't typically sing Disney songs to their customers but they do make sure customers get their food as soon as it's ready.

Once you've been serving for awhile, you may be able to impress your guests with taking their food order without writing the orders down. As long as you get the entire order correct, this may score you a nice tip.

Not everyone is going to enjoy their dining experience though, and whether it's your fault or the chef's fault, it is your responsibility to correct any problems. Don't worry, you can go yell at the chef later.

  • Average Salary: $29,901
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree



Waitresses take food and beverage orders, typically in dining establishments. You don't need a lot of formal education to be a waitress, but you'll receive some on-the-job training. If you want to secure a lot of tips, you may want to brush up on your customer service.

Some waitresses depend on a notepad to make sure the orders come out right, fewer waitresses are able to memorize everyone's order. Even if the waitresses jotted down or memorized the order perfectly if there is a mistake with the food, they're the first to blame.

As a waitress, you'll probably have to deal with a lot of "hangry" people but, hopefully, once they've eaten, they'll be in a much better mood and leave a nice tip. There will undoubtedly be times that you have to deal with difficult customers, it's those days that make this job stressful.

  • Average Salary: $24,770
  • Degree: High School Diploma



When you first enter a restaurant or other dining facility, you'll most likely be greeted by a hostess. As a hostess, you get the pleasure of telling "hangry" people that they have to wait 2 hours for their table to be ready. Sounds fun, right?

Well, actually being a hostess can be enjoyable. It's kind of like playing Tetris. You have to be able to figure out where to seat customers. Sometimes you may also have to answer phone calls regarding questions about the menu or to take reservations (because who has time for a 2-hour wait?).

Hostesses work odd hours, some work early mornings and others work late evenings. Uou definitely shouldn't be surprised about working a weekend shift. I mean people still eat on the weekends; probably moreso than they do during the week.
  • Average Salary: $26,298
  • Degree: High School Diploma

States With The Most Food Runner Jobs

Mouse over a state to see the number of active food runner jobs in each state. The darker areas on the map show where food runners earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of Food Runner Jobs By State

Food Runner Education

Food Runner Majors

19.0 %

Food Runner Degrees

High School Diploma

37.7 %


34.6 %


17.1 %

Top Skills For a Food Runner

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 20.2% of food runners listed cleanliness on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and customer-service skills are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Food Runner Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Food Runner templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Food Runner resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Food Runner Demographics

Food Runner Gender Distribution


After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among food runners, 41.0% of them are women, while 59.0% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among food runners is White, which makes up 57.5% of all food runners.

  • The most common foreign language among food runners is Spanish at 66.2%.

Online Courses For Food Runner That You May Like

Advertising Disclosure  

1. Rebuilding Our Relationship with Food


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2. Introduction to Food and Our Environment


This course is designed to help learners around the world become more sustainable eaters. Course videos can be watched in any order. Feel free to explore special areas of interest by skipping ahead and coming back to less familiar topics at a later stage. Together, we’ll explore key topics, like how food production impacts the environment and why meat production and protein consumption are often at the center of the debate around sustainability. We’ll introduce the pros and cons of different...

See More on Coursera

3. Fun food safety and sanitation course


The food safety course will help prepare you for safely working in a kitchen and food handler tests like Servesafe...

See More on Udemy
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Best States For a Food Runner

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a food runner. The best states for people in this position are Vermont, Washington, California, and Massachusetts. Food runners make the most in Vermont with an average salary of $28,023. Whereas in Washington and California, they would average $27,472 and $27,036, respectively. While food runners would only make an average of $26,695 in Massachusetts, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Indiana

Total Food Runner Jobs: 1,488
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

2. North Carolina

Total Food Runner Jobs: 2,096
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

3. Tennessee

Total Food Runner Jobs: 1,488
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Full List Of Best States For Food Runners

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Top Food Runner Employers

Most Common Employers For Food Runner

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
1The Cheesecake Factory$30,497$14.66189
2Ruth's Chris Steak House$28,738$13.8296
3Marriott International$28,409$13.66103
5Texas Roadhouse$27,301$13.13270
7Panera Bread$26,480$12.73372
8Buffalo Wild Wings$25,727$12.37298
9Studio Movie Grill$25,407$12.21136
10Ruby Tuesday$25,278$12.15192

Food Runner Videos

Becoming a Food Runner FAQs

How Long Does It Take To Become A Food Runner?

It takes one year or less to become a food runner. That is the time it takes to learn specific food runner skills, but does not account for time spent in formal education.

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