Skills Food Service Supervisor near Hamilton (ON)

Find out what skills you typically need to work as a food service supervisor in Canada. These skills are applicable to all Food service supervisors (NOC 6311).

Skills and knowledge

The following skills and knowledge are usually required in this occupation.

Essential skills

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

  • Read short handwritten notes from food service workers, customers and other supervisors. For example, they may read explanatory notes on broken and inoperative equipment. (1)
  • Read text entries in forms. For example, food service supervisors in health care establishments read special instructions on tray tickets and details of patient food preferences in diet order forms. Cafeteria supervisors may review statements on health and safety inspection checklists. (2)
  • Read e-mail from customers, co-workers, colleagues and managers. They may read customers' requests for changes to event schedules, and suppliers' responses to their enquiries about equipment rentals. (2)
  • Read memos from managers and others in their organizations. For example, cafeteria supervisors working for national chains may read memos from head office personnel announcing changes to vacation policies. Food service supervisors in hotels may read memos about changes in daily cleaning procedures from supervisors in housekeeping departments. (2)
  • Read trade magazines, brochures and newsletters to learn about trends and issues in food service provision. For example, catering supervisors may read articles in magazines such as, Hotels and Gastronomie : les plaisirs de la table, to get ideas for food presentation and table settings. Cafeteria supervisors may skim corporate newsletters to locate and read interesting articles about new products. (2)
  • Read manuals to learn about methods and procedures for their work. For example, unit supervisors in hospitals may read about dietary exclusions and adverse reactions for patients following gluten-free diets in dietary care manuals. Cafeteria supervisors may read computer manuals to learn procedures such as generating reports in database software. (3)
  • May read short reports relevant to their food services' operations. For example, food concession supervisors may read incident reports to clarify their understanding of the recommendations to be implemented. They may also read audit reports to confirm improvements to service and identify service features that fall below standards. (3)
  • Read policies, collective agreements and legislation to verify standards, union rules and regulations. For example, food service supervisors in hospitals and other organized workplaces may read clauses in collective agreements to find details of extended leaves for workers. Catering supervisors may read municipal by-laws which describe safe food handling requirements for buffet luncheons. Cafeteria supervisors in long-term care facilities may read provisions in provincial legislation for food service quality. (4)
Document use
  • Locate data on labels and signs. For example, they locate and interpret hazard symbols on cleaning product labels. They interpret icons for operating procedures and settings on kitchen equipment such as microwave ovens. Catering supervisors may identify street names on signs when travelling to new catering venues. (1)
  • Locate data in lists and tables. For example, they locate food items in suppliers' price lists and verify workers' shifts on weekly and monthly schedules. They may locate quantities of items on food overage tables. Catering supervisors may check rental companies' picking lists against supplies at banquets. (2)
  • May locate data in graphs. For example, they may review trends in sales of specific menu items on line graphs prepared by their managers. They may examine customer satisfaction survey data on various aspects of food service using bar charts. (2)
  • May obtain dimensions, distances and other data on maps and scale drawings. For example, supervisors in fast food restaurants may identify addresses for home deliveries on street maps. Catering supervisors may obtain dimensions of kitchens and dining rooms on floor plans of venues for upcoming events. (2)
  • Locate data in forms. For example, they may identify customers' food choices in menu order forms. They may scan dining room order forms to locate dates, customers' names, numbers of guests and rooms booked. Food service supervisors in nursing homes may confirm that data such as diet codes, allergies, supplements and patient preferences have been consistently entered into patients' order forms, therapeutic diet sheets, menus and recipes. (3)
  • Complete entry forms such as food quality control sheets, inventory lists, monthly income and expense forms and cash deposit sheets. For example, they enter dates, items and quantities into inventory lists to track supplies. They also enter food, labour, stationery and cleaning supply costs into weekly expense report forms using data from invoices and time sheets. (3)
  • Write notes to co-workers and entries in logbooks and forms. For example, they may write notes to inform co-workers that inventories of particular items are low and that new supplies have been ordered. Food service supervisors in nursing homes may write remarks about residents' dietary restrictions and food preferences in lists and communication sheets. Cafeteria supervisors may write short entries in action plans about new food temperature standards. (1)
  • Write e-mail and letters to co-workers and customers to make requests, respond to enquiries and coordinate activities. For example, food services supervisors in hospitals may write e-mail to dietitians to check the advisability of particular menu items for special diets. They may also write e-mail to their managers to describe human resource management problems. Catering supervisors may write cover letters to customers to accompany price quotations and menu selections. (2)
  • Write memos about food preparation matters. For example, cafeteria supervisors may write memos for servers to describe new items on the menu and specify procedures for making new beverages. (2)
  • Write lengthy text entries in report forms. For example, supervisors in fast food restaurants write explanations for variances and unusual circumstances affecting revenues and expenses in monthly report forms. Cafeteria supervisors may describe accidents and incidents in reporting forms. (3)
NumeracyMoney Math
  • Pay for specialty food items, rush orders of key ingredients and low-volume supplies with cash and credit cards. (1)
  • May take payment for food services from customers and make change. For example, cafeteria supervisors may take payments from customers when cashiers take breaks. (2)
  • Calculate and verify price quotations, purchase orders and invoices. For example, catering supervisors multiply menu prices by numbers of guests, apply discounts, surcharges and taxes and calculate totals on invoices. (3)
Scheduling, Budgeting & Accounting Math
  • Count cash floats and petty cash funds. (1)
  • Reconcile cash and credit card receipts with records such as cash register totals. (2)
  • Compare costs for purchasing and preparing menu items. For example, they compare the costs of buying frozen foods to making the same items in their own kitchens. (2)
  • Monitor costs of food, labour and supplies and compare them to budgeted amounts to prevent budget overruns and to improve productivity. For example, cafeteria supervisors may limit employees' hours if labour costs exceed budgeted amounts. (3)
  • Prepare work schedules for full-time, part-time and casual food service workers. For example, catering supervisors consider the types of tasks, numbers of guests, collective agreements, government labour regulations, worker qualifications, availabilities and preferences when preparing work schedules for special events. Food service supervisors in hospitals and nursing homes consider minimum and maximum hours to be worked per day and week according to collective agreements They must often adjust schedules to accommodate leaves and absences. (3)
Measurement and Calculation Math
  • Measure time, temperature, volume and weight. For example, cafeteria supervisors measure the temperatures of refrigerators, ovens and prepared foods frequently to ensure food safety and comply with public health regulations. Food service supervisors in long-term care facilities measure times between residents' requests for assistance and responses. Canteen supervisors measure volumes and weights of dry and wet food ingredients according to amounts specified in recipes. (1)
  • Calculate quantities of dry and wet food ingredients needed to increase or reduce the amount of food prepared using ratios of quantities to numbers of servings. (2)
Data Analysis Math
  • Manage inventories of food and service supplies. They consider consumption rates, menu items planned, sizes of packages and desired levels of stocks. They also calculate wastage to explain differences between expected and actual inventory. (2)
  • Collect data and calculate basic statistics to describe food service operations and manage productivity. For example, food service supervisors in nursing homes calculate work loads such as the average numbers of food deliveries made by aides to balance work loads. Cafeteria and canteen supervisors may calculate per customer costs and compare these measures to food cost standards. (3)
Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate times to accomplish job tasks using past experience as a guide. For example, they may estimate times required to prepare trays and set up tables. (1)
  • Estimate quantities of food and numbers of servers needed for food service operations and special events. For example, cafeteria supervisors estimate numbers of waiters required to serve meals on holiday weekends. Supervisors in fast food restaurants use established customer-to-labour hour ratios to determine kitchen staff schedules. Catering supervisors may estimate amounts of food needed, given numbers of guests and standard portion sizes. (3)
Oral communication
  • Discuss food services with customers. For example, cafeteria supervisors explain menu choices to customers, check their food preferences and dietary restrictions and their opinions about menu items and customer service. (1)
  • Interact with suppliers to place orders, enquire about products and deliveries and make special requests. For example, catering supervisors may call staffing agencies to request temporary help and specify the skills and qualifications necessary for the jobs. (1)
  • Discuss menus and food service provision with co-workers, colleagues and customers. For example, supervisors in fast food restaurants discuss methods of organizing refrigerators with co-workers. Cafeteria supervisors ask their managers for suggestions to resolve difficulties with junior staff. Hospital food service supervisors may speak to colleagues about their experiences with new equipment such as hot and cold food service carts. Food service supervisors in long-term care facilities meet with committees of residents to discuss service improvements. (2)
  • Provide direction, encouragement and constructive criticism to the workers they supervise. For example, cafeteria supervisors ask kitchen aides to make more food items to fill serving counters. Hospital food service supervisors meet individually with workers to comment on their work performance and impose disciplinary measures. Catering supervisors may suggest resolutions to conflicts among servers who are complaining of uneven distributions of workloads and tips. (2)
  • Facilitate training sessions for food service workers. For example, catering supervisors meet temporary staff before events to inform them of menus, food presentation and instructions for clearing tables. Food service supervisors in hotels conduct meetings with regular staff to discuss improvements to service, general complaints and infractions and to remind them of quality standards and health and safety objectives. (3)
ThinkingProblem Solving
  • Discover that menu items are unpopular with customers. They may search for other ways to use the items to limit wastage. They also try to determine the reasons for the lack of popularity and may devise alternatives that can be prepared quickly. (2)
  • Experience equipment breakdowns. If their attempts to troubleshoot faults are unsuccessful, they request technical support. They also consult co-workers such as chefs and cooks to determine if there are alternatives to using the equipment and may substitute menu items. (2)
  • Face shortages of key supplies and ingredients. They contact suppliers to place rush orders if budgets and time allow. They may also contact colleagues for assistance and make menu substitutions if food quality standards can be maintained. They may also reorganize schedules of food service to accommodate later deliveries of supplies. (2)
  • Find there are not enough food service workers due to illnesses and miscommunications with staffing agencies. They may contact other personnel and agencies to obtain substitute workers or reorganize tasks for existing workers until more arrive. They may have to explain to customers why service is slow and predict when to expect improvements. (2)
  • Discover errors and substandard work such as lost orders, incorrect menus served, overcooked food and rudeness to customers. They speak to those involved to confirm they understand their tasks and responsibilities, organize training sessions and impose disciplinary measures. They may also make changes to the order and wording of written procedures and need to elicit cooperation from other supervisors if the errors originate in other work units. (3)
  • Find that specific workers are committing misdemeanours such as overstating their hours, sleeping on the job, giving customers free meals or stealing supplies. They investigate the situations to obtain confirmation of the nature and extent of the misconduct and search for information about disciplinary procedures in collective agreements or consult managers and colleagues about precedents. They meet the workers to discuss their findings and appropriate disciplinary measures. (3)
Decision Making
  • Choose ingredients, recipes and menus to serve their customers. For example, food service supervisors in nursing homes take into consideration residents' preferences and dietary requirements, budgetary limits, preparation times and standards of quality and appearance. They also choose menus and dishes to highlight seasonal ingredients, cultural themes and special occasions. (2)
  • Select task assignments for cooks, dietary and kitchen aides, servers and other workers. They consider individuals' skills, experience, preferences and availabilities while ensuring equity among workers. (2)
  • May choose suppliers. They consider cost, product availabilities, delivery times and quality standards. (2)
Critical Thinking
  • May judge the suitability of menus and dietary choices for individuals and groups. For example, hospital food service supervisors check that patients restricted to low lactose diets do not have cheese listed among their food preferences. (1)
  • Assess hygiene and safety in their work units by inspecting the cleanliness of serving dishes and utensils, working surfaces, refrigerators, other storage areas, sinks, washrooms and floors. They check that tools, equipment and food are properly stored when not in use and that signage is current. They review training records to ensure compliance with Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System requirements. (2)
  • Evaluate the competence of the workers they supervise. They consider each worker's accuracy in taking food orders and keeping records, knowledge of menu items, interactions with customers and co-workers and punctuality. (2)
  • Evaluate the quality and consistency of the food service operations they supervise. They compare the flavours, colours, textures, temperatures and general presentation of food served to their organizations' standards and examine the interactions between food service workers and customers. They also consider whether food is being served as ordered as well as the results of satisfaction surveys including comments made by customers. (3)
Job Task Planning and Organizing

Own Job Planning and Organizing

Food service supervisors organize their tasks into daily and weekly routines. They must adapt their plans to deal with frequent interruptions and unplanned events such as shortages of menu items, last minute changes to customers' orders and absent and late workers. They need to be willing to change priorities and manage multiple tasks in various stages of completion in order to successfully carry out their work. (3)

Planning and Organizing for Others

Food service supervisors prepare schedules and assign tasks for cooks, dietary aides, kitchen help, waiters and other workers under their supervision.

Significant Use of Memory
  • Remember the faces and names of as many workers and customers as possible to personalize interactions with them.
  • May remember various codes and abbreviations of diets, foods and commands used in documents and computer programs to work more quickly.
  • Remember the details of policies and procedures to ensure that food services meet organizational standards and government regulations.
Finding Information
  • Find information about special diets by searching in dietary care manuals and nutrition journals and consulting dietitians and nutritionists. (2)
  • Find information about new food preparation, presentation and distribution trends by consulting colleagues, reading trade publications and attending food industry fairs. (2)
Digital technology
  • May use databases. For example, food service supervisors in health care establishments may review patients' records on dietary information, enter orders and generate reports using database programs such as Foodservice Suite. (2)
  • Use communication software. They use communication software to exchange e-mail and attachments with co-workers, customers and suppliers. (2)
  • Use the Internet. For example, they access government and professional association websites to download job candidate resumes, view comparative ratings of food services and read newsletters on-line. They may also use browser programs such as Internet Explorer to source new products and equipment. (2)
  • Use word processing. For example, they write, edit and format text for letters, logs and memos using word processing programs such as Word. They may also write and format documents such as job task procedures, menus, schedules and action plans. (3)
  • Use spreadsheets. For example, catering supervisors may use programs such as Excel to prepare price quotations, while food service supervisors in long-term care facilities may track the distribution of food and bulk supplies by floor. Cafeteria supervisors may create reports such as expense summaries and weekly statements of hours worked. They use formulas to calculate net amounts and totals by category. (3)
Additional informationOther Essential Skills:

Working with Others

Food service supervisors coordinate and integrate job tasks with chefs, stewards, cooks, managers and marketing staff to plan menus and food presentation, control inventories and costs, and meet quality and safety standards. In hospital and residential settings, they work closely with dietitians, nurses and nutritionists to meet the special dietary needs of their customers.

Continuous Learning

Continuous learning is an important part of the job of food service supervisors. They are expected to maintain knowledge of new products, trends and issues in their work contexts. On a day-to-day basis, they acquire new learning through discussions with co-workers, colleagues, managers, suppliers and customers and by reading newsletters, trade publications, brochures, manuals, policies and legislation. They also attend seminars, workshops and courses offered by their employers and professional associations.

Labour Market Information Survey
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