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National Restaurant Association - Job Titles

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Restaurant Careers

Job Titles

Explore a variety of positions within the food industry, including kitchen, server, front and back-of-house careers.


Responsible for foodservice establishment’s bakeshop. Ensures products produced in the pastry shop meet quality standards established by the pastry chef and executive chef. In smaller establishments, the baker also might be responsible for pasta items.
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Banquet manager

Plans and oversees parties, banquets, conventions and other special events hosted or catered by the restaurant. Responsible for soliciting banquet business and ensuring customer satisfaction with all booked events. Coordinates and supervises the execution of all banquet functions to ensure the restaurant adheres to client  specifications  and that the function runs smoothly and efficiently. Possesses knowledge of food production and service and is able to perform all positions in banquet operations to supervise, direct and train banquet personnel.
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Responsible for setup, maintenance and operation of the bar. Takes drink orders from patrons or servers and prepares and serves alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks according to standard recipes. Mixes ingredients for cocktails and serves wine and bottled or draught beer. Rings drink orders into register, collects payment and makes change. May also wash and sterilize glassware, prepare garnishes for drinks and prepare and replenish appetizers.
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Beverage manager

Oversees management and profitability of bars, lounges and other beverage-related outlets.
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Broiler cook

Responsible for grilled, broiled or roasted items prepared in the kitchen of a foodservice establishment. Portions food items prior to cooking, such as steaks or fish fillets. Other duties include carving and portioning roasts, plating and garnishing cooked items, and preparing appropriate garnishes for broiled or roasted foods. Responsible for maintaining a sanitary kitchen work station.
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Bus person

Serves water, bread and butter to guests and refills glasses as needed. Removes dirty dishes between courses. Clears, cleans and resets tables after customers leave.
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Catering manager

Responsible for all catered functions from origination to execution, including delegation of responsibilities. Works on a consistent basis with sales personnel to generate new business and maintains contact with clients. Responsible for handling customer complaints and rectifying problems. Responsible for planning rental of tables, video/audio equipment, game equipment and linen. May book or recommend entertainment bands, speakers or specialty acts. Responsible for decorations, flowers and photographs.
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Counter server

Responsible for providing quick and efficient service to customers. Greets customers, takes their food and beverage orders, rings orders into register, and prepares and serves hot and cold drinks. Assembles food and beverage orders, checks them for completeness and accuracy, and packages orders for on-premise or takeout. Collects payments from guests and makes change. Maintains cleanliness of counters and floors.
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Dining room manager

Supervises dining room operation and coordinates foodservice activities. Supervises and trains employees, confers with food preparation employees and other personnel to plan menus and related activities. Estimates food and beverage costs and requisitions/buys supplies. May review financial transactions and monitor budget to ensure efficient operation and that expenditures stay within budget limitations. Maintains payroll and bookkeeping records.
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Executive chef

The department head responsible for a foodservice establishment’s kitchen/kitchens. Ensures kitchens provide nutritious, safe, eye-appealing, properly flavored food. Maintains a safe and sanitary work environment for all employees. Other duties include menu planning, budget preparation, and maintenance of payroll, food cost and other records. Specific duties involve food preparation and establishing quality standards, and training employees in cooking methods, presentation techniques, portion control and retention of nutrients.
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Functions as the communications link between and among the various food production areas in the kitchen, coordinates production and assembly so servers can deliver meal orders to dining room patrons in a timely manner.
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Food and beverage manager/director

Oversees management, budget and operation of the foodservice outlet, catering services and kitchen, and maintains liaison with sales department to ensure maximum profitability.
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Foodservice director (health care)

Directs the delivery of professional food services that will be a material factor in producing cost effectiveness, positive financial results, customer satisfaction and a positive public image.
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Fry/sauté cook

Responsible for all fried or sautéed items prepared in the kitchen of a foodservice establishment. Portions and prepares food items prior to cooking, such as fish fillets, shrimp or veal. Other duties include preparing batter or breading, plating and garnishing cooked items, and preparing appropriate garnishes for fried or sautéed foods. Responsible for maintaining a sanitary kitchen work station.
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General manager/unit manager (fullservice)

Coordinates foodservice activities of restaurant or other similar establishment. Estimates food and beverage costs and requisitions or purchases supplies, equipment, and food and beverages. Confers with food preparation and other personnel from the dining room, bar and banquet team to plan menus and related activities. Oversees cleaning and maintenance of equipment and facilities and ensures that all health and safety regulations are adhered to. Directs hiring, assignment, training, motivation and termination of personnel. Investigates and resolves food quality and service complaints. May develop marketing strategy, and implement advertising and promotional campaigns to increase business. May review financial transactions and monitor budget to ensure efficient operation and to ensure expenditures stay within budget limitations.
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General manager/unit manager (quickservice)

Maintains overall management responsibilities for the foodservice unit/establishment. Directs, coordinates, and participates in preparation, cooking, wrapping or packing food serviced or prepared by establishment, collects payment from in-house or take-out customers, and assembles food orders. Coordinates workers who keep business records, collect and pay accounts, order or purchase supplies, and deliver food to retail customers. Interviews, hires and trains personnel. May contact prospective customers to promote sale of prepared foods. May establish delivery routes and schedules.
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Human resources manager

Recruits and hires qualified employees, creates in-house job-training programs, and assists employees with their career needs.
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Kitchen manager

Supervises and coordinates activities concerning all back-of-the-house operations and personnel, including food preparation, kitchen and storeroom areas. Hires, discharges, trains, and evaluates back-of-house personnel. Purchases or requisitions food items, supplies and equipment. Plans or participates in menu planning and food production and apportions meat, vegetables and desserts, as well as food surpluses, to control costs. Supervises food preparation personnel to ensure food adheres to standards of quality to maintain cleanliness or kitchen and equipment. May meet with clients to plan special menus.
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Maître d'hotel

Manages the dining room; trains, schedules and supervises servers, hosts and bus people.
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Pantry cook

Responsible for cold food items prepared in the kitchen of a foodservice establishment. Portions and prepares cold food items such as salads, cold appetizers, desserts, sandwiches, salad dressings and cold banquet platters. Responsible for maintaining a sanitary kitchen work station.
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Pastry chef

Responsible for the pastry shop in a foodservice establishment. Ensures that the products produced in the pastry shop meet the quality standards in conjunction with the executive chef. In a large establishment, the pastry chef usually is responsible only for pastries and candy. In a smaller establishment, the pastry chef is responsible for bakery items. The pastry chef also can be responsible for decorative centerpieces such as ice carvings, salt-dough sculptures, marzipan figures, pastillage and blown or pulled sugar. Develops recipes and prepares desserts, including cakes, pies, cookies, sauces, glazes and custards.
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Manages the entire restaurant operation; responsible for running a profitable and successful business.
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Public relations manager

Helps the restaurant create and maintain a positive image; publicizes fundraisers, parties, special discounts and other newsworthy events.
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Describes menu and daily specials, takes orders, serves food and makes sure customers have everything they need to enjoy their meals. Responsible for coordinating entire station and communicating front- and back-of-house personnel to provide a dining experience that meets or exceed guest expectations. Processes guest orders to ensure all items are prepared properly and on a timely basis. May carve meats, bone fish and fowl, prepare flaming dishes and desserts at tableside and present, open and pour wine when serving guests. Observes diners to ensure they are satisfied with food and service, responds to additional requests, and determines when the meal has been completed. Rings up bills and accepts payment or refers guests to cashier. May assist bus person in stocking, removing and resetting dishes and silverware between courses, and cleaning and resetting vacated tables.
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Soup and sauce cook

Responsible for all soups and sauces prepared in the kitchen of a foodservice establishment. Prepares stock, thickening agents, soup garnishes, soups and sauces. Responsible for maintaining a sanitary kitchen work station.
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Sous chef

The sous chef acts second-in-command in the kitchen, directing and managing cooks and other kitchen workers, and taking over when the executive chef is absent. In a large establishment, the sous chef may be in charge of food production for one kitchen. In a smaller operation, the sous chef ensures that all food production workers are performing their duties as prescribed by the quality standards established by the executive chef. The sous chef assumes all the duties of the executive chef in the chef's absence.
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Wine steward

Selects and orders the wine for the restaurant; teaches staff how to describe, recommend and serve wine to customers.
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