9 Front-of-House Positions in a Restaurant (With Duties)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published 12 October 2022
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Front of house in a restaurant refers to the guest-facing components of the operation. Individuals who work in restaurants in front-of-house roles usually conduct duties that involve interacting with restaurant guests, for example, greeting them, taking their meal orders or advising on food and wine pairings. Learning about the different front-of-house roles in a restaurant can help you determine if it's an area of hospitality you may like to work with. In this article, we list nine front-of-house positions along with their national average salary, primary duties and educational requirements.
9 front-of-house positions
Below, are several front-of-house positions in a restaurant:
1. Food runner
National average salary: $57,367 per year
Primary duties: The key duty of a food runner is to coordinate the delivery of food orders from the kitchen to patrons' tables with efficiency and accuracy. They usually collaborate with other front-of-house and back-of-house team members to do this effectively. Apart from delivering meals to restaurant guests, they might refill water glasses or water stations, organise order tickets for the kitchen team and clear patrons' tables.
Educational requirements: There are usually no official educational requirements to work as a food runner, though a Senior Secondary Certificate of Education, food safety certificate and hospitality short course completion may be of benefit if you're seeking work in this field.
National average salary: $63,635 per year
Primary duties: The primary duty of a front-of-house manager is to oversee a restaurant's front-of-house operations and team members. While they may work directly with a restaurant's team more than its patrons, there are elements of their role that are guest-facing, for example, resolving issues patrons may have with the restaurant, its food or service. Front-of-house managers usually train front-of-house employees, develop and manage their shift schedules and collaborate with the owner or general manager to ensure the restaurant operates effectively.
Educational requirements: Front-of-house managers typically require a minimum of a Senior Secondary Certificate of Education (SSCE) to gain employment in this role. They might also require a Responsible Service of Alcohol certificate if they work in a licensed venue. A bachelor's degree in hospitality or a related field can improve the competitiveness of your candidacy for this position, specifically if you're seeking employment as a front-of-house manager in fine dining establishments.
National average salary: $67,266 per year
Primary duties: A restaurant manager has multiple responsibilities, each of which contributes to the effective overall operation of a restaurant. They typically recruit and manage restaurant employees, oversee the general day-to-day restaurant operations, ensure cohesiveness between the front-of-house and back-of-house departments, work with customers to resolve issues and monitor finances. Another important part of a restaurant manager's role is to ensure compliance with industry requirements, for example, food safety and the responsible service of alcohol.
Educational requirements: Restaurant managers often require a minimum of a Senior Secondary Certificate of Education and a Responsible Service of Alcohol certificate if they may serve alcohol themselves. A bachelor's degree in hospitality or a related field can strengthen your resume when applying for a managerial position in a restaurant. You might also consider a business-related certificate or diploma to boost your employability in this area.
National average salary: $68,348 per year
Primary duties: The key responsibility of a server is to attend to the needs of patrons dining in a restaurant. They usually greet restaurant guests on their arrival, guide them to their table, explain the menu and any restaurant specials, take food and beverage orders and deliver meals and drinks to their tables. A server might also conduct other duties during their shift, for example, clearing and wiping down tables, polishing silverware and glasses and sometimes processing payments.
Educational requirements: There are typically no formal educational requirements for a restaurant server other than a Responsible Service of Alcohol certificate if they work in a licensed venue. Hiring managers often look favourably upon candidates with a Senior Secondary Certificate of Education, food safety certificates and any education within the hospitality sector.
National average salary: $70,151 per year
Primary duties: A restaurant that regularly hosts events or has VIP patrons attending may have an events coordinator whose key responsibility is to make sure events go to plan and VIP patrons enjoy seamless dining experiences. An events coordinator acts as the primary point of contact for event preparations and VIPs. They typically plan the details of events and VIP visits, such as table plans, menus and decor and collaborate often with the restaurant's chefs, managers and front house team members. They may also tend to guests' requirements during events.
Educational requirements: While there are no formal educational requirements for events coordinators, recruiters typically prefer candidates who have completed high school and obtained a certificate, diploma or bachelor's degree in events. For example, you may consider a Certificate III in Events or a Bachelor of Business (Event Management) when seeking an events coordinator role.
National average salary: $75,308 per year
Primary duties: A bartender prepares and serves restaurant patrons' drinks orders. This can include describing various beverage options to patrons, taking their drinks orders and mixing cocktails and other drinks, while complying with food and beverage regulations. Other bartender duties can include processing payments, managing the bar's inventory, keeping the bar area and its equipment clean and contributing to the drinks selection process for menu changes or updates.
Educational requirements: Bartenders work in licensed restaurants, so it's important that they have a Responsible Service of Alcohol certificate. A Senior Secondary Certificate of Education can also be helpful when seeking a position as a bartender. To enhance the competitiveness of your candidacy when applying for a bartender role, you can consider completing a mixology course or a certificate III or IV in hospitality.
National average salary: $75,510 per year
Primary duties: A sommelier typically works in a high-end restaurant using their knowledge of wine and other alcoholic beverages to advise patrons on excellent food and beverage pairings within their taste and budget. They collaborate with head chefs, restaurant managers and restaurant owners to curate a restaurant's wine list. A sommelier may also manage a restaurant's wine cellar, including monitoring its stock levels.
Educational requirements: There are no formal educational requirements for a sommelier. As with other front-of-house positions, a Senior Secondary Certificate of Education can be beneficial. You may choose to complete an accredited education program through Sommeliers Australia or complete a sommelier diploma to increase your chances of gaining employment in this role.
National average salary: $75,515 per year
Primary duties: The primary responsibility of a restaurant host or hostess is to greet restaurant patrons as they arrive. They typically locate patrons' table bookings in the restaurant's booking system, guide them to their allocated table, and, in busy periods, advise them on estimated waiting times. Maintaining an orderly front-of-house environment, scheduling reservations and assisting with opening and closing the restaurant can also be key duties for these front-of-house employees.
Educational requirements: There are usually no official educational requirements to work as a restaurant host or hostess, though recruiters may look favourably upon candidates with a Senior Secondary Certificate of Education and a certificate in a hospitality-related field. You may consider, for example, a Certificate IV in Hospitality.
National average salary: $109,102 per year
Primary duties: A restaurant owner owns and oversees the general operation of a restaurant. Their duties can depend on the type and size of the restaurant they own. For example, owners of small restaurants may have a more hands-on role with frequent front-of-house duties, whereas owners of large restaurants might only oversee high-level matters, for example, budgets and licensing. A restaurant owner typically works closely with their head chef and restaurant manager to design menus, select restaurant produce, manage employees, maintain inventory and satisfy patrons' requirements.
Educational requirements: There are no formal requirements for a restaurant owner other than a Responsible Service of Alcohol certificate if they intend to work in the restaurant themselves and serve alcoholic beverages. There are many educational pathways that can be of benefit to a restaurant owner, though. If you have an interest in owning your own restaurant, it's usually important to understand the fundamentals of food service and business. Because of this, you might consider completing a food safety certificate and a degree in hospitality or business administration.
Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed. Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.
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