Your waiter resume has to make employers' mouths water. No matter how well you can schmooze, carry food, and sling booze, restaurant managers won’t know it unless you prove it. But it’s just a wafer-thin sheet of paper. How can it do all that without leaving them feeling hollow?
It’s simple. Make your resume into a menu for your past performance that serves up Zomato-worthy achievements with all the trimmings.
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.
Before we start, here are some other waiter resume examples and guides:
Sample Waiter Resume (Text Version)
Efficient waiter with 4+ years of restaurant experience in high-volume, upscale dining establishments in downtown Minneapolis. Maintained a 96% guest rating in the past 3 years. Seeking to use high-level guest service skills, excellent food order recall, and the ability to serve multiple tables at once to become a valued waiter at The Clever Caracal Restaurant.
Jenn Bay’s on the Waterfront, Minneapolis, MN
August 2016–March 2020
Key Qualifications & Responsibilities Greeted, seated, and served customers in a section of 8 tables in a high-volume, 5-star restaurant in downtown Minneapolis. Regular Friday & Saturday night waiter. Served 8 tables per night with 40+ guests at a time. Section turned over an average of 5 times for 200 total guests per night. Stocked napkins, tea bags, silverware, and other supplies. Scored 95% or better for side work performance in quarterly reviews. Learned list of 15+ specials nightly. Described specials to guests and answered questions as needed to ensure satisfaction with selections. Followed guidelines for allergy and diet concerns and obeyed food handling safety regulations and procedures. Recommended wines, beers, and specialty cocktails to generate a 22% higher beverage order tab-per-guest than the restaurant average. Key Achievements Maintained 96% or higher guest service rating for 3 years straight. Dishwasher & Busser
Stew’s Eatery, Minneapolis, MN
April 2015–July 2016
Key Qualifications & Responsibilities Greeted and seated customers in a 130-guest restaurant. Took food orders and drink orders from customers as needed. Swept & mopped back-of-house and front-of-house. Bussed and reset tables quickly with correct place settings. Shared and explained specials to guests during peak times. Key Achievements Employee of the month in June 2015 and February 2016. Education BA in Business Administration University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 2022 Anticipated Completion: Excelled in public speaking coursework. Organizer, intramural football league. High School Diploma Hawk Creek High School, Minneapolis, MN
Skills Cheerfulness & Interpersonal Skills Verbal & Written Communication Skills Teamwork & Collaboration Skills Endurance & Efficiency Register Operation & Restocking Additional Activities Fluent in Spanish. ServSafe Food Handler Certification. Here’s how to write a waiter resume step-by-step: 1. Start With the Right Format for a Waiter Resume
If a table wobbles, most restaurant guests won’t sit at it. Your waiter resume can’t wobble, either. If your
resume margins, spelling, font, and line spacing lack atmosphere, you may as well close up shop before you start. If you want the best waiter jobs, pay attention to your resume format. Here’s how to format a waiter resume template: Resume format: reverse-chronological resume format. Section headings: clear titles make it easy for restaurant managers to find what they need. Resume margins: 1-inch on every side of your resume for waiter jobs. Resume fonts: write with professional resume fonts such as Calibri or Arial. Font size: 11–12 pt for main text, 2–4 points larger for headings. Line spacing: single to 1.15. Appearance: include plenty of white space for readability. File type: PDF resumes are best unless the restaurant mentions Word files specifically. Don’t put a in the U.S. Resume photos can open employers up to anti-discrimination lawsuits. Photo resumes get tossed! picture on a resume Include these parts of a resume : Resume header : your name with the relevant contact information. Resume profile : a sampler of the choicest selections from your waiter resume. Work experience: your best picks from past job responsibilities and accomplishments, from waiting tables and other jobs. Education: your schooling in brief, with highlights. Skills: a list of your best job-matching abilities. Extra sections: volunteer work, awards, certifications, etc. to fill it in.
Can there be only one format? See our guide:
Best Resume Structure
Don’t get bogged down writing the top part of your waiter resume. Start with the main course—work experience. Then come back and create appetizers and garnish.
2. Start Your Restaurant Waiter Resume With Work Experience
Waiter jobs will
increase by 6% from 2018 to 2028 according to the U.S. BLS. That’s good news, but only a few will be in establishments like San Francisco’s Pearl 6101. To beat the mob applying to the few great restaurant jobs, your resume needs to fit the restaurant manager’s tastes.
What are the right ingredients?
Here’s the strategy to make a work history section for a waiter resume that gets jobs: List your newest job title first. Write the restaurant’s name, its location, and your start and finish dates. Add a 2-line waiter job description that describes your duties. Create up to 6 bullet points describing your best restaurant achievements. Customize your resume to fit it to the waiter job requirements and posting. Use numbers to show the restaurant manager that yes, you’re as good as you say. To make your waiter job description for resumes hit home, use the PAR (Problem-Action-Result) formula. Start each line with resume action words for added power.
Here are two waiter resume samples that show the plan in motion:
Waiter Job Description for a Resume
Right Experience Waiter
Jenn Bay’s on the Waterfront, Minneapolis, MN
August 2016–March 2020
Key Qualifications & Responsibilities Greeted, seated, and served customers in a section of 8 tables in a high-volume, 5-star restaurant in downtown Minneapolis. Regular Friday & Saturday night waiter. Served 8 tables per night with 40+ guests at a time. Section turned over an average of 5 times for 200 total guests per night. Stocked napkins, tea bags, silverware, and other supplies. Scored 95% or better for side work performance in quarterly reviews. Learned list of 15+ specials nightly. Described specials to guests and answered questions as needed to ensure satisfaction with selections. Followed guidelines for allergy and diet concerns and obeyed food handling safety regulations and procedures. Recommended wines, beers, and specialty cocktails to generate a 22% higher beverage order tab-per-guest than the restaurant average. Key Achievements Maintained 96% or higher guest service rating for 3 years straight.
Jenn Bay’s on the Waterfront
Took food orders and served food to tables. Met, greeted, and sat guests in a friendly manner. Stocked napkins, tea bags, silverware, and other supplies. Helped guests to understand specials lists. Recommended wines, beers, and specialty cocktails.
You don’t need a degree from the Culinary Institute of America to know why the second waiter resume example doesn’t work. It’s bland, with no details. It shows your job duties, but not how well you executed them. That first sample though is a smorgasbord of achievements. When can you start?
How Far Back Should a Resume Go
What if you’re looking for your first waitering job? An
entry-level resume with no experience (or not much experience) can use the same recipe. The difference? You have to show you learned things in past jobs that can make you a great waiter. Those are called transferable skills.
See these entry-level waiter resume examples:
Entry-Level Waiter Resume Samples [Experience]
Right Dishwasher & Busser
Stew’s Eatery, Minneanapolis, MN
January 2019–March 2020
Key Qualifications & Responsibilities Greeted and seated customers in a 130-guest restaurant. Took food orders and drink orders from customers as needed. Swept & mopped back-of-house and front-of-house. Bussed and reset tables quickly with correct place settings. Shared and explained specials to guests during peak times. Key Achievements Employee of the month in June 2015 and February 2016.
Washed plates, glasses, silverware, and pots and pans. Operated the Hobart machine, keeping it clean and refilling soap reservoir. Mopped back of house. Bussed dirty tables.
Check that out. This candidate was a dishwasher and busser in a past life. But in the first waiter resume sample, he thought hard about the job duties that make sense for a waiter. The
bad resume example looks like someone with no table-waiting experience at all. Your resume accomplishments are everything. Pro Tip: Waiter jobs deserve a one-page resume. If your resume is longer, trim the fat until it all fits on one page. A resume should be the tastiest bits, not infinite refills.
When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check?
Check. Start building a . professional resume template here for free
When you’re done,
will score your resume and our our free resume builder will tell you resume checker exactly how to make it better. 3. Add Your Education (It’s Not So Straightforward!)
You don’t need a doctoral degree to get hired for waiting tables. But—you
have to show your education the right way. If you don’t, restaurant managers won’t get the right message from your waitering resume. If you have lots of experience, keep it simple by listing your degree, school, and completion date.
See this waiter resume example:
Waiter Resume Example [Education]
Right BA in Business Administration University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN Anticipated Completion: 2022
If you your watering experience is lacking, expand your
resume education section, like this:
BA in Business Administration University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN Anticipated Completion: 2023 Excel in public speaking coursework. Assistant organizer, intramural football league. High School Diploma Hawk Creek High School, Minneapolis, MN Completion: 2017
Voted girl’s choice of brother
If your college degree is in your rearview, leave high school off your waiter resume. Also—what if you have no (or little) waiter experience but a solid education section? Move your education higher, to above your work history. That way, your waiter resume puts the yummiest course first.
Pro Tip: Can you put an internship on a resume for waiter jobs? Absolutely. Internships show you’ve got dreams and goals. Applicants like that work harder when they’re hired. 4. List Waiter Skills That Fit the Restaurant and Role
You can memorize a 12-drink order (with special instructions) and handle a dinner rush with a smile. But—you can’t add every ability in your apron to your waiter resume. Which skills should you list on a resume for waiters to get hired? That depends on what the restaurant wants.
For an appetizer, see this list of skills for waiter resumes:
Waiter Resume Skills (Hard Skills)
Here’s how to choose the best waiter skills for a resume: Make a list of all your waiter skills. Also list the abilities in the restaurant’s job posting. Look for talents that show up in both lists. Those are the right resume keywords. Use your bullet points to prove you have those skills. Add both soft skills and hard skills for the right mix.
See this waiter resume example:
Say the waiter job ad mentions
efficiency, POS operation, and customer service.
Then prove your skills like this:
Waiter Resume Examples [Skills]
Right Took food and drink orders in a fast-paced downtown restaurant. Commended 5x by restaurant manager for efficiency and friendliness. Operated POS to communicate orders to the kitchen for 200+ orders per busy Friday night shift. Maintained good relationship with kitchen staff. Achieved 96% or better average customer service score in comment cards for 3 years straight.
Are you experienced or not? The way you list waiter skills changes depending on your work history. See these examples:
Waiter Skills Resume Example (Experienced Candidate)
Right POS Register Operation Upselling Apps & Drinks Food & Wine Pairing ServSafe Food Handler Certification Friendliness Waitering Skills Resume Example (No Experience Candidate)
Right Guest Service Skills Basic Math Calculations Cash Register Operation Friendliness & Personability Hygiene & Presentability
Notice how some waiter resume skills can come from non-waiter jobs or life in general, such as friendliness or basic math.
Pro Tip: Don’t use boring resume words like “responsible for .” Start sentences with resume action verbs like achieved, operated, and served to whet their appetites. 5. Add Bonus Sections to Your Waiter Resume
Picture this—you serve sizzling ribeye. But there’s no seasoning, side dishes, or beverage. Where’s the flavor? Additional resume sections are the salt & pepper that give it zest. They also show the restaurant manager you’re more than just a robot slogging through a job.
Here are some examples of tempting extra sections to add to a resume for waiter jobs:
Waiter Resume Samples: Extra Sections Resume Licenses & Certifications
Food safety certifications and other licenses can prove key skills to restaurant managers. They’re especially useful if you’re new. Here are some of the best in the business:
Certified Food Protection Professional: Association of Nutrition and Foodservice Professionals ( ANFP) ServSafe Food Handler Certification Food Safety Certification: San Francisco Department of Public Health Alcohol Seller-Server Certification Resume Volunteer Work
Have you volunteered as a waiter or in any other role? Listing volunteer work in a waiter resume is a great way to show you have energy to spare. Put food-related volunteering under work experience, and other free work in a special section underneath your education.
Trade Association Memberships
If you have a membership in a food service association, list it in your resume for waiter jobs. An association membership shows you aren’t just slumming in the industry. Here are a few examples:
Association of Nutrition & Foodservice Professionals (ANFP) National Restaurant Association (NRA) American Culinary Federation (ACF) Society for Hospitality and Foodservice Management (SHFM) Languages on a Resume
Do you speak a foreign language? Language skills on a waiter resume are image-boosters, especially if it matters to the restaurant. (Think: Spanish in a Mexican restaurant or Mandarin in a Chinese neighborhood.)
Hobbies on a Resume
In a thin entry-level resume for waiters, pastimes and interests can raise your street cred. You can add cycling, running, ballroom dancing, or even gardening to a resume. Even stamp collecting can show organizational skills—particularly if you’ve collected 1,000 rare stamps or created a new storage system.
See these waiter resume samples:
Waiter Resume Examples [Other Sections]
Right Additional Activities Fluent in Spanish. ServSafe Food Handler Certification.
Wrong Taking long walks on the beach.
For more ideas to add extras to your waiter resume, see this guide:
What to Include on a Resume: 20+ Top Examples 6. Blend the Best Bits Into a Waiter Resume Objective or Summary
Now that you’ve filled in the main courses of your waiter resume—what next? You’ve got to add the streetside sign and colored lights that bring in customers. In other words, add a
resume heading statement that makes managers want to read about you. You’ll write either a summary or an objective.
What will you put in it? You’ll look at the rest of your resume and make an appetizing sampler from all its tastiest concoctions. Make sure each piece you put into your introduction will matter to
this restaurant manager. Add your best achievements relevant to the position.
If this is far from your first food-service rodeo...
Here’s how to write a resume summary : Start it with an adjective like efficient or personable. Add a job title (waiter). Include your years on the job (2+, 7, etc.). Share your goal for the job (Seeking to become a valued waiter...) Add the restaurant’s name. Share your tastiest achievements.
See these waiter resume summary examples:
Waiter Resume Summary
Right Efficient waiter with 4+ years of restaurant experience in high-volume, upscale dining establishments in downtown Minneapolis. Maintained a 96% guest rating in the past 3 years. Seeking to use high-level guest service skills, excellent food order recall, and the ability to serve multiple tables at once to become a valued waiter at The Clever Caracal Restaurant.
Wrong Experienced waiter with excellent customer service skills. Extremely efficient, dependable, and reliable. Long history of keeping guests happy and showing up on time. Able to remember orders from memory and work night or day shifts. Seeking a position waiting tables at any restaurant in Minnesota.
Ouch. Example #2 is like a fly in the soup. The restaurant manager will grimace and move on. It’s good that you’re eager, but it sounds desperate. Also, it makes a lot of claims without a shred of proof. Meanwhile, example #1 is like an entrée by a 5-star chef. Get ready to be hired.
Is this your first time waiting tables?
In an entry-level waiter resume, write a career objective. Back in the days of “family dining,” you were supposed to talk about your goals. Today, you must entice the restaurant manager with achievements that prove you’ll make it as a waiter. Get them from non-waiter jobs or life in general.
career objective examples: Entry-Level Waiter Resume Objective
Right Personable dishwasher and busser with a full year of experience bussing and serving tables in a fast-paced restaurant. Greeted, seated, and occasionally took orders as needed. Explained specials to guests at peak times. Swept, mopped, and was employee of the month two times.
Wrong As I’m putting myself through college, I’d like to get a job waiting tables to cut down on my student loans. I’m a personable young man with a strong work ethic who’s not scared of doing the unloved jobs like cleaning bathrooms. I’m a fast learner and I would make an excellent waiter.
That second waiter resume sample will get sent back. It’s got the right attitude, but you’re relying on the restaurant manager to “take a chance” on you. Show you’re not a risk, like in example #1.
Need more tips for how to start your waiter resume? See this guide:
Resume Introduction Examples 7. Write a Job-Getting Waiter Cover Letter
Should you send a cover letter with a waiter resume? Absolutely. Without a letter, it can look like you’re just firing resumes at every waiter job that comes along. In other words, you don’t care about
this restaurant. Your restaurant cover letter is the right place to show the manager you care. To write your waiter cover letter: Format your cover letter before you write a single word. Start your waiter cover letter with the restaurant manager’s name. Write a scrumptious cover letter introduction. Show you know the job duties by mentioning them in your letter. Put your most appealing resume moments in your letter. Always end a cover letter with an interview request.
and How To Write A Cover Letter in 8 Simple Steps How to Make a Resume: A Step-by-Step Guide
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 a recap of how to write a waiter resume:
Format your waiter resume template in reverse-chronological order. Start with your work history. Prove your restaurant skills with your choicest accomplishments. Include numbers to show that yep, you’re as skilled as you say. Add your education and some school achievements. Find waiter skills in the job posting online. Add volunteering or certifications if you have them. Write a waiter cover letter to improve your hireability. That’s it! Now, we’d love to hear from you: What scares you about writing a waiter’s resume? Does writing a waiter cover letter make you roll your eyes? Are you worried other candidates will have more experience? Let’s chat below in the comments, and thanks for reading!