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Canteen Supervisor Job Description

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Canteen supervisors manage the operations of a canteen, which offers food and beverage vending and other retail services. They supervise canteen staff, ensure the canteen is well stocked and maintain the relevant records. Canteen supervisors are typically hired by organizations that have on-site canteens, such as colleges and universities, large businesses and government agencies.

Doing the Job

Although the specific duties of canteen supervisors can vary with the type of services offered, they are typically responsible for increasing the operational efficiency of the canteens. At a food canteen, for example, the supervisor ensures that the canteen is stocked with enough grocery items for preparing a range of foods. He liaises with suppliers to arrange for the delivery of these items and ensures they are stored appropriately. The supervisor also delegates tasks to the canteen staff, which may include cashiers, food servers and cleaners, and keeps sales and inventory records. In educational settings, canteen supervisors also ensure that students behave in an orderly manner while in the canteen.

Getting the Job

Employers of canteen supervisors hire applicants with at least a high school diploma and two to three years of food service, customer service or retail management experience. Some employers may also promote junior canteen staff, such as counter attendants with vast experience, into supervisory roles. To excel on the job, canteen supervisors require strong leadership, record-keeping, interpersonal, communication and customer-service skills. Supervisors who pursue further qualifications, such as a bachelor’s degree in business administration or hotel management, can become food service managers or secure jobs in upscale restaurants.


Based in New York City, Alison Green has been writing professionally on career topics for more than a decade. Her work has appeared in “U.S. News Weekly” magazine, “The Career” magazine and “Human Resources Journal.” Green holds a master's degree in finance from New York University.

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