Unit of competency details

SITHFAB309 - Provide advice on food (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Supersedes and is equivalent to SITHFAB013A - Provide specialist advice on foodTitle simplified. Re-worked Elements, Performance Criteria, Required Skills and Knowledge to more fully articulate content. Prerequisite removed. 17/Jan/2013
Is superseded by and equivalent to SITHFAB016 - Provide advice on food• Equivalent • Unit updated to meet the Standards for Training Packages. 02/Mar/2016

Release Status:
ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 18/Jan/2013

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 columnRelease
SIT50312 - Diploma of HospitalityDiploma of Hospitality1-3 
SIT40412 - Certificate IV in Commercial CookeryCertificate IV in Commercial Cookery1-2 
SIT40613 - Certificate IV in Catering OperationsCertificate IV in Catering Operations
SIT60313 - Advanced Diploma of HospitalityAdvanced Diploma of Hospitality
SIT50212 - Diploma of EventsDiploma of Events1-2 
SIT40413 - Certificate IV in Commercial CookeryCertificate IV in Commercial Cookery
SIT40312 - Certificate IV in HospitalityCertificate IV in Hospitality1-3 
SIT30713 - Certificate III in HospitalityCertificate III in Hospitality
SIT30612 - Certificate III in EventsCertificate III in Events1-2 
SIT40313 - Certificate IV in HospitalityCertificate IV in Hospitality
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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 07/Aug/2013 
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Modification History

The version details of this endorsed unit of competency set are in the table below. The latest information is at the top.





Replaces and is equivalent to SITHFAB013A Provide specialist advice on food.

Title simplified. Re-worked Elements, Performance Criteria, Required Skills and Knowledge to more fully articulate content. Prerequisite removed.

Unit Descriptor

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to provide accurate information and advice on different menu options. It requires the ability to evaluate organisational menu items, provide advice to customers on their menu selection, contribute to menu design and to continuously extend personal product knowledge of food and cuisines.

Application of the Unit

This unit applies to hospitality organisations which serve food and beverage including hotels, restaurants, cafes, wineries, fine food outlets and clubs.

It applies to food and beverage attendants who operate with some level of independence and under limited supervision to provide advice to others about menu selection.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

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


Not applicable.

Employability Skills Information

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements and Performance Criteria

Elements describe the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

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

1. Research information on food.

1.1 Identify sources of information  on food.

1.2 Develop current knowledge  of food to provide informed customer advice.

1.3 Evaluate the characteristics of organisational menu items using sensory evaluation techniques .

2. Advise customers on menu items.

2.1 Provide accurate information on different menu options.

2.2 Discuss methods of cooking and different culinary styles in clear and simple language.

2.3 Respond courteously and correctly to customer questions on menu items.

2.4 Provide information  and advice on menu items in response to special dietary requirements .

2.5 Offer variations to menu items in response to customer preferences and dietary requirements.

2.6 Assist customers with menu selections according to taste, price preferences and other specific needs.

3. Contribute to menu development.

3.1 Discuss and contribute to the content of menus  with appropriate managers.

3.2 Suggest a variety of menu items at different cost points to reflect the type of food outlet.

3.3 Provide information on customer feedback and preferences.

3.4 Nominate the preferences of particular target groups .

3.5 Identify best selling menu items to contribute to organisational profitability.

4. Extend and update food knowledge.

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

4.2 Identify customer taste trends based on customer contact and workplace experience.

4.3 Source information on current and emerging food service trends  and customer preferences.

4.4 Provide informed input about food trends and menu items to support organisational activities .

Required Skills and Knowledge

This section describes the skills and knowledge required for this unit.

Required skills 

  • communication skills to discuss menu items with customers and articulate advice about food selections
  • critical thinking skills to evaluate wide ranging information about food and cuisines
  • learning skills to continuously update knowledge of foods and food service trends
  • literacy skills to:
  • read and interpret detailed product information, promotional material, menus, recipes and reviews about cuisines
  • research information on current and emerging food service trends and customer preferences
  • write notes, summarise and record information in basic documents such as information sheets, portfolios and files
  • problem-solving skills to recognise customer preferences and adjust advice to take account of these
  • self-management skills to take responsibility for sourcing and updating current and emerging product information
  • teamwork skills to share current knowledge and new information with colleagues.

Required knowledge 

  • major food types and their characteristics:
  • appetisers
  • cheeses
  • dishes from several major cuisines:
  • international
  • modern Australian
  • fruits and vegetables
  • meat, fish and seafood
  • salads
  • sauces and accompaniments
  • soups
  • special diets for health or cultural reasons
  • sweets and desserts
  • characteristics of these major food types including:
  • ingredients
  • major suppliers
  • methods of preparation, cooking and production
  • origins and cultural background and issues
  • presentation styles
  • service styles
  • suitability for different customers
  • typical or suitable accompaniments and garnishes
  • current information on:
  • food and beverage festivals
  • market trends
  • organisation:
  • menus and specials
  • promotional activities
  • trends
  • promotional activities
  • seasonal produce
  • typical foods and wines of the local area
  • meaning of:
  • drug–food interactions
  • food allergy
  • food intolerance
  • genetically modified foods
  • key health and legal consequences of failing to address special dietary requirements.

Evidence Guide

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

Overview of assessment 

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit 

Evidence of the ability to:

  • identify the characteristics and evaluate a range of food types and organisational menu items using sensory evaluation techniques
  • provide advice to customers on menu selection
  • maintain and continuously extend personal food and menu product knowledge to enhance organisational activities
  • integrate knowledge of:
  • major food types and their characteristics
  • current food service market trends
  • current organisation:
  • menus and specials
  • promotional activities
  • trends
  • promotional activities.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure use of:

  • an operational food and beverage outlet with the fixtures, large and small equipment and workplace documentation defined in the Assessment Guidelines; this may be a:
  • real industry workplace
  • simulated industry environment such as a training restaurant servicing customers
  • industry-realistic ratios of service staff to customers
  • other people with whom the individual can interact to discuss food and beverage characteristics and to answer varied questions about menu options
  • current food and cuisine product information within descriptive menus, recipes, brochures, media reviews, information databases and computerised information sources.

Method 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 individual providing advice to customers or colleagues about food and menu items
  • observation of a presentation on selected food types and their characteristics
  • project activities that allow assessment of the individual’s ability to research information about food and menu items and write descriptive menus which meet the customer preferences of a given hospitality organisation
  • written or oral questioning to assess knowledge of:
  • major food types and their characteristics
  • current food service market trends
  • current organisational menu content
  • review of portfolio of evidence and third-party workplace reports of on-the-job performance by the individual.

Guidance information for assessment 

The assessor should design integrated assessment activities to holistically assess this unit with other units relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role, for example:

  • SITHFAB307 Provide table service of food and beverage
  • SITHFAB308 Provide silver service
  • SITHFAB310 Provide advice on food and beverage matching
  • SITXCCS303 Provide service to customers.

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, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. Essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) may also be included.

Sources of information  may include:

  • chefs, cooks and other food service personnel
  • food and beverage reference books
  • food and cooking demonstrations
  • general and trade media, including print and electronic
  • the Internet
  • product suppliers
  • recipes and menus
  • trade shows and exhibitions.

Current knowledge  includes:

  • current food and beverage festivals
  • current market trends
  • organisation:
  • menus and specials
  • promotional activities
  • trends
  • promotional activities
  • seasonal produce
  • typical foods and wines of the local area.

Sensory evaluation techniques  may include:

  • smell or nose appraisal
  • taste tests
  • visual inspection of presentation.

Information  may include:

  • ingredients
  • menus items that cannot be adjusted
  • methods of cooking
  • variations that can be achieved to suit the customer.

Special dietary requirements  may include:

  • cultural or religious dietary:
  • needs
  • requirements
  • sanctions
  • diabetic
  • exclusions for:
  • allergies
  • contraindications with medicines
  • food intolerance
  • gluten-free
  • lacto-ovo
  • low-cholesterol
  • low-fat
  • portion size
  • vegan
  • vegetarian.

Menus  may be:

  • à la carte
  • buffet
  • classical
  • cyclical
  • degustation
  • ethnic
  • for a:
  • function
  • event
  • festival
  • for any cuisine
  • modern
  • set
  • table d’hôte
  • seasonal.

Target groups  may include:

  • athletes
  • health care customers
  • infants, children and adolescents
  • international tourists
  • older people
  • people from different socio-economic groups
  • people from specific cultural or religious groups
  • students
  • those with particular nutritional interests
  • young people.

Research  may include:

  • attending trade shows
  • attending food tastings
  • reading general and trade media and supplier information
  • reading food reference books
  • taking up membership memberships of associations and industry bodies
  • talking to:
  • chefs
  • cooks
  • product suppliers
  • using the Internet.

Food service trends  may include:

  • contemporary eating and drinking habits
  • cultural and ethnic influences
  • major events and festivals
  • media influence
  • seasonal and popular influences.

Workplace activities  may include:

  • conducting product tastings
  • providing product advice and selling food to customers
  • selecting or assisting with selection of products from suppliers
  • writing or providing input to menus.

Unit Sector(s)


Competency Field

Food and Beverage