Post Job

A food service associate performs fundamental functions in the food industry. Food service associates prepare and serve food items. They cater to special events, which involve facility preparation, food presentation maintenance, and setting up tables. Their duties include cleaning preparation and service equipment. They restock the work stations for the essential supplies. The skills they need to perform their job include customer service, teamwork, work with diverse cultural, ethnic, and academic backgrounds, and learn safety and health regulations.

Food Service Associate Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real food service associate resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Experience using a cash register and POS system to manage food orders.
  • Maintain pantry, follow USDA guidelines for proper food storage, and maintenance on equipment.
  • Help track inventory using FIFO.
  • Stock product according to date, using the FIFO method.
  • Perform complex math calculations using fractions, percentile, probabilities and/or ratios.
  • Rank one of the top math and technology schools in the nation.
  • Prepare healthy meals for students and staff following all the HACCP guidelines.
  • Ensure that all lunches are kept at correct temperatures and apply HACCP standards.
  • Monitor and maintain the economical use of supplies, equipment, and payroll.
  • Analyze all menus to meet USDA guidelines by computer and determine each plate cost.
  • Assist in the orientation and training of food production, ingredient control, and culinary techniques for cook staff.
  • Maintain job descriptions, strategic and logistics planning for the division, approving payroll and updating the hospitality suite software.
  • Guarantee standards for business cleanliness and sanitation are followed.
  • Pass annual governmental and secular health certifications including ServSafe.
  • Maintain culinary presentation standards and deliver extensive menu knowledge to customers

Food Service Associate Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 14% of Food Service Associates are proficient in Patients, Food Handling, and Excellent Interpersonal. They’re also known for soft skills such as Dexterity, Listening skills, and Physical strength.

We break down the percentage of Food Service Associates that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Patients, 14%

    Tally patients identified on medications with possible food/drug interactions; enter information on the computer system.

  • Food Handling, 12%

    Sound ability to understand basic sanitation requirements related to hygiene, food handling and equipment safety.

  • Excellent Interpersonal, 11%

    Displayed excellent interpersonal skills when dealing with Staff and Students.

  • Cleanliness, 7%

    Assured cleanliness of work area by following proper sanitation policies and guidelines

  • Math, 6%

    Used math and language skills daily at cash register

  • Kitchen Equipment, 6%

    Operated kitchen equipment according to sanitary and safety regulations.

Most food service associates list "patients," "food handling," and "excellent interpersonal" as skills on their resumes. We go into more details on the most important food service associate responsibilities here:

  • The most important skills for a food service associate to have in this position are dexterity. In this excerpt that we gathered from a food service associate resume, you'll understand why: "food preparation workers chop vegetables, cut meat, and perform many other tasks with sharp knives" According to resumes we found, dexterity can be used by a food service associate in order to "wash hands frequently and use a new pair of food handling gloves each time food is served to customers. "
  • While it may not be the most important skill, we found that many food service associate duties rely on listening skills. This example from a food service associate explains why: "food preparation workers must understand customers’ orders and follow directions from cooks, chefs, or food service managers." This resume example is just one of many ways food service associates are able to utilize listening skills: "communicated clearly and positively with coworkers and management, mastered point-of-service (pos) computer system for automated order taking. "
  • Physical strength is also an important skill for food service associates to have. This example of how food service associates use this skill comes from a food service associate resume, "food preparation workers should be strong enough to lift and carry heavy food supply boxes, which often can weigh up to 50 pounds." Read this excerpt from a resume to understand how vital it is to their everyday roles and responsibilities, "strengthened group-orientated customer service skills provided easy accessibility to food"
  • See the full list of food service associate skills.

    Choose From 10+ Customizable Food Service Associate Resume templates

    Build a professional Food Service Associate resume in minutes. Browse through our resume examples to identify the best way to word your resume. Then choose from 10+ resume templates to create your Food Service Associate resume.

    Food Service Associate Resume
    Food Service Associate Resume
    Food Service Associate Resume
    Food Service Associate Resume
    Food Service Associate Resume
    Food Service Associate Resume
    Food Service Associate Resume
    Food Service Associate Resume
    Food Service Associate Resume
    Food Service Associate Resume
    Food Service Associate Resume
    Food Service Associate Resume
    Food Service Associate Resume
    Food Service Associate Resume
    Food Service Associate Resume
    Food Service Associate Resume

    resume document icon

    Don't Have A Professional Resume?

    What Pastry Cooks Do

    The Pastry Cook's responsibilities include preparing quality pastry items such as breakfast items, desserts, breads, ice creams, creams, simple syrups, amenities, and others. They are also responsible for minimizing waste and maintaining control to attain forecasted food cost.

    In this section, we compare the average food service associate annual salary with that of a pastry cook. Typically, pastry cooks earn a $3,216 higher salary than food service associates earn annually.

    Even though food service associates and pastry cooks have vast differences in their careers, a few of the skills required to do both jobs are similar. For example, both careers require food handling, cleanliness, and kitchen equipment in the day-to-day roles.

    These skill sets are where the common ground ends though. A food service associate responsibility is more likely to require skills like "patients," "excellent interpersonal," "math," and "basic math." Whereas a pastry cook requires skills like "food safety," "wine," "banquet events," and "executive pastry chef." Just by understanding these different skills you can see how different these careers are.

    Pastry cooks really shine in the hospitality industry with an average salary of $36,443. Whereas food service associates tend to make the most money in the technology industry with an average salary of $33,477.

    Pastry cooks tend to reach similar levels of education than food service associates. In fact, pastry cooks are 0.8% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.0% less likely to have a Doctoral Degree.

    What Are The Duties Of a Line Cook?

    Line cooks are responsible for preparing meals for guests or employers. The term line cook brings to mind an assembly line. This is apt because line cooks are usually assigned to a specific station to work on a specific part of a meal or a preparation process. They are part of a bigger group of cooks in the restaurant. This is done so that meal preparation is more efficient. Line cooks are responsible for preparing ingredients, ensuring that the pantry is well-stocked, and doing their assigned activity in the line. They are expected to be good team players, have experience as a cook, and be able to follow recipes and provide alternatives when necessary.

    Now we're going to look at the line cook profession. On average, line cooks earn a $1,252 higher salary than food service associates a year.

    A similarity between the two careers of food service associates and line cooks are a few of the skills associated with both roles. We used resumes from both professions to find that both use skills like "food handling," "cleanliness," and "math. "

    In addition to the difference in salary, there are some other key differences that are worth noting. For example, food service associate responsibilities are more likely to require skills like "patients," "excellent interpersonal," "food trays," and "patient meals." Meanwhile, a line cook might be skilled in areas such as "team work," "quality food," "food processors," and "dexterity." These differences highlight just how different the day-to-day in each role looks.

    Line cooks may earn a higher salary than food service associates, but line cooks earn the most pay in the hospitality industry with an average salary of $32,363. On the other side of things, food service associates receive higher paychecks in the technology industry where they earn an average of $33,477.

    On the topic of education, line cooks earn similar levels of education than food service associates. In general, they're 1.1% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.0% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    How a Sous Chef Compares

    A sous chef is responsible for directing food preparation and general kitchen tasks with the supervision of an executive chef. A sous chef duties also include customizing healthy menus, maintaining quality check for foods, adhering to the highest sanitation procedures and standards, monitoring food and equipment supplies, suggesting new specialties, assisting customer's inquiries, and managing client's complaints. A sous chef must have excellent communication and decision-making skills, as well as updated with the current food trends to provide the best services for the customers.

    The sous chef profession generally makes a higher amount of money when compared to the average salary of food service associates. The difference in salaries is sous chefs making $17,074 higher than food service associates.

    By looking over several food service associates and sous chefs resumes, we found that both roles utilize similar skills, such as "food handling," "cleanliness," and "kitchen equipment." But beyond that the careers look very different.

    Some important key differences between the two careers are a few of the skills necessary to fulfill responsibilities. Some examples from food service associate resumes include skills like "patients," "excellent interpersonal," "math," and "basic math," whereas a sous chef might be skilled in "food service," "kitchen operations," "chefs," and "cuisine. "

    Sous chefs make a very good living in the government industry with an average annual salary of $52,076. Whereas food service associates are paid the highest salary in the technology industry with the average being $33,477.

    Sous chefs typically study at similar levels compared with food service associates. For example, they're 0.6% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 0.1% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    Description Of a Line Chef

    Line Chefs are in charge of cooking or preparing meat, vegetables, soup, and other ingredients according to area guidelines. Their responsibilities include managing and supervising kitchen staff, coordinating with fellow chefs, replenishing supply inventories, and setting-up cooking areas, ensuring adequate and high-quality ingredients. Among their other usual tasks involve cutting vegetables and meat, preparing sauces, and resolving issues should any arise. Moreover, they must maintain their designated area's cleanliness, all while enforcing and adhering to the health and sanitation standards.

    Now, we'll look at line chefs, who generally average a lower pay when compared to food service associates annual salary. In fact, the difference is about $4,991 per year.

    While their salaries may vary, food service associates and line chefs both use similar skills to perform their jobs. Resumes from both professions include skills like "patients," "food handling," and "cleanliness. "

    Even though a few skill sets overlap, there are some differences that are important to note. For one, a food service associate might have more use for skills like "excellent interpersonal," "math," "basic math," and "food trays." Meanwhile, some line chefs might include skills like "broilers," "chefs," "mix ingredients," and "steam meats" on their resume.

    Now, let's take a closer look at the financials in each career. The education industry tends to pay more for line chefs with an average of $28,064. While the highest food service associate annual salary comes from the technology industry.

    In general, line chefs reach similar levels of education when compared to food service associates resumes. Line chefs are 1.1% less likely to earn their Master's Degree and 0.1% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

    What a Food Service Associate Does FAQs

    What Are Food Services?

    Food services refer to the food service industry, where consumers buy meals or food-related items outside of their homes. Food services cut across a wide variety of industries and are not just limited to traditional restaurants, fast food chains, and local cafes.

    Here are some of the other industries and places food services can be found:

    • Hotels

      Many hotels also boast restaurants that operate within the hotel. In addition, most hotels offer room service, which is when a guest is provided with a menu and can order a dish, beverage, or appetizer from the hotel's kitchen. The meal or snack is then brought directly to the guest's room.

    • Cinemas and Theaters

      Most movie theaters at least have a snack bar where you can order popcorn, candy, drinks, and other refreshments and snacks. Some theaters even have dinner menus where moviegoers can have a meal or several different courses during their viewing experience.

    • Schools

      Most schools have cafeterias where students can purchase or receive free lunch, in addition to other snacks and beverages. Universities often also have food courts where a myriad of different chain, and sometimes local, restaurants can be found.

    • Airports

      Airports also have food courts and sometimes multiple food courts within a single airport, depending on its size. In addition, many also have food-related shops where travelers can purchase snacks, sandwiches, and beverages for their flights.

      Within this same category are commercial airlines themselves. Most commercial planes provide some form of food service. It may just be peanuts or pretzels and drinks, or they may provide hot full-course meals for longer flights for those traveling abroad.

    • Hospitals

      Hospitals also tend to have cafeterias and/or food courts, in addition to small shops where snacks may be sold. Hospitals also have their own kitchens where they prepare meals for patients staying at the hospital.

    Search For Food Service Associate Jobs