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Resort Food Service Jobs

There are a number of different positions available in the food services section of a resort hotel. Some of the positions available do not require the employee to have any official or tertiary degree, while you will need some sort of degree with others. Positions in the food services area start with the bus staff, or runners, and end with the restaurant manager. In a resort or amusement park setting there are hundreds of positions available in the food service area and these include the food carts or stalls, outside and poolside bars, main indoor and outdoor restaurants, cafes, coffee shops, bakeries and more.

Open positions in the food service section of resorts include:

  • Bus service staff
  • Restaurant host / hostess
  • Maitre d'
  • Waiters / servers / buffet server / cocktail server
  • Food cart employees
  • Coffee barista
  • Bartender
  • Bar manager
  • Kitchen prep staff
  • Dishwashers
  • Sommelier / wine steward
  • Head line cook / chef de partie
  • Sauté chef
  • Fish chef
  • Fry chef
  • Grill chef
  • Roast chef
  • Pantry chef
  • Expeditor
  • Sous chef
  • Pastry chef / baker
  • Executive chef / head chef
  • Restaurant manager
  • Food and beverage manager

Did You Know? There are more than 100 positions to fill in the food service area of some resorts and amusement parks.

Job Responsibilities

Each individual in the food service arena is left with a certain responsibility. Let's take a closer look at them.

Bus Service Staff / Runners: The bus staff are there to make sure that the tables in the restaurants are kept neat and clean. They are there to assist the waiting staff with the upkeep of the front of house. The bus staff will also have the responsibility of sweeping and mopping the floors, dressing the tables and making sure that cutlery and glasses are clean before going onto the tables.

Host / Hostess: The host / hostess is there to make sure that guests get greeted at the door. They are there to get the guests coats and to show them to their respective tables. The host / hostess will also set out the menu and may have the responsibility of explaining the specials for the day and taking the tables' drink order.

Maitre d': The Maitre d' is essentially the manager of the front of house. The waiting staff answers to him or her, which is why some people refer to the maître d' as the head waiter. In some restaurants it is up to the maître d' to present the order to the head chef after the order is taken from the table by the server. The maître d' is responsible for the front of house and making sure that everything is in seemingly endless supply.

Server: The server, otherwise referred to as the waiter (male) or waitress (female), is the person in charge of the table. This person will make sure that the guests have everything they want or need at their assigned tables. The server is left with the responsibility of keeping the guests relaxed, taking the orders and taking the meals out to the guests when they are fully prepared. At a resort the server can work in a restaurant, take food up to guests' rooms or serve it to them at the pool side. The cocktail server only deals with drinks, while the buffet server is only available in establishments that offer a buffet style menu.

Food Cart Employees: Food cart employees are found at resorts that offer outside catering and work on fast food stands like the hot dog stand, pretzel stand, taco, hamburger, popcorn, cold drinks and chips stands. You will not find them at all resorts, but you are likely to run in a number of them at amusement parks.

Coffee Barista: The coffee barista is found in coffee bars and cafes where espresso based coffee is the specialty. This person is in charge of the coffee area of the establishment and makes sure that hot drinks are served at a high standard. This person will be in charge of all types of coffees, hot milk, warm chocolate based drinks and cold drinks like milkshakes and smoothies, and sometimes even canned beverages.

Bartender: The bartender is the person in charge of the alcoholic based drinks and specializes in making cocktails. This person will be in charge of a section of the bar, or the entire bar depending on the size of the establishment. He or she will be responsible for pouring the heavier drinks like scotch, brandy, rum and whiskey, among others.

Bar Manager: The bar manager is the leader of the bar. Most of the time a cold bar will be integrated with the warm bar and the bar manager will be in charge of both sections. It is up to the bar manager to make sure that bars are kept clean and that the supplies are always replenished. The bar manager is also left with the admin work and payrolls as well as billing and invoicing.

Kitchen Prep Staff: The kitchen staff are there to help the chefs and cooks with their duties. The prep staff will take their orders from the head and sous chefs and will be left to prepare all the ingredients needed for the shift ahead. Dishwashers form part of the kitchen prep staff, as they need to make sure that the utensils, cutlery and crockery needed for the night are always kept clean for use by the chefs and guests.

Chefs and Cooks: There are a number of different types of cooks that make up a kitchen. Generally you will find that a single chef can do just about any type of cooking in the kitchen, but there are cooks that specialize in a specific field. More often than not, you will find that that chefs rotate stations each shift and often work on more than one type of food. The hierarchy of the kitchen runs as follows:

  • Head Chef / Executive chef (sometime the expeditor)
  • Pastry Chef (most of the time they are a head chef of their own kitchen - the pastry kitchen)
  • Sous Chef
  • Chef de Partie
  • Line cooks
    • Sauté chef
    • Fish chef
    • Fry chef
    • Grill chef
    • Roast chef
    • Pantry chef

Learn more about the different types of chefs in the gourmet chef jobs section.

Sommelier: The sommelier, otherwise known as the wine steward is the one in charge of the wines in the cellar. This person is knowledgeable when it comes to wines and is able to advise guests on the best wine to compliment their meal.

Restaurant Manager: You will find that there are number of restaurant managers at one resort, as there is one restaurant manager for each restaurant in the establishment. This person is in charge of making sure that their particular restaurant runs smoothly and that everyone in the restaurant is doing what he or she needs to do. This is more often than not an admin position as this individual is in charge of payrolls, orders and invoicing as well as the rest of the staff.

Food and Beverage Manager: In most cases there is a food and beverage manager in each restaurant. However, in some resorts and amusement park settings there will be only one food and beverage manager on the entire premises. This person is in charge of all the restaurants in the establishment and that includes the food carts if there are any available. This person is put in place to make sure that all the restaurants are keeping up the high standard of the resort and that everything is running smoothly within each individual restaurant.

Job Requirements

The hospitality and service industry requires individuals who are eager to help and serve others. Most of the positions available in the food service sector are entry level jobs, apart from the chef, cook, sommelier, and managerial positions. Waiting staff, kitchen hands, runners, hosts, dishwashers, kitchen prep staff and positions at these levels require hard working individuals who are eager to learn and eager to work. You are there to serve the guest's needs, no matter what it takes.

Training and Degrees

Servers, runners, kitchen prep staff, and hosts need only have a high school diploma to land a job, as there is no formal training or degree needed for these positions.

If you are looking to go more in depth with food preparation you will need to go through culinary school to gain an entry level position as a commis chef.  Most of the time line cooks, sous chefs, and head chefs are only hired with proper culinary school training, knowledge of food safety and a long background in the industry.

The barista and the bartender also need the proper training to fulfill their positions. One cannot be left in charge of a coffee station without knowing how to work with the machinery and the different types of coffees. This is why most employers look for baristas with coffee barista training and knowledge of different roasts and tastes of coffees. A bartender on the other hand needs to have gone through bartender training. This does not include the fancy bar work like flaring, but the basic knowledge of alcohol and safe mixtures of alcohol is required.

Managers at restaurants need to have the proper training too. A lot of the time you will find that restaurant managers have worked their way up the ladder without any formal training, but if you are looking to go into a position like this, without spending years working your way to the top, you will need a degree in hospitality and restaurant management, and the same goes for the food and beverage manager position.

Salary and Benefits

All staff members in the food service department are given free meals throughout the day. These individuals also get discounts on resort facilities and rooms, and the higher level staff members (i.e. managerial staff) are offered pensions, as well as dental and health benefits at some resorts. The pay scales differ from employer to employer and range from minimum wage for servers up to $40,000 - $50,000 or $60,000 a year for restaurant managers and executive chefs with some managers and chefs earning six figures.

Quick Summary:

  • Work in a fast paced environment and meet new people daily
  • Get free food on a daily basis and great benefits like discounted rooms
  • Work your way up the ladder to become the manager or even the head chef