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6641 Food Counter Attendants, Kitchen Helpers and Related Occupations

Workers in this unit group include counter attendants, food preparers, kitchen helpers, food service helpers and dishwashers. Counter attendants and food preparers prepare, heat and finish cooking simple food items and serve customers at food counters. Kitchen helpers, food service helpers and dishwashers clear tables, clean kitchen areas, wash dishes, and perform various other activities to assist workers who prepare or serve food and beverages. They are employed by restaurants, cafes, hotels, fast food outlets, cafeterias, hospitals and other establishments.

Example Titles

  • bartender helper
  • bus boy/girl
  • cook's helper
  • counter attendant, cafeteria
  • dishwasher
  • fast-food preparer
  • food counter attendant
  • food preparer
  • food service helper
  • ice cream counter attendant
  • kitchen helper
  • salad bar attendant
  • sandwich maker
View all titles

Main duties

Food service counter attendants and food preparers perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Take customers' orders
  • Clean, peel, slice and trim foodstuffs using manual and electric appliances
  • Prepare food such as sandwiches, hamburgers, salads, milkshakes and ice cream dishes
  • Portion and wrap food or place it directly on plates for service to patrons, and package take-out food
  • Serve customers at counters or buffet tables
  • Stock refrigerators and salad bars and keep records of the quantities of food used
  • May receive payment for food items purchased.

Kitchen helpers perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Wash and peel vegetables and fruit
  • Wash work tables, cupboards and appliances
  • Remove trash and clear kitchen garbage containers
  • Unpack and store supplies in refrigerators, cupboards and other storage areas
  • Sweep and mop floors, and perform other duties to assist cook and kitchen staff.

Food service helpers perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Clear and clean tables and trays in eating establishments
  • Bring clean dishes, flatware and other items to serving areas and set tables
  • Replenish condiments and other supplies at tables and in serving areas
  • Remove dishes before and after courses
  • Perform other duties such as scraping and stacking dishes, carrying linen to and from laundry area and running errands.

Dishwashers perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Wash dishes, glassware, flatware, pots and pans using dishwasher or by hand
  • Place dishes in storage area
  • Scour pots and pans, and may clean and polish silverware.

Employment requirements

  • Some secondary school education is usually required.
  • On-the-job training is provided.

Additional information

  • There is considerable mobility among jobs in this unit group.
  • Movement into other occupations within food preparation and service, such as cook or waiter, is possible with further training and experience.

Classified elsewhere

  • Chefs (6241)
  • Cooks (6242)
  • Food and Beverage Servers (6453)
  • Street food vendors (in 6623 Other Elemental Sales Occupations )