A counter attendant at a cafeteria, food concession, or coffee shop typically performs a number of roles. Most of these establishments require these employees to not only work as servers for those seated at the counter, but perform a number of food and beverage preparation roles as well.
The counter attendant's exact duties may vary depending on the type of establishment. In concession work, the attendant is expected to accurately place and ring up orders for customers, either using a cash register or point-of-sale computer systems. The attendant then ensures the accurate delivery of the order to the customer. For coffee shops and cafeterias, the attendant may have a counter with guest seating, taking orders and ensuring these customers are served in a prompt manner.
Additionally, the attendant is expected to perform preparation tasks. These can vary from simple tasks such as constantly brewing coffee to more complex tasks involving heating food or even sandwich preparation. Typically, the attendant must rotate and replenish food and drink offerings so that when customers order these items, requests can be fulfilled in a timely and efficient manner.
Most establishments also expect that the attendant is constantly available to work a cash register. (This is especially important for cafeterias, which may also have table seating and service where guests pay at the counter.) The attendant also assists in maintaining standards of cleanliness and sanitation for the establishment during the course of his or her shift.
The education requirements for this position are not particularly formal, with practical experience being of primary importance. Attendants must be able to work quickly and under pressure and be able to keep their thoughts organized. These employees typically work long hours on their feet during breakfast, lunch, and dinner hours in a casual-food service setting.
Counter Attendant, Cafeteria, Food Concession, or Coffee Shop Tasks
Receive customer orders and note special requests for the kitchen.
May assist with kitchen prep.
Deliver orders to kitchen and/or customer.
Perform financial transactions.