Counter service assistant

Counter service assistants greet, serve and take payment from customers buying food and drink.

Average annual salary (starting - experienced): £12,000 - £19,000

Typical hours (a week): 40 - 42

Related videos on a counter service assistant

How to become a counter service assistant

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly


You could take a course like a Level 1 or 2 Certificate in Food and Beverage Service or Hospitality and Catering.

College (Entry requirements)

You may need:

  • 2 or fewer GCSEs at grades 3 to 1 (D to G), or equivalent, for a level 1 course
  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course


You could do an intermediate apprenticeship in customer service or one as a hospitality team member.

Apprenticeship (Entry requirements)

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship

Direct application

You could apply directly for jobs. Some employers may expect you to have experience in customer service, catering or hospitality work. You could start with a weekend or temporary job to build up your skills.

More info

Further information You can get more details about working in counter service from the Hospitality Guild.

What it takes

Skills & Knowledge

You'll need:

  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • knowledge of food production methods
  • knowledge of public safety and security
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

What you'll do

Day to day

Your daily duties may include:

  • giving advice about food content and menu choices
  • handling raw and cooked food safely
  • working quickly and accurately to maximise sales
  • keeping eating and serving areas clean and tidy
  • operating a till and vending machines
  • handling customer enquiries and complaints

Working environment

You could work at a store or at a restaurant. Your working environment may be hot and noisy. You may need to wear a uniform.

Career path and progression

Career path & progression

With experience, you could become a supervisor or manager.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.
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