Skills Food Counter Attendant near Vancouver (BC)

Find out what skills you typically need to work as a food counter attendant in Canada. These skills are applicable to all Food counter attendants, kitchen helpers and related support occupations (NOC 6711).


  • Bring clean dishes, flatware and other items to serving areas and set tables
  • Carrying and replace linen
  • Clean and sanitize items such as dishwasher mats, carts and waste disposal units
  • Clear and clean tables, trays and chairs
  • Load buspans and trays
  • Operate dishwashers to wash dishes, glassware and flatware
  • Place dishes in storage area
  • Replenish condiments and other supplies at tables and serving areas
  • Sanitize and wash dishes and other items by hand
  • Scour pots and pans
  • Keep records of the quantities of food used
  • Package take-out food
  • Portion and wrap foods
  • Prepare, heat and finish simple food items
  • Serve customers at counters or buffet tables
  • Stock refrigerators and salad bars
  • Take customers' orders
  • Use manual and electrical appliances to clean, peel, slice and trim foodstuffs
  • Clean and sanitize kitchen including work surfaces, cupboards, storage areas, appliances and equipment
  • Handle and store cleaning products
  • Receive, unpack and store supplies in refrigerators, freezers, cupboards and other storage areas
  • Remove kitchen garbage and trash
  • Sharpen kitchen knives
  • Sweep, mop, wash and polish floors
  • Wash, peel and cut vegetables and fruit

Essential skills

See how the 9 essential skills apply to this occupation. This section will be updated soon.

ReadingKitchen Helpers and Line Cooks
  • Read written instructions for particular work tasks, such as for cleaning a piece of equipment. (1)
  • Read house policies and procedures. (2)
  • Read pamphlets dealing with hygiene in a food environment. (2)
  • Read and implement written shift duties and instructions. (2)
  • Scan safety manuals for instructions on the safe use of chemicals. (3)
Line cooks
  • Read comment sheets and letters from customers. (1)
  • Read cook books and industry newsletters. (3)
Document use
  • Locate and read labels and symbols relating to the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS). (1)
  • Line cooks read guest checks. (1)
  • Read work schedules and read function sheets. (2)
  • Complete inventory control cards, requisitions and order forms. (2)
  • Prepare waste sheets. (2)
  • Write "to do" notes for themselves and co-workers. (1)
  • Write incident reports and complete Worker's Compensation Board forms. (2)

Line Cooks

Money Math
  • Prepare guest checks, enter amounts in the cash register and provide change to customers. (1)
Measurement and Calculation Math
  • Weigh and measure ingredients when cooking and weigh food to ensure proper portion sizes. (1)
  • Convert recipes by multiplying or dividing all ingredients. (2)
Money Math
  • Estimate amounts of food by comparing containers, product sizes and volumes. (1)
Oral communicationKitchen Helpers and Line Cooks
  • Communicate with supervisors and co-workers to organize and co-ordinate their work and receive instructions. (1)
Kitchen helpers
  • Communicate with delivery personnel about where to place supplies. (1)
Line cooks
  • Communicate with other food service workers to clarify orders. (1)
  • Respond to customer inquiries about particular menu items, including questions about ingredients to which the customer is allergic. (1)

Problem Solving

Kitchen Helpers and Line Cooks
  • May encounter problems caused by miscommunication due to their noisy working environment. They must then clarify the information. (1)
Kitchen helpers
  • Are sometimes confronted with difficult cleaning jobs where conventional methods do not seem to work. They have to determine how to clean ovens and other equipment, selecting the best cleaner and devising effective cleaning methods. (1)
Line cooks
  • Handle customer complaints, using their own judgment and company policy to resolve issues. (2)

Decision Making

Kitchen Helpers and Line Cooks
  • Decide whether supplies received meet the required quality standards and purchasing specifications. This is usually done initially under supervision. (1)
  • Select which cleaner to use for particular cleaning tasks. (1)
Line cooks
  • Decide how to best juggle multiple tasks so that no customer is kept waiting too long. (2)
  • Decide what products may be substituted to fill an order when there is a shortage of the normal food item. (2)
Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking information was not collected for this profile.

Job Task Planning and Organizing

The work of kitchen helpers and line cooks follows a similar basic routine every day. Within that framework, they plan their own activities following guidelines provided for food preparation and responding to variations in customer volume. (2)

Significant Use of Memory
  • Remember the details of their current orders, such as which steaks are to be rare and which ones well done. They also remember special instructions for a particular function, and last minute changes to these instructions.
  • Remember health and safety standards for the care and preparation of food.

Finding Information

Kitchen Helpers and Line Cooks
  • Scan a variety of news media for information about changing weather conditions and upcoming events which could impact the planning of production that week. (2)
Kitchen helpers
  • Find out about policies for product specifications by asking their supervisor. (1)
Line cooks
  • Look up food preparation information in recipes. (1)
Digital technology
  • Use equipment with computerized settings. For example, line cooks may use computerized point of sale equipment when accepting payment. (1)
  • Line cooks may get recipes and food specifications from a database. (2)
  • Line cooks may use a spreadsheet for recipe conversions. (2)
Additional informationOther Essential Skills:

Working with Others

Kitchen helpers and line cooks work both independently and as part of a team. They participate in formal discussions with co-workers and supervisors on methods for improving work processes or product quality, and on the allocation of responsibilities.

Continuous Learning

Kitchen helpers and line cooks continue to learn. New procedures, new product information, new menus, recipes, techniques and trends all unite in creating a learning environment.

Labour Market Information Survey
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