12 Things Every Food Runner Knows to Be True
Many people have been hosts or servers in their time, but food runners are a lesser known profession in the restaurant industry. When someone brings food to your table who is not your server, chances are it's the food runner. We are the three-prong bridge between the kitchen, servers, and customers, responsible for bringing food out to the tables. This is meant to allow the servers to interact more with their tables. As always, with a unique responsibility comes unique problems and situations.
1. Servers need to get it together
Some servers will never help you carry food, especially when you need help, while others will practically fight you to bring their plate to their table.
2. Servers always gossip to us about customers
"The couple at table 32 didn't tip me last time they came in and now they are back and of course they are in my section."
3. Kitchen staff always gossip to us about servers
"She always rings in the craziest requests—I'm not making that!'
4. When people don’t get out of the way it's super stressful
As a five-foot tiny woman, I can only carry a billion heavy hot plates for so long. The worst is going to a giant table that is already full of plates and having to drop off ten more plates for them. These tables are always so busy talking that they can't take a second to help you clear a place on the table.
5. We get asked for things that we don’t have time to do and/or aren't paid enough to do
All we do is run back and forth from the kitchen to the dining room. As I'm delivering your plate, I'm thinking about the heap of plates I have to go back and get, so no, I am not the person to cut your steak for you.
6. People tell you the wrong table number to go to with your plates
Since you can't rely on remembering what the customer ordered because you didn't take their order, theres a lot of trust involved, and when you are told the wrong table number to go to, you're the one who looks stupid
7. The money is really good
I count my stars every day that I get above minimum wage plus tip outs from servers, as opposed to working solely off tips like servers, or just getting a steady paycheck like hostesses. We get the best of both worlds.
8. We generally deal with very little conflict
Any real issues a table has can be immediately redirected to their server, because 9/10 times its not our fault.
9. You don't have to speak with customers as much
Or depending on your perspective, you don't get to.
10. We spend so much time lurking in the kitchen
The best part of the job is standing in the kitchen and getting to smell all the food and watch the chefs prepare it.
11. Always running, always busy
Most of the time, but especially during a rush, there's no way you'll have time to use the restroom or even grab a glass of water.
12. You get to be buddy buddy with the chefs
Sometimes the kitchen staff will sneak you a couple fries or other snacks, and the servers will get jealous. And you get to learn a lot about the menu and food in general. There is nothing better.
Though being a food runner can be frustrating at times, it's more than worth it and I totally recommend it to anyone who wants to work in a restaurant and spend time in the kitchen AND the dining area.