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Job Description:

Food Runner - Merchant - Madison, WI

Rule No. One Hospitality Group opened Merchant in late 2010 as a café, a shop, and a late night craft cocktail bar specializing in no-nonsense, modestly priced, seasonal fare that reflects the ingredients and burgeoning culture of Madison, Wisconsin.  Here we celebrate our neighborhood, the First Settlement District, steeped in history, quality, authenticity, style, and entertainment.  The idea has flourished as Merchant has become a Madison institution and a stage for showcasing some of the best bartending and culinary talent in the city with a distinctive menu steeped in the classic American repertoire.  Now, in 2022, we are rebuilding and reimagining Merchant for the new decade with a state-of-the-art renovation featuring aviation-style windows, new finishes and wraparound seating. This will be an opportunity to rebuild not only with new decor and menu, but a culture that celebrates our hospitality group's mission to create spaces for treating each other and ourselves well.  You will be working with a chef team led by some of Madison's top talent, including Chef Matt Schieble who has spent time in multiple Michelin-starred kitchens and General Manager Maggie Roovers, a 2019 James Beard Award semi-finalist.


The food runner assists the expo and servers in ensuring food and beverages are quickly and efficiently delivered to guests.


Floor Operations

  • Assist FOH expo and servers in bringing guests food and beverages

  • The food runner will follow the sequence of service for the appropriate meal period 

  • Ensure guest areas are always clean, tidy, and presentable

  • Keeps guests informed about the status of service when apropriate.

  • Fully understanding the concept of “no empty hands”

  • ALWAYS ask guests if there is something you can clear before walking away from the table

  • Basic knowledge of restaurant POS software

  • Proficient knowledge of table numbers, the seating chart, reservation policy

  • Bring clean plates, napkins, condiments, straws, etc.  to guests as necessary

  • Help facilitate to-go orders accordingly with the expo person 

  • Assist expo in organizing takeout and dine-in orders

  • Maintain cleanliness of server stations, kitchen pass, and take bus tubs and glasses down to the dish pit

  • Ensure  trash bins are taken out when full

  • Perform “trash runs” during downtime and when needed

  • Restock dishware and to-go items as needed

  • Manage your Schedule: Responsibly handle on-call shifts, time-off requests, getting shifts covered, and manager communications.

  • Protect establishment and patrons by adhering to sanitation, safety and alcohol beverage control policies

  • Perform basic cleaning tasks as needed or directed by supervisor

  • Complete closing duties as per approved Restaurant checklist


Menu and Product Knowledge

  • Be knowledgeable about every menu item served: what it tastes of; ingredients listed on the menu; what this dish is supposed to look like and any appropriate finishings/garnishes necessary.


Professionalism & Demeanor

  • The ideal food runner has good personal qualities, is polite, confident, a great sense of humor and above all, enjoys dealing with people.

  • Able to thrive in a team environment as a reliable and trustworthy player on the floor.

  • The food runner, along with all staff members, is expected to be clean, neat and tidy in their personal appearance and also in their working habits; they shall also maintain the highest standards of hygiene in their workplace.

  • The food runner, along with all staff members, is expected to embody the organizational mission and caring, inclusive, and authentic values in terms of who we are and what we believe. 



The role will report to Shift Leads, the Assistant General Manager and the General Manager of Merchant.



  • Competitive wages

  • A flexible and predictable schedule that is posted two weeks in advance

  • 50% dining discount for you and your friends and family

  • A free and healthy GF Vegetarian or Regular staff meal

  • 50% off all food and beverage, 15% off retail items

  • Access to Merchant's online classroom with training materials, recipes, and checklists.  After full orientation, we offer weekly paid training opportunities to taste wine, spirits and food with industry experts

  • Our mission is centered around treating each other and ourselves well through our love of food, drink, and community.

  • All employees are offered health, dental and vision insurance

  • Paid time off

  • 401k contribution

  • The chance to work in a brand new clean facility with state of the art new equipment

  • The chance to contribute to one of the most dynamic restaurant groups in the region


Our Values:​

  • Inclusivity.  We will establish a culturally diverse and  inclusive environment, one that specifically supports minorities, all genders, and those historically underrepresented in our industry.

  • Humility. We are modest about capabilities, admit mistakes, and create the space for others to contribute.

  • Effective Collaboration. We are a team centered around positivity, that stands for one message which involves empowering others, empathizing with each other, and uplifting others as a collective.

  • Respect and Justice / Health and Well-Being. All team members need to be treated respectfully and fairly.  This pertains to equity in pay, and specific attention to physical/mental health, well-being and safety.

  • Positivity and Love of Food and Community. Cooking and serving others is a powerful act of caring and love for one another.  Let us work together to bring our community together through the power of food and drink

Pay Rate: $16-20/hr, inclusive of tip-out

Merchant is an equal opportunity employer, with a mission to support women, Black, LGBTQ+ applicants.  As an organization, we support a minimum wage of $16/hour.

RNO is a mission-driven lifestyle company dedicated to creating spaces for celebrating and treating each other and ourselves well.  We seek to provide warm, fun and an endlessly interesting mix of inspired programming that challenges, invigorates and delights our guests by celebrating our craft, who we are, what we do and what we believe. As a community-driven hospitality management organization, we are active in social causes supporting women, Black, LGBTQ+, and Indigenous communities everywhere. Cook It Forward is a non-profit advocacy arm of Rule No One Hospitality, Inc. with a mission to address ongoing inequities in our food systems. We are all working collectively on social entrepreneurship, social equity, and social justice-- one meal at a time.

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Food Runner - Merchant - Madison, WI

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