Food runners are important to the food service industry as they play the pivotal role of running food from one place to another. When a customer orders a meal, the order is passed on to the cook and once the food is cooked, it is the job of a food runner to ensure that the order reaches the customer.

Since food runners are the last people to see the food before it is given to a customer, it is important for them to ensure that accuracy of the order both in terms of quality and quantity. Food delivery is just one of the jobs of a food runner; he may also be expected to fill or refill water or beverages orders. This personnel will also ensure that the service area is cleaned and sanitized in accordance to the hygiene rules of the establishment.

Food runners also perform table clearing and cleaning duties and are responsible for removing used tableware between courses. There are many expectations that both customers and restaurant owners have from food runners as they are expected to provide the zenith of customer services. Since they are in direct contact with the customers, food runners need to be absolutely courteous and know that the customers need to be serviced in an efficient manner. In some establishments, they are expected to take out the trash as well.

Food runners need to know the menu by heart and also know which condiments go with what so that in the event that they have to take orders, they are well conversant and do not seem nonprofessional. Some restaurants and hotels insist that food runners provide first tier services as well which include greeting and seating customers. In such circumstances, these professionals need to be trained in providing first contact services as well. On the whole, a food runner is responsible for many tasks which may or may not be associated with delivery of food but are important in the food service industry.