I thought now might be a good time to explain all of the roles in UK Food & Beverage since I have had a few questions – this is all based on my experience and the experience of my friends so I can’t guarantee things haven’t changed since but this is the basics!
Probably the most fundamental role in the restaurant – getting people in the door. This involves roles of greeting and seating. The greeter is at the restaurant podium outside checking people’s reservations and working with the Assigner to take as many extra walk-ins as possible to keep the restaurant full and the servers making money.
The podium uses a computer system to keep track of the reservations and the tables seated and prints seating tickets with the guest’s name, table number, server and pager number when their table is ready.
It is the job of the seater to page the guest, get their menus and take them to their table. They will also help to bus (clear) tables when the restaurant is busy and help out the Assigner as necessary to rearrange tables and chairs for upcoming parties.
As the ‘front-line’ of the restaurant podium also deal with queries about anything and everything around the park and when the park is really busy such as Christmas, New Year and Easter the podium can see upwards of 2000 people a day so there is a lot of talking involved.
The other major location in the UK Pavilion is the Yorkshire County Fish & Chip shop, affectionately known as Chippy. This serves one thing and one thing only, Fish & Chips, and trust me it sells a lot of them. There are 2 major roles in Chippy, Registers and Filling, at quiet times these can be combined so that one person is doing both roles. Registers operate the cash register, take the guest order and complete their payment. When it is busy and dry they are located outside, in front of the counter. In poor weather they relocate indoors since water and electricity don’t mix too well. Fillers complete the order, taking Fish & Chips from the culinary cast and filling drinks to give the guests including soft drinks, bottled water and pints of beer. When it is busy Chippy can really fly with Fish & Chips going out faster than they can be cooked.
On Beer Cart you can often be on your own. Beer Cart is an outside cart close to the restaurant which sells (clue is in the name) beer as well as ciders and soft drinks. Except in especially busy times this is a one person location and speed can be of the essence. If you have any ambition to be a bartender this is a great first step. It can be incredibly busy, I remember having a constant line for an entire shift during Food & Wine last year but it is pretty fun and you can have a bit of banter with the guests which makes the time fly. You also learn a few cool pouring tricks which can impress guests and actually prove surprisingly useful when you get home.
This is the position that people tend to dread, although I cannot see why. The role involves keeping all of the locations in the Pavilion stocked up with what they need. This includes drinks, condiments, kegs, till roll and desserts for the Chippy. You have a radio and a set of keys and basically spend the day walking around making sure everything is OK. This is one of those you get out what you put in type of positions. If you sit around it tends to get stressful later when things start running out and people start shouting whereas if you do your best to stay on top of things the day tends to go pretty smoothly. I did this role for every major holiday of my program and trust me if you ever get one of those the normal days feel like a breeze!
This one is optional. You can choose to train as an Assigner. This involves managing the flow of the restaurant, seating reservations on time and taking as many extra walk-ins as possible while not over-working (weeding) the servers or the kitchen and keeping guest wait times to a minimum. The software does its best to help you out but it can certainly be stressful, especially during the Dinner rush when there are frequently more guests than tables but I found it incredibly rewarding and it was my favourite role in the entire pavilion. You do occasionally need a bit of a hard skin when you get everyone from chefs, managers, servers and guests telling you how you should be doing it but I would recommend it to anyone.
The first step in to tipped positions. The food runner is basically responsible for getting hot food from the kitchen to the table as fast as possible. Food is put on the line with a printed ticket specifying table and once it is all there the food runner takes it to the table. They are also responsible for keeping various sauces and other items in the kitchen fully stocked up for the servers and other food runners to use. (I couldn’t find a picture for this one)
For most people this is the role they will spend most of their program in. You effectively own a 4 table section for your shift, you serve anyone that sits there. Taking their order, bringing and refilling drinks, appetizers and desserts and of course providing amazing Disney service! A test is required to become a server which includes both menu knowledge and Disney service standards. Additionally you have side-work responsibilities for keeping something in the kitchen or restaurant stocked or clean.
Only a few people make it to be bartenders. Again a test is required along with a recommendation from management most of the time as someone who is reliable and trusted. There are usually only around 6 to 8 bartenders at any given time compared with around 30-40 servers.
That is a VERY whistle-stop tour of the roles to give you a bit of a flavour. Let me know if you have any questions and I will do my best to answer them. As I said before things change at Disney all the time and some, if not all, of this information is potentially a little our of date so please let me know if I can correct anything!
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