Steven Archibald and Michael Sutherland attacked Brahim Hamouda at Kopas Takeaway in Tranent, East Lothian, punching and kicking him.
Mr Hamouda, 52, ran from the premises and delivery driver John Auld, 59, went to his aid.
Archibald, 37, and Sutherland, 31, turned on the older man, a forces veteran, punching him and pinning him against walls before kicking him to the head and body and striking his head off a pane of glass.
Advocate depute Richard Goddard told the High Court in Edinburgh: "It appears from accounts of witnesses that each accused struck him at least 10 times."
Mr Auld, of Ormiston, East Lothian, slumped over the bonnet of his car before falling to the ground.
Members of the public went to his aid but he died despite the efforts of police, ambulance personnel and hospital staff.
Unemployed Archibald, of Musselburgh, and Sutherland, of, Wallyford, both East Lothian, were originally charged with murder, following the assault on March 4 last year,but the Crown yesterday accepted guilty pleas to the charge of culpable homicide.
Sutherland also admitted assaulting Mr Hamouda at the takeaway by punching and kicking him on the head and body.
Mr Goddard told the court that Mr Auld had done three tours in Northern Ireland while serving in the Army before becoming a driver in civilian life.
He had worked for the takeaway as a delivery driver to supplement his income at weekends.
The judge, Lord Uist, deferred sentence on Archibald and Sutherland until next month for the preparation of background reports. He remanded them in custody.