Deli Clerk

Satisfy customers by selecting and packaging the deli food they want.

What does a Deli Clerk do?

This is primarily a customer service job, so among the most important qualifications are a willingness and an ability to satisfy customers. As a Deli Clerk, you normally spend the largest part of your time selecting, preparing, and packaging products that customers request of you. In many situations, the Deli Clerk also does a good deal of standardized cooking, sandwich making, party tray building, and other forms of food preparation.

When customer demand slackens, Deli Clerks keep busy displaying, maintaining, and refilling dishes of fresh food in appealing arrangements. Depending upon your employer’s location and type of business, you may be asked to take customers’ special food orders in person or electronically (phone, fax, email, etc.), and then promptly and accurately fill these orders.

To accomplish all this, you must learn to safely and efficiently operate a variety of professional-grade and retailing equipment, such as cash registers and charge card machines, meat slicers, cheese slicers, ovens and broilers, deep fat fryers, microwave cookers, knives and other cutting tools, analog and digital scales, label printers, and the like.

Since you handle food, you’re expected to value sanitation and to regularly, willingly clean the deli work area, tools, and equipment. To be successful, you’ll want to take a neat and clean approach to your work, and strictly follow health and safety guidelines, such as carefully handling raw foods so as to prevent contamination.

You’ll also have to adhere to highly specific, very idiosyncratic demands from your customers, and do so with an eager, willing, and pleasant attitude while under constant pressure to work quickly with minimal waste and errors. If you’re resistant to frustration and can tolerate irritating behavior from others, you may very well enjoy being able to eat your most creative endeavors.