What does a food service aide do?
Food service aides support the dining experience of long-term care (LTC) residents and make sure their nutritional needs are met. Food service aides contribute to the health and quality of life of residents. A day in the life of a food service aide may include:
- preparing food and beverages in a way that lines up with residents’ abilities and preferences,
- ensuring food safety and cleanliness,
- setting and clearing tables
- serving meals
- supporting catering services
This page is part of our Careers in Long-Term Care Initiative.
Various clips used in this video were filmed before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Infection control practices (such as wearing a mask) may be shown.
What skills will I use?
- Interpersonal communication
- Time management
- Teamwork and collaboration
How do I become a food service aide?
Most LTC homes require a food handler certificate from job applicants or new hires. Some organizations require a diploma in a related field such as a Food Service Worker. Food service aides or food and nutrition management diplomas are examples of programs you can take to get started with a career in food services.
Visit Ontario Colleges.ca to see a list of food service education programs in Ontario.
Food service aides and dietary aides are great starting points for those looking to grow in long-term care. Depending on level of education, some people can also start in long-term care as chefs or dieticians and later move into leadership roles like directors of food service, or director of hospitality.
Food Service Aide (Dietary Aide)
Food service aides are a part of the dietary department and assist cooks in the preparation of meals and snacks in LTC. They help serve meals and beverages while following residents’ nutrition care profile.
A chef/cook prepares, cooks and delivers food, and pays special attention to dietary requirements, needs and requests of each resident. Cooks often review menu and production documents and know about special and therapeutic diets, including texture modification.
Director of Food Services
A director of food services leads food preparation and service in LTC. Directors manage food purchasing, ensure all resident diet and nutritional requirements are met. They are often in charge of staffing and payroll for those that work as part of the kitchen team.