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Dozens of new shifts are available every day for Food Runners. Download the Brigad application and get shifts straight to your phone! Choose When & Where You Work.

Taux horaire moyen pour le métier de food runner avec Brigad
Average hourly rate for the food runner job with Brigad
15£ /heure
15£ /hour
Experience required
Minimum 1 year experience
Required status
Self-employed / Freelance

Food Runner: job description, salary, training, and latest mission offers

Food Runners play a crucial role in larger restaurants and hotel F&B operations. Here is our food runner job description, including salary ranges, training, and the latest mission offers from Brigad. 

Food Runners are responsible for serving customers and coordinating orders between the kitchen and bar. Food Runners are part of the front-of-house or restaurant team and always report to the front-of-house manager or a restaurant manager. 

What is a Food Runner ?

Food Runners don’t play an active role in every restaurant. Typically, Food Runners are found in larger, more prestigious establishments, working under and alongside Waiters and Waitresses

Waiters and Waitresses take the orders, drinks, and bills, and then food runners are responsible for bringing orders to tables and clearing empty plates.

Duties and responsibilities of a food runner

In larger, busier, and more prestigious establishments, Food Runners serve the food and even provide silver service in fine dining restaurants. Food Runners act as a go-between, coordinating between waiting staff and kitchens, also known as front of house and back of house. 

On the other hand, waiting staff also arrange seating, clean tables, refresh covers, take payments and tips, and help tidy a restaurant at the end of service, ready for the next day. Food Runners do play an active part in these duties depending on how the job responsibilities are divided.

What qualities define a Food Runner ?

Food Runners require similar qualities to Waiters/Waitresses, as they should be happy working in busy, fast-paced environments, be attentive, aware of allergies, and provide excellent customer service every time.

The latest mission offers for Food Runners across London

If you're a Food Runner seeking short-term work and flexibility, follow these three simple steps to begin receiving mission proposals:

  1. Register as self-employed Food Runner before signing up for Brigad.
  2. Download the app and sign up in minutes; it's free, and there's no commitment required.
  3. Create and personalize your profile to start receiving mission proposals. You're free to decide whether to accept or decline them.
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How to find a Food Runner with Brigad? 

To find a qualified Food Runner with the Brigad app, 3 steps are sufficient:

  1. Create an account on the Brigad app or website (free registration and no commitment)
  2. Set up your missions in a few clicks specify the required skills, dress code, equipment, duration, payment method, and more.
  3. Submit your mission and let the algorithm handle the rest!

Once you set up a mission, it's sent to Food Runner with the relevant skills in your area.

When a talent accepts, you'll be notified and can then connect with them directly.

All Food Runner and other hospitality professionals undergo a strict vetting process to ensure the best match.

UK companies that are hiring Food Runners

Trusted by over 10,000 businesses to reinforce their teams, Brigad is widely used by both large groups and independent businesses in every sector of the hospitality industry.

The platform offers a connection with thousands of highly qualified, self-employed Food Runners and other hospitality professionals.

UK Food Runner salary ranges 

The salary of Food Runners in the UK varies depending on factors such as experience, location, and the type of establishment. In London and Birmingham, and prestigious country house hotels, food runners can earn anywhere from £18,000 to £24,000, plus tips, and in the right establishments, these can be a significant earnings boost.

How to become a Food Runner?

Becoming a Food Runner either involves on-the-job training (so no experience is needed), or you’ve had experience already, or maybe you’ve worked in customer service and wanted to get into the hospitality industry. With a few months or years demonstrating you can deliver excellent customer service in a restaurant environment, you could be ready to move up the hospitality sector career ladder. 

When you can do all of that and a position becomes available, either in your establishment, somewhere else, or an exciting new Food Runner mission through Brigad, it’s time to take the next step in your career. 

How to become a self-employed Food Runner ?

To become a freelance Food Runner, follow these essential steps:

  • Register as a Sole Trader with HMRC: This is a crucial first step, requiring minimal paperwork and enabling legal self-employment.
  • Obtain a UTR Number from HMRC: Secure your Unique Taxpayer Reference number, necessary for tax purposes and identification as a sole trader.
  • Meet Eligibility Requirements: Ensure you're eligible for self-employment in the UK, especially important for non-EU international students who may face restrictions.
  • Manage Your Tax Affairs: Be responsible for submitting an annual self-assessment tax return based on your income and expenses.
  • Maintain Accurate Financial Records: Keep detailed records of all your income and expenses for tax purposes.
  • Understand Tax Obligations: Familiarize yourself with tax bands and VAT requirements as they apply to self-employed professionals.

As a self-employed Food Runner, you have the opportunity to explore diverse working options. This includes the ability to combine freelance projects with long-term contracts, providing a varied and dynamic career path. You also enjoy significant work flexibility, allowing you to select your work schedule and locations that best align with your personal goals and preferences.

It's important to stay informed by regularly consulting official government resources for any updates or new information related to self-employment.

Why choose the position of Food Runner ? 

Getting a job as a Food Runner is a great way to get into and progress in the hospitality industry. 

Being a Food Runner is also a useful career step that could lead to more senior positions such as Front-of-house manager, Restaurant Manager, Food & Beverage Manager, Bar Manager, or even into kitchen team member roles, such as Sous Chef, Chef de Partie, or Head Chef.

How to be a good Food Runner ?

The best way to demonstrate proficiency that can lead to promotions and self-employed missions through Brigad is by doing a great job day in and day out. Provide excellent customer service, earn tips, show you can do the job well, and you can progress further. 

During more challenging times for the hospitality sector, excellent customer service by food runners can make all the difference to the success of a restaurant, so now is the time to excel and put the work in.

What are the working conditions for a Food Runner ?

Working conditions for Food Runners vary depending on the establishment. 

Weekend work is often required as that’s when restaurants are usually busiest, especially on Friday and Saturday nights. Shifts can be anything from 6 to 12 hours.

Typical working hours of a Food Runner

Food Runner shifts can be anything from 6 to 12 hours, depending on the establishment, with weekend work a normal part of the job. 

Brigad can help you achieve a better work-life balance, connecting you with missions that better suit your lifestyle and what you want to earn as a self-employed Food Runner.

What career progression is possible for a Food Runner ?

The career progression for a Food Runner, especially within the context of a kitchen, hotel, or collective catering environment, can follow several paths. Here are some potential roles and advancements:

  • From Food Runner to Kitchen Assistant: Starting as a food runner, the next step could be a role as a kitchen assistant. This role typically involves more direct involvement with food preparation, such as washing, peeling, and basic cutting of ingredients.
  • Advancing to Line Cook or Commis Chef: With experience and training, a move to a line cook or commis chef position is possible. In this role, individuals are responsible for managing a specific station in the kitchen, preparing and cooking food under the supervision of more senior chefs.
  • Progressing to Chef de Partie: After gaining experience and demonstrating culinary skills, a line cook can advance to a Chef de Partie, managing a particular area of the kitchen like grilling, pastry, or sauces.
  • Moving into Sous Chef Role: The Sous Chef is typically the second-in-command in the kitchen, assisting the Head Chef in all aspects of kitchen management, including supervising staff, overseeing food preparation, and ensuring quality control.
  • Becoming a Head Chef or Kitchen Manager: With extensive experience, a food runner who has moved up the ranks can eventually become a Head Chef or Kitchen Manager, overseeing the entire kitchen operation, managing staff, and being responsible for menu creation and kitchen budgets.
  • Specializing in a Culinary Area: Some may choose to specialize in a particular type of cuisine or culinary technique, becoming experts in areas like pastry, butchery, or ethnic cuisines.
  • Catering Manager or Banquet Manager: In hotel or collective catering settings, progressing to roles like Catering Manager or Banquet Manager is possible. These roles involve overseeing catering operations, managing events, and ensuring customer satisfaction.
  • Hospitality Management Roles: Broadening their scope beyond the kitchen, individuals can move into more generalized management roles within a hotel or catering company, such as Food and Beverage Manager, where they oversee all aspects of dining operations.

Throughout this career path, continuous learning, skill development, and a strong work ethic are essential. Each step provides opportunities to build on culinary skills, leadership abilities, and operational knowledge, making it a potentially rewarding career path for those passionate about the culinary and hospitality industries.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a Food Runner the same as a Waiter ?

A Food Runner is not the same as a Waiter, although they both play important roles in restaurant service. A Food Runner is responsible for delivering dishes from the kitchen to the customers' tables, while a Waiter takes orders, provides menu recommendations, and manages the overall dining experience. The Food Runner's primary focus is on food delivery, while the Waiter has a broader range of responsibilities that include customer interaction and service throughout the meal.

Do Food Runners get tips ?

Whether Food Runners receive tips can vary depending on the restaurant's policies and practices.

In some restaurants, tips are shared among the entire front-of-house staff, including servers, Food Runners, and sometimes even Hosts or Hostesses.

However, the specific distribution of tips can differ from one establishment to another, so it's essential to inquire about the restaurant's tipping policy to understand how tips are handled for food runners.