True—the server’s job is demanding.
But you can do all these with your eyes shut.
Write a job-winning server resume. The one that shows your achievements and impeccable customer service skills.
We’re here to help.
One of our users, Nikos, had this to say:
[I used] a nice template I found on Zety. My resume is now
one page long, not three. With the same stuff.
Targeting other jobs in the food industry? Look at our dedicated guides:
Also, make sure to see a server cover letter sample here:
Server Cover Letter
1 Choose the Best Format for Your Server Resume
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for server jobs in the US will
grow by 7% between 2016 and 2026.
From bars and eateries to fine dining restaurants, servers are needed everywhere.
What does it mean to you as a candidate?
Many job opportunities. Buts also—a lot of competition.
To win this contest, you need a well-composed restaurant server resume. A list of
server duties scribbled on a cocktail napkin won’t do the job.
How to satisfy the recruiters’ taste?
Begin with the professional resume format.
reverse-chronological resume is your best choice. It leads the hiring manager through your restaurant job history step by step, and it promotes your recent achievements.
Other benefits of the rev-chron resume? Most hiring managers are familiar with its layout. It’s easy to read and scan.
A chronological resume will also help you pass the ATS test (many restaurant chains today use the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to pre-select candidates).
How about a server resume template?
It needs to be elegant and easy to navigate, like the menu in a fancy restaurant. So divide your document into clear
resume sections, pick the best resume fonts, and leave enough white space.
save your resume as a PDF, unless the employer asks for an MS Word file specifically. Pro Tip: Writing a server resume with no serving experience? Still, go for a chronological resume format. However, put more focus on the skills that you can transfer from your other jobs.
Not sure about your resume format choice? See our guide:
Resume Format: Samples and Templates for all Types of Resumes (10+)
2 Write a Fine Server Resume Objective or Summary
As a restaurant server, you know the importance of the first impression.
Charisma plus a smile—
And your guests feel you care for them from the very first minute.
Your server resume needs to work the same way because it makes for the recruiter’s first impression about you.
How to grab the hiring manager’s attention right away?
professional profile, a short introductory paragraph that sums up your best career moments you put at the top of your catering server resume.
It can be either a resume summary or resume objective.
Here’s the difference between the two:
A resume summary works best for experienced candidates. It concentrates on your key achievements and best serving gigs.
A resume objective is a good choice for entry-level positions. It highlights the skills and describes your motivation to work at this particular place.
Take a look at the examples below:
Server Resume Summary
Right Customer-focused server with 5+ years of experience serving guests at New York’s Senses and Tastes. Catered to up to 50 guests per night and ensured all meals are served on time. Handled the restaurant’s payment transactions with 99% accuracy.
That’s a first-class server resume summary.
It’s short and to the point. It shows facts and numbers. It paints an overall picture of the candidate’s experience.
Wrong Friendly server with plenty of restaurant experience. Always kind to diners, knows how to advise customers and solve problematic issues. Dealt both with orders and payments.
“Friendly” server with “plenty of experience”?
Unfortunately, this could be anyone.
Avoid resume cliches. Instead, name achievements and
Now for those less experienced in the food and beverage serving industry—a sample objective.
Server Resume Objective
Right Well-organized college student with 2+ years experience as a weekend barista. Accustomed to a fast-paced environment and accurate with bills (98% correct cash transactions). Earned the “Barista of the Month” award in 2017. Eager to support your wait staff team at The Tasty. Wrong Hard-working server-to-be. Interested in your opening for a serving position at The Tasty. Previous experience includes bartending.
Wrong Hard-working server-to-be. Interested in your opening for a serving position at The Tasty. Previous experience includes bartending.
The first objective?
Although the candidate doesn’t have any serving experience, they show transferable skills from other positions.
The second one?
Without any facts and numbers, it’s not going to convince any recruiter.
Pro Tip: Write your server resume summary or objective once you finish writing all the other sections. It will be much easier to collect the best material this way.
Still not sure how to start your resume to grab the recruiter’s attention? Check out our guide:
How to Start a Resume: A Complete Guide With Tips & 15+ Examples
3 Create the Perfect Restaurant Server Job Description for a Resume Whether you’ve served at an upscale restaurant or in the local bar—
How you describe your work experience on a resume matters.
Your description of server responsibilities must treat the restaurant managers.
How to make this happen?
Find out exactly what they’re looking for and tailor your restaurant server job description to the job ad.
Pick the most relevant achievements and describe them using resume
action verbs, such as managed, ensured, coordinated, catered to, etc.
Always quantify your accomplishments. This way, you will help the hiring manager assess your work capacities.
Take a look at these sample server resume job descriptions:
Food Server Job Description for a Resume
Right Head Server
January 2016–December 2018
Moi Italian Restaurant, New York, NY
Ensured quality service of up to 50 guests per night with no order mistakes. Provided weekly menu items training to waitresses, waiters, and bartenders. Mediated problematic situations and managed to solve all issues of this kind. Coordinated the kitchen-service flow of orders and constantly monitored clients satisfaction.
Designed a task management system that helped to speed up workflow by 20%. Reduced diners’ wait time by 15% thanks to a new table placement proposal.
Wrong Head Server
January 2016–December 2018
Moi Italian Restaurant, New York, NY
Provided daily quality service to guests. Coordinated the kitchen-service flow of orders. Monitored clients satisfaction.
What’s the difference between these two?
The “wrong” example is a boring list of duties. The “right” one shows both duties and achievements and backs them up with numbers.
Entry-Level Banquet Server Resume—Job Description
And what if you haven’t worked as a catering server before?
List all related jobs on your resume. Here’s how:
July 2015–April 2016
North Cafe, New York, NY
Advised customers on coffee choices on the basis of their personal tastes. Assessed personal satisfaction by performing weekly surveys (maintained 98% customer satisfaction score). Provided tutoring sessions for fresher baristas. Managed coffee orders and order payments.
Supported the cafe manager with financial operations and helped to reduce monthly costs by $1500 thanks to well-estimated coffee grains demand.
This former barista makes for a great future restaurant server.
Pro Tip: Make sure your experience bullets refer to both your hard skills and soft skills.
Trying to tailor your resume job description to the job ad? Read our dedicated guide:
6 Tips on How to Tailor Your Resume to a Job Description (Examples)
4 Make Your Banquet Server Resume Education Section Shine
To become a server, you don’t need any formal education. Most of the restaurants provide on-the-job training.
However, any academic track record may boost your chances of winning that dream job.
Other requirements for a server job?
Some restaurants ask for a
food handler card or a special permit to work as a server. But these are usually sponsored by the employer.
Regardless of the education that you have—the education section on a resume does matter.
Here’s how to do it right.
A degree on your server resume:
2008 Diploma in Restaurant Hospitality
Institute of Culinary Schooling, New York, NY
Your university degree is still in progress? Don’t worry:
Diploma in Restaurant Hospitality
Institute of Culinary Schooling, New York, NY
Expected Graduation in 2019
And finally, a high school diploma:
Victoria and Albert High School, New York, NY
Candidates with more than five years of professional experience should stick to listing their degree, school name and location, and graduation year. Less experienced candidates may also add their GPA (if upwards of 3.5), extracurricular activities, academic accomplishments, and relevant coursework. Don’t add a high school entry if you finished college.
Need more details regarding a resume education section? You’ll find them here:
How to Put Your Education on a Resume [Tips & Examples]
5 Highlight Your Server Skills
All right. You have your professional profile and server job description ready.
Recruiters are hungry for more!
Satisfy their appetites with a server skills list that proves you know how to serve plates and how to talk to guests.
Your server resume skills section needs to combine soft skills and technical abilities.
Use the list below to pick out skills for your resume:
Server Resume Skills—Examples
POS (Point of Sale) systems Dining room setup Cash and credit transactions Drink dispenser use Food safety procedures Restaurant Intercom Politeness Energy Detail-oriented Service-oriented Reading comprehension Communication Stress tolerance Active listening Active learning Negotiation Coordinated Social perceptiveness Monitoring self-performance Decision making Persuasion Time management Teamwork skills Critical thinking Decision making Leadership Problem-solving Time management
But don’t clutter your resume skill list with
every single skill you can think of. Go back to the job ad to see what skills are mentioned there.
Food and Beverage Server Job Ad
We’re looking for someone to serve food and drinks to guests with our
new delivery system.
Responsibilities include: greeting guests, answering their questions, advising on food and drinks options,
interacting with patrons, and ensuring a friendly atmosphere. Other duties: taking orders to the service bar and kitchen via the register system, responding to guest requests immediately, taking payments, making correct change, clearing and resetting dining tables.
Your custom-selected skills:
Excellent customer service Communication Collaboration and teamwork Restaurant register systems Time management Perceptiveness Fast counting Table setup
That’s how you do it!
Pro Tip: Working in a fast-paced environment requires perfect time management and flexibility. If you consider a server’s job, but you feel it may be too fast for you, don’t worry. There are ways to improve your time management.
Looking for more skills examples? Check out this guide:
99 Key Skills for a Resume (Best List of Examples for All Types of Jobs)
When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check?
Check. Start building . professional resume template here for free
When you’re done,
will score your resume and tell you Zety’s resume builder exactly how to make it better.
6 Add Other Sections to Your Server Resume
Extra sections on a restaurant server resume work just like a dessert course. They trick the recruiter’s brain into wanting more.
You can surely add:
But remember, pick the skills relevant to a server job.
Maybe you maintained the highest client satisfaction rate or were named “The Friendliest Host of 2019”? Show it on your resume.
Here are some tips for other sections:
Hobbies and interests:
Passionate culinary blogger: [blog address] Trained mixologist
Food Safety & Food Handler Certification (2020 expiration) Certified Food Manager (2019) Certified Food Executive (2018) Pro Tip: If you’re looking for opportunities to get certified in the food serving industry, visit The National Restaurant Association website.
Want to list your server certifications on a resume, but you’re not sure how? More info here:
How to List Certifications on a Resume: Guide (+20 Examples)
7 Attach a Server Resume Cover Letter Do you need a cover letter for a server position?
You do. About 50% of recruiters expect your application to include a cover letter. That’s a lot.
So writing a good server cover letter can really boost your chances of getting this restaurant job.
How to create a gourmet server
cover letter in no time? Pro Tip: Follow up on your job application. This will show the recruiter you really care.
Wondering what the best cover letter length is? Find out in our guide:
How Long Should a Cover Letter Be? [Ideal Word Length & Page Count]
Plus, a great cover letter that matches your resume will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our
Here's what it may look like: cover letter builder here.
cover letter templates and start writing. Key Takeaway
Here’s how to write your server resume:
Use the best format for your restaurant server resume. A reverse-chronological resume layout will help you promote your accomplishments. Quantify your achievements and paint a compelling picture of your server work history in the experience section of your resume. Tailor your server skills list to the job ad. You’ll find the skills they’re after in...the job offer itself. Add a cherry on top by putting extra sections on your resume. And, complement your resume with a mouth-watering cover letter for a server job.
And that’s how you write a winning server resume!
Are you writing a server resume for the first time? Or perhaps you’re a seasoned pro eager to help someone get the Michelin star? We’d love to hear from you, leave your comment below!