Unit of competency details

SITHFAB003A - Serve food and beverage to customers (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to SITHFAB206 - Serve food and beverageTitle simplified. Re-worked Elements, Performance Criteria, Required Skills and Knowledge to more fully articulate content. 17/Jan/2013

ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 01/Jan/2011

Qualifications that include this unit

CodeSort Table listing Qualifications that include this unit by the Code columnTitleSort Table listing Qualifications that include this unit by the Title columnUsage RecommendationRelease
SIT10207 - Certificate I in HospitalityCertificate I in HospitalitySuperseded
SIT30407 - Certificate III in Tourism (Visitor Information Services)Certificate III in Tourism (Visitor Information Services)Deleted
SIT30707 - Certificate III in HospitalityCertificate III in HospitalitySuperseded
SIT40307 - Certificate IV in HospitalityCertificate IV in HospitalitySuperseded
FDF30411 - Certificate III in Wine Industry OperationsCertificate III in Wine Industry OperationsSuperseded1-3 
SIT40407 - Certificate IV in Hospitality (Commercial Cookery)Certificate IV in Hospitality (Commercial Cookery)Superseded
SIT31107 - Certificate III in Hospitality (Patisserie)Certificate III in Hospitality (Patisserie)Superseded
FDF20411 - Certificate II in Wine Industry OperationsCertificate II in Wine Industry OperationsSuperseded1-3 
SIT31007 - Certificate III in Hospitality (Catering Operations)Certificate III in Hospitality (Catering Operations)Superseded
SIT60307 - Advanced Diploma of HospitalityAdvanced Diploma of HospitalitySuperseded
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SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 110103 Food And Beverage Service 

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 110103 Food And Beverage Service 25/Nov/2008 
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Modification History

Not applicable.

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to serve food and beverage to customers in a range of hospitality industry enterprises.

The unit does not focus on the full range of product knowledge and service techniques required in a restaurant dining situation, which is addressed in SITHFAB004A Provide food and beverage service.

Some States and Territories have legislative requirements in relation to service of alcohol.

Application of the Unit

Application of the unit 

This unit reflects the role of a food and beverage attendant in hospitality settings such as restaurants, clubs, pubs, cafes, coffee shops, cafeterias and catering operations. Persons undertaking this role usually work as part of a team under supervision.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not applicable.


Prerequisite units 

This unit must be assessed after the following prerequisite unit:

SITXOHS002A Follow workplace hygiene procedures.

Employability Skills Information

Employability skills 

The required outcomes described in this unit of competency contain applicable facets of employability skills. The Employability Skills Summary of the qualification in which this unit is packaged will assist in identifying employability skills requirements.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements describe the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

Performance criteria describe the required performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised  text is used, further information is detailed in the required skills and knowledge and/or the range statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the evidence guide.

Elements and Performance Criteria




Prepare for service.


Check furniture  and fittings for cleanliness and condition prior to service  according to enterprise procedures, and take corrective action where required.


Prepare and adjust the environment  to ensure comfort and ambience for customers, as appropriate.


Set up any furniture according to enterprise requirements, customer requests and customer and staff convenience and safety.


Check any furniture for stability and customer and service personnel access according to legislative requirements.


Check and prepare equipment  for service and remove, clean or replace items not meeting enterprise standards.


Display food and beverage items according to enterprise and legislative requirements .


Welcome customers.


Greet customers on arrival, according to enterprise customer service standards.


Provide information  to customers, giving clear explanations and descriptions.


Make recommendations and suggestions to customers to assist them with drink and meal selection.


Answer customer questions on menu items correctly and courteously.


Take and process orders.


Take and record orders accurately and legibly using the format required by the enterprise, and convey them promptly to the kitchen or bar, where appropriate.


Operate the ordering system according to enterprise procedures.


Relay information about any special requests or dietary or cultural requirements to relevant person where appropriate.


Provide glassware, serviceware and cutlery suitable for menu choice, according to enterprise procedures.


Process accounts  and receive payment at appropriate time and according to enterprise procedures.


Serve and clear food and drinks.


Collect food and beverage selections promptly from kitchen or bar, check for accuracy and presentation, and convey them to customers safely.


Serve food and beverage courteously and to the correct person, according to enterprise standards and hygiene requirements.


Promptly recognise and follow up any delays or deficiencies in service.


Advise and reassure customers about any delays or problems.


Check customer satisfaction at the appropriate time.


Remove used items in a timely manner and safely transfer them to the appropriate location for cleaning.


Dispose of leftover food and disposables, according to hygiene regulations and enterprise practice.


Dispose of recyclable items according to local regulations and enterprise practice.


Thank and farewell customers courteously.


Close down after service.


Clear, clean, dismantle and store furniture and equipment according to enterprise procedures and safety requirements.


Prepare and set up for next service  according to enterprise procedures and requirements.


Review and evaluate services with colleagues where appropriate and identify possible improvements.


Provide handover to incoming colleagues and share relevant information.

Required Skills and Knowledge


This section describes the essential skills and knowledge and their level, required for this unit.

The following skills must be assessed as part of this unit:

  • food and beverage service techniques appropriate to the enterprise, including plate carrying
  • safe and hygienic work practices in relation to food and beverage service
  • problem-solving skills to deal with menu changes, lack of availability of items and difficult customer situations
  • communication skills to liaise with customers and other team members, clarify requirements, provide information and listen to and interpret information and non-verbal communication
  • technical skills to use enterprise ordering systems and equipment
  • literacy skills to read menus and orders
  • numeracy skills to calculate customer accounts.

The following knowledge must be assessed as part of this unit:

  • typical work flow structure for food and beverage service appropriate to the enterprise
  • ordering and service procedures
  • range and use of standard food and beverage equipment
  • menus and drink lists appropriate to the enterprise
  • waste minimisation techniques and environmental considerations in relation to food and beverage service.

Evidence Guide


The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, the range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for this Training Package.

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency 

Evidence of the following is essential:

  • demonstrated ability to serve food and beverage according to established systems and procedures
  • ability to meet, greet and interact positively with customers
  • ability to work with speed and efficiency, and within typical workplace time constraints
  • knowledge of hygiene and OHS requirements and demonstrated safe practices.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure:

  • access to authentic food and drink items
  • demonstration of skills within normal operating conditions of a commercial food and beverage operation, including industry-current equipment as follows:
  • tables and chairs
  • condiments
  • counter or waiter's station
  • tea and coffee-making facilities
  • selected linen
  • assorted cutlery
  • menus and drink lists
  • crockery, including cups, plates and jugs
  • serviettes
  • glassware
  • docket books or computerised ordering system
  • sugar bowls or dispensers
  • POS system
  • industry-realistic ratios of staff to customers
  • time pressures typical of a commercial operation.

Methods of assessment 

A range of assessment methods should be used to assess practical skills and knowledge. The following examples are appropriate for this unit:

  • direct observation of the candidate preparing for service, providing service to customers and closing down after service
  • direct observation of the candidate undertaking specific tasks, such as taking and processing orders, serving food and drink items or clearing tables
  • written or oral questions to test knowledge of sequence of service, typical problems, menu items and drink selections
  • review of portfolios of evidence and third-party workplace reports of on-the-job performance by the candidate.

Holistic assessment with other units relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role is recommended, for example:

  • SITHFAB010C Prepare and serve non-alcoholic beverages
  • SITHFAB011A Develop and update food and beverage knowledge
  • SITXFIN001A Process financial transactions.

Assessing employability skills 

Employability skills are integral to effective performance in the workplace and are broadly consistent across industry sectors. How these skills are applied varies between occupations and qualifications due to the different work functions and contexts.

Employability skills embedded in this unit should be assessed holistically with other relevant units that make up the skill set or qualification and in the context of the job role.

Range Statement


The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording in the performance criteria is detailed below.

Styles of service  may include:

  • counter
  • bistro
  • table
  • à la carte.

Environment  may include:

  • lighting
  • room temperature
  • music
  • decorations and displays
  • privacy
  • background noise.

Equipment  may include:

  • glassware
  • crockery
  • overlays and napkins
  • placemats
  • floral arrangements
  • cutlery
  • condiments
  • tea and coffee-making facilities
  • menus and wine lists
  • display materials
  • computerised ordering systems
  • point-of-sale (POS) equipment.

Legislative requirements  may be related to:

  • liquor, including responsible service of alcohol
  • OHS
  • hygiene
  • consumer protection and trade practices
  • duty of care.

Information  provided to customers may include:

  • menu choices, options and availability
  • information about food and beverages
  • specials
  • information about the location or area
  • location of customer facilities.

Processing accounts  will vary according to enterprise procedures and may include:

  • depositing money in cash register, processing and giving change
  • processing credit cards or electronic funds transfer at point of sale (EFTPOS)
  • handing account to another person to process.

Set up for next service  may include:

  • polishing glassware
  • placing equipment in allocated storage areas
  • resetting tables
  • cleaning equipment, such as coffee machines and bains marie
  • general cleaning of surfaces
  • restocking.

Unit Sector(s)



Competency field

Competency field 

Food and Beverage