New Zealand Certificate in Food and Beverage Service (Level 3)

Gain the essential skills needed for working in the bar and café sector of the hospitality industry. Our on-site cafe and restaurant training facilities will enable you to gain important hands-on experience which you can then put into practice during an industry work experience placement.

About the programme

Energy and enthusiasm are essential qualities when you work in the hospitality industry. 

This hands-on programme is your first step towards a career in the largest industry in the world, with endless job opportunities across New Zealand and the globe. 

By learning in a practical way in our on-site training cafes and restaurant, you'll gain valuable work-ready skills for front-line service in the café and bar sector. 

You'll also do a work experience placement which will allow you to further build your practical skills and contacts.

When you finish the programme successfully, you'll be able to join the hospitality industry at entry level as a qualified food and beverage attendant.


You will spend 70% of your time in an applied, directed learning situation and 30% with self-directed study.

You will learn how to describe and apply basic service operations in the food and beverage sector to meet industry requirements and understand the hospitality work environment. This covers professional café and bar service, including counter and table service, food preparation, cocktails, and bar service with barista knowledge, and you'll train in real and simulated work experience situations.

Our on-site training facilities include Manaaki—our training restaurant, Eden Café, and AKO—our student-operated café. You'll also do an industry work experience placement.

Health and safety

There are a number of Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) issues associated with practical work in areas specific to a commercial kitchen and café environment. These include, but are not limited to, burns from hot liquids or hot objects and cuts from sharp instruments. 

Further study options

Progress into our New Zealand Certificate in Cookery (Level 3) to advance your skills and increase your employment opportunities.

We are part of Te Pūkenga

When you apply to study with Otago Polytechnic, you will be enrolled with Te Pūkenga, the new national network of vocational and applied education in Aotearoa New Zealand. You will learn in the same way, in the same place, and with the same people, and you will graduate with a Te Pūkenga qualification.


While every effort is made to ensure that this sheet is accurate, Otago Polytechnic reserves the right to amend, alter or withdraw any of the contained information. The fees shown in this document are indicative only. Both domestic and international fees are subject to change and are dependent on the development and implementation of Government policies. Please note that additional fees may from time to time be required for external examination, NZQA fees and/or additional material fees.