Restaurant runner job description

Updated February 21, 2017

A restaurant runner is called as such because she is normally expected to move fast to provide support to the wait and kitchen staffs. Anything to expedite service and keep the restaurant's operations on track is typically required of a restaurant runner. From emptying the kitchen trash to delivering bread and wine to patrons, a good restaurant runner is imperative to the success of a busy food service operation.


In fast-food venues, the runner is typically required to empty trash, clear tables, restock condiment stations and deliver large or speciality orders to customers who did not receive their food at the counter or drive-through window. Runners in sit-down, family-style restaurants normally bring new customers bread and water, provide them with other items requested during their meal and clear tables. In larger, more formal eateries, the kitchen often has a restaurant runner who supports the chefs and prep cooks, bringing them food, pots, pans, utensils and other cooking tools. There is commonly another runner in the dining room assisting food servers in accommodating guests and clearing tables.


Guaranteeing excellent guest relations is the main job of restaurant runner. This can entail helping the kitchen staff expedite orders to helping a waitperson efficiently serve a large group of guests. She is required to assist as needed, and in a variety of capacities, including setting and breaking down tables, stocking food and non-food items, serving food and beverages and cleaning kitchen and dining areas.


High energy and stamina are required to be a restaurant runner. The atmosphere varies between the fast-paced kitchen and the subdued quiet of the dining room. There is normally a pervasive sense of urgency in both areas. Many restaurants require runners to wear company-provided uniforms.


A high school diploma or equivalent is normally required. Higher education in food service or hospitality industry operations is helpful. Knowledge gained through previous experience in customer or food service is valuable for applicants.

Salary and Advancement

The national average salary in the United States for a restaurant runner was £15,013, as of June 2010, according to Because a restaurant runner interacts with all personnel, advancement opportunities are many if she excels and shows interest and initiative. If a restaurant has a management trainee program, the diverse experience of a restaurant runner often makes her a good candidate.

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About the Author

Cassie Damewood has been a writer and editor since 1985. She writes about food and cooking for various websites, including My Great Recipes, and serves as the copy editor for "Food Loves Beer" magazine. Damewood completed a Bachelor of Arts in English with an emphasis in creative writing at Miami University.