Unit of competency details

SITHFAB013A - Provide specialist advice on food (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to SITHFAB309 - Provide advice on foodTitle simplified. Re-worked Elements, Performance Criteria, Required Skills and Knowledge to more fully articulate content. Prerequisite removed. 17/Jan/2013
Supersedes THHADFB01B - Provide specialist advice on food 31/Dec/2010

Release Status:
ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 01/Jan/2011

Training packages that include this unit


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 14/Dec/2009 
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Modification History

Not applicable.

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to develop and maintain in-depth knowledge of food and apply that knowledge to food service operations. This unit builds on skills and knowledge covered in SITHFAB004A Provide food and beverage service, and SITHFAB011A Develop and update food and beverage knowledge.

The unit covers the development of knowledge and provision of advice on foods and menu items to customers. Demonstration of knowledge must cover a wide range of food and food items, however the depth, breadth and focus will vary according to enterprise requirements.

Styles of menus to be developed or contributed to may be classical, contemporary or ethnic and may be formal or informal according to enterprise requirements. Special cultural groups may include any ethnic, cultural or religious group with special dietary requirements or sanctions.

No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of endorsement.

Application of the Unit

Application of the unit 

This unit applies to all operations where specialist food knowledge is required. It generally applies to supervisors and managers or senior food service personnel in fine-dining restaurants. It may also be appropriate for some kitchen staff.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not applicable.


Prerequisite units 

This unit must be assessed after the following prerequisite unit:

SITHFAB011A Develop and update food and beverage knowledge.

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




Advise on menu items.


Offer assistance with making food  selections to customers courteously and with appropriate timing.


Offer options and possible variations to customers where appropriate.


Discuss, where appropriate, methods of cooking and different culinary styles with customers in clear and simple language.


Respond to customers with special dietary or cultural needs, and provide accurate information  and advice.


Contribute to menu development.


Plan the content of menus  in consultation with appropriate kitchen staff.


Balance menu suggestions in terms of cost and variety to reflect the type of enterprise and regional location.


Plan menus to take into account various dietary needs  and cultural requirements  of customers.


Take into consideration customer feedback and preferences in the menu development process.


Where appropriate, undertake consultation with those responsible for the development of wine lists.


Where appropriate, develop menus to ensure required profit margin is obtained for the enterprise.


Develop menus to ensure that format and design are clear, accurate and appropriate to enterprise needs.


Take into consideration particular target groups  when developing menus.


Update specialist food knowledge.


Conduct formal and informal research  to access current, accurate and relevant information about food.


Identify trends in customer needs based on direct contact and workplace experience.


Identify general trends in the food market and apply information to the workplace.

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:

  • customer service and communication skills to liaise with other team members, clarify requirements, provide information and listen to and interpret information and non-verbal communication
  • literacy skills to research information using various sources and to review material to assess how it may be used for menu development.

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

  • commodity knowledge for a wide variety of food and menu items, including:
  • methods of preparation, cooking and production
  • ingredients
  • origins and cultural background and issues
  • suitability for different customers
  • major suppliers
  • typical or suitable accompaniments and garnishes
  • presentation styles
  • service styles
  • compatibility with wines and other beverages
  • Dietary Guidelines for Australian Adults, Dietary Guidelines for Children and Adolescents in Australia and commodity knowledge of ingredients suitable for basic nutritional and special dietary needs
  • dietary sensitivities, including food allergies and intolerance, diabetes and other medical conditions and medication regimes
  • the health and legal consequences of failing to address special requirements.

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:

  • detailed knowledge of wide variety of food and menu items to a depth and level of familiarity sufficient to:
  • develop a coherent and interesting interpretation for customers
  • contribute to a menu development process
  • answer typical questions asked by customers
  • project or work activity that allows the candidate to demonstrate and apply food knowledge to meet a particular workplace need
  • ability to source and update relevant information to meet differing customer needs and to incorporate this information into the workplace context.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure:

  • interaction with and involvement of customers with varying requirements or requests
  • access to a range of sources for researching information.

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 using knowledge to provide advice to customers or colleagues on food
  • review of a research portfolio to assess the candidate's ability to research current and accurate information
  • review of menus written by the candidate for particular contexts and purposes
  • oral and written questions to assess required knowledge relating to providing specialist advice on food
  • review of portfolio of evidence and third-party workplace reports on 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:

  • SITHFAB005A Provide table service of alcoholic beverages
  • SITHFAB009A Provide responsible service of alcohol
  • SITHFAB017A Provide gueridon service
  • SITHFAB018A Provide silver service.

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.

Types of food  for which knowledge is required must include:

  • appetisers
  • soups
  • meat, fish and seafood
  • fruit and vegetables
  • sweets and desserts
  • cheeses
  • salads
  • sauces and accompaniments
  • dishes of varying ethnic and cultural origins.

Information  about food may include:

  • local produce and specialities
  • menu items and specialities pertaining to the enterprise
  • local food outlets
  • festivals and promotions
  • industry and market trends in food.

Types of menus  include:

  • à la carte
  • set menu (table d'hôte)
  • function or buffet.

Dietary needs  may include:

  • food exclusions for allergies and food intolerance
  • vegetarian
  • modified sodium
  • low-fat or low-cholesterol
  • gluten-free
  • diabetic.

Cultural requirements  include:

  • kosher
  • halal
  • vegetarian
  • Hindu.

Target groups  may include:

  • particular cultural or ethnic groups
  • aged
  • infants, children and adolescents
  • people with special needs
  • athletes.

Formal and informal research  may include:

  • talking to chefs and cooks
  • talking to product suppliers
  • reading general and trade media
  • attending trade shows
  • attending food tastings
  • reading food reference books
  • internet.

Unit Sector(s)



Competency field

Competency field 

Food and Beverage