How to write a resume that will get you the job you're looking for? This step-by-step guide will show you the best resume examples, and you can write a resume in a few easy steps.
Ready to write a waiter or waitress resume?
You can wipe a spill with one hand, balance a precarious tray with the other, and simultaneously take a 4-top’s order into your memory.
You’d make a fine addition to the waitstaff team, and you know it.
The thing is, the restaurant manager doesn’t yet understand the food service talents you bring to the table.
Introduce yourself to them with a fine waitstaff resume that gives them your past experience, restaurant skills, and proud accomplishments on a silver platter.
It’s not so hard.
Read on and you’ll see a professional waiter and waitress resume example you can adjust and make your own. Plus, you’ll learn an easy formula for writing a resume for waiting and waitressing jobs that will land you 10x more restaurant interviews than any other resume you’ve written in the past.
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Sample waiter/waitress resume—See more templates and create your resume here.
Sample Waitress Resume to Get You Inspired (Text Version)
Linda B. Altieri
Personable waitress with more than 4 years of restaurant experience providing table service at busy dining establishments in the Anchorage business district. Achieved a 99.5% guest satisfaction score or above in each of the past 24 months. Seeking to leverage excellent order recall, friendly service, and the ability to handle multiple tables and groups to become the new waitress at Fabricio’s Fine Foods.
John’s Fish & Chips, Anchorage, AK
September 2017–October 2019
Key Qualifications & Responsibilities
- Invited customers into the restaurant in a friendly manner and seated them at appropriate tables.
- Instructed guests on menu specials, took food and beverage orders, and answered any questions which may have arisen.
- Paid close attention to dietary and allergic restrictions and remained clean and hygienic throughout all shifts.
- Recommended perfect beer and meal pairings according to customer tastes and fish of the day.
- Maintained 99.5% customer satisfaction rating for 24 months in a row.
Waitress & Busser
Jamie’s Bar & Grill, Anchorage, AK
April 2015–September 2017
Key Qualifications & Responsibilities
- Seated customers in a 150-guest dining establishment at the bar or in the restaurant as requested.
- Informed dining guests on steak specials and happy hour bar offers.
- Took food and drink orders from customers and delivered them when appropriate.
- Bussed tables and reset place settings quickly and effectively.
- Achieved “Server of the Month” in August 2017, March 2018, and July 2018.
Majoring in Food and Nutrition
University of Alaska Anchorage, Anchorage, AK
Anticipated Completion: 2022
Relevant Coursework: Nutritional Biochemistry, Food And Culture, Medical Nutrition Therapy, Microbiology, Food Service Management, Environmental Science, Nutrition Care Process, Nutritional Journalism, Nutrition and Exercise Physiology.
High School Diploma
Eagle River High School, Anchorage, AK
- Friendliness & Personability
- Written & Verbal Communication Skills
- Collaborative & Interpersonal Skills
- Physical Stamina & Strength
- Food Safety & Personal Hygiene
Courses and Certificates
- Certified Restaurant Server: American Hotel and Lodging Association Educational Institute
- ServSafe Alcohol Certification: National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation
Before we begin, here are several other food service-related resume examples:
- Busser Resume
- Barista Resume
- Bartender Resume
- Bar Manager Resume
- Catering Resume
- Dishwasher Resume
- Fast Food Resume
- Hospitality Resume
- Line Cook Resume
- Restaurant Manager Resume
- Server Resume
- Best Resume Examples
Now, let’s get cookin’—
Here’s how to write a resume for waitstaff jobs in 7 easy steps:
Structure Your Waiter or Waitress Resume Template Properly
Before you can seat guests and serve them food, you’ll set the table first.
On a resume for waitresses and waiters, that means formatting it correctly before you start writing.
Here’s how to format a waiter or waitress resume template:
- Layout: reverse-chronological format.
- Subheadings: standout titles make it easy for restaurant owners to find things quickly.
- Fonts: choose easy-to-read typefaces.
- Font size: 11–12pt for general text, 2–4pts larger for section headings.
- Margins: border the waitress or waiter resume with a 1” margin on all sides.
- Line spacing: stick with 1.15 or single line spacing.
- Sections: keep it easy on the eyes with plenty of white space.
- Filetype: save as a PDF, unless the job ad specifically asks for a Word doc.
Now, here’s a quick outline with what a resume should include, from top to bottom:
- Header: include relevant contact information.
- Introduction: a short paragraph explaining how you’re perfect for the table-waiting job.
- Work experience: history of your past job duties and achievements, restaurant or otherwise.
- Education: brief description of academic accomplishments.
- Skills: concise list of the most job-related abilities.
- Extra sections: to round it out, such as certifications, awards, languages, etc.
Read more about resume formatting: How to Pick the Perfect Resume Format
Want a pro tip on writing an interview-winning resume for waitressing? Don’t start at the top.
Instead, begin with the resume sections you can complete easily, such as your job history. This’ll help you choose the appropriate fillings when you get back to the top.
Start With a Waiter or Waitress Resume Work Experience Section
According to the BLS, employment of waiters and waitresses is expected to increase by 6% between 2018 and 2028.
This is math you can’t quite do on a restaurant cash register, but it comes out to adding 170,200 new restaurant servers in those 10 years.
That’s a LOT of competition.
If you want to beat the other restaurant candidates, you need to wow the manager with a perfectly seasoned work experience section.
What’s the recipe?
Here’s the best method for creating a waitress resume description of your job history:
- Use the reverse-chronological layout, beginning with your most recent position first.
- Add your job title, the restaurant’s name and location, and the dates you worked for each entry.
- Use up to 6 bullet points detailing your restaurant job responsibilities and waiter duties.
- Always tailor your resume to personalize it to the waitress job requirements and ad.
- Include proud achievements using numbers to show the restaurant supervisor that yes, you are that talented.
- To make your waiter or waitress description for resumes more impactful, use the PAR (Problem-Action-Result) formula.
- Start each entry with action words to be most effective.
Let’s take a look at how to put those rules into action.
Here are two waiter resume samples of employment history sections:
Waiter / Waitress Resume Examples (Experienced)
February 2017–June 2019
Key Qualifications & Responsibilities
February 2017–June 2019
In the second one, you don’t need to be Gordon Ramsey to find something wrong with it.
It doesn’t give details, there are no quantifiable accomplishments, and it just doesn’t show professionalism.
The first example, however, is a feast for the eyes. It’s tailored, detailed, and uses numbers.
What if you’re applying for a first-time waitressing job?
If you have a waiter resume with no experience (or little experience), you just need to show them that you can take what you learned in your past job and use it as a great starting point.
Check out these resume examples for someone without waitressing experience:
Waitress / Waiter Resume Examples (No Experience)
February 2018–November 2019
Key Qualifications & Responsibilities
February 2018–November 2019
As you can see, this person was a barista in their past life. However, in the right example, they tailored their job responsibilities in a way that is super-relevant to a restaurant server job.
The wrong example, in turn, could just as well read “I’m a barista with no waiting experience.”
And yet, they both come from the same person! As you can see, it’s all about what past duties you choose to highlight.
When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check. Start building your resume here.
When you’re done, Zety’s resume builder will score your resume and tell you exactly how to make it better.
Read up further on describing work experience on a resume: Tips for Making a Stellar Work Experience Section for a Resume
Enter Your Education (It’s Not That Straightforward!)
You don’t need a fancy-shmancy degree to get a job waiting tables.
You do need to document your education effectively if they’re to take your restaurant waitress resume seriously.
When you have plenty of experience, you can just list your academic basics, like this:
Waiter Resume Education Sample (Experienced Candidate)
Diploma and Certificate in Culinary Arts
The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
If you have little experience as a waiter or waitress, delve deeper in your education section, like this:
Waitress Resume Education Sample (Entry-Level Candidate)
Bachelor of Arts in Food Service Management
University of Massachusetts - Amherst, Amherst, MA
Anticipated Completion: 2021
Relevant Coursework: Culinary Nutrition, Culinary Arts, Restaurant Management and Operations, Hospitality Management, International Cuisines, Advanced Food Service Operations, Food and Beverage Strategies and Logistics, Culinary Fundamentals.
Minor: Culinary Arts
When you have a completed culinary school certificate or college degree, leave your high school off the restaurant resume. Otherwise, add it as a secondary entry below.
If you have little or no waitstaff experience but a pretty legit education section, move the education section over your work history to give them the tastiest dish first.
Read up more on adding smarts to your resume: Education Resume Section: How to List High School & College Education
List Waiter & Waitress Skills Relevant to the Restaurant and Role
Whether you can spin a tray of cocktails on one finger or you have the memory of a dolphin, you’ve got the restaurant skills to be a fine waiter or waitress.
You can’t list every ability you have.
Which skills to add on resumes for waitresses or waiters?
Here’s what to do:
- Read the waiter or waitress job ad and identify the resume keywords this restaurant is searching for.
- Determine all the relevant skills you’ve picked up in life—take a peek at your education and work history sections to get some good ideas.
- Make a master list of all your professional and relevant waiter resume skills.
- Identify which waitress skills meet the server job ad’s requirements from the job ad.
- In the waitress skills resume section, make a list of 5–10 of the most relevant skills.
- Be sure to include both hard skills and soft skills on your resume for waitressing.
Here are some waiter skills and cuisines to give you ideas for your master list:
20+ Most Common Waiter & Waitress Resume Skills (& Menus)
- Math & Basic Calculations
- Energy & Endurance
- Physical Strength
- Technical Skills
- Point of Sale (POS) & Cash Register
- Credit Card Terminals
- Computer Skills
- Balance & Agility
- Table Setting & Bussing
- Cleanliness & Hygiene
- Preparing Sides & Apps
- Personability & Friendliness
- Critical Thinking Skills
- Customer Service Skills
- Project Management Skills
- Decision Making Skills
- Interpersonal Skills
- Problem Solving Skills
- Public Speaking & Presentation Skills
- Excellent Communication Skills
- Conflict Resolution
- Time Management Skills
- French Cuisine
- Italian Cuisine
- Artisanal / Craft Beers
- Food & Wine Pairing
- Greek Cuisine
- Steaks & Burgers
- Vietnamese Cuisine
- Mexican Dishes & Appetizers
- Whiskey, Vodka, Cognac, Rum, Gin
- Mediterranean Cuisine
- Sushi / Sashimi
Let’s take a look at some examples of skills to add on both an experienced waiter resume and a resume without serving experience:
Waitress Skills Resume Example (Experienced Candidate)
Waiter Skills Resume Example (No Experience Candidate)
As you can see, there are certain server skills you can pick up anywhere, such as hygiene or conflict resolution.
Most importantly, remember to follow the responsibilities section from the restaurant job ad to determine the exact skills this particular eatery is looking for.
Read more about adding skills to resumes: 99+ Skills to Add to a Resume (List & Examples).
Show Don’t Tell: Add “Extra” Sections to Your Waitstaff Resume
Imagine you’re serving up a plate of pancakes.
You won’t just deliver that fluffy stack as is.
It’s the same with your waitress or waiter resume.
Extra resume sections are the maple syrup, blueberries, and whipped cream on top. They add flavor to your job application and really get the restaurant manager’s mouth salivating.
Here are a few examples of delish additional sections to add on a resume for waiter jobs:
Waiter / Waitress Resume Samples: Extra Sections
Food service certifications and food handling licenses show any restaurant manager you’re worth your salt. Here are a few of the best in the industry:
- ServSafe Food Safety & Food Handler Certification
- Food Protection Certificate: NYC Health Academy
- Alcohol Seller and Server Certification
- Certified Food Protection: Association of Nutrition and Foodservice Professionals (ANFP)
- Certified Dietary Manager, Certified Food Protection Professional (CDM, CFPP)
Have any volunteer experience under your apron? Though unpaid, it can be a great way to show work experience, especially when you don’t have much other real-world working expertise.
Do you know another language? Adding your proficiency in a foreign language to a restaurant server resume makes a strong impression, especially if it’s particularly relevant to the restaurant (knowledge of French in a French restaurant, Spanish in a Latin American neighborhood, etc.).
Don’t think your hobbies and interests belong on a resume for waitress jobs? Think again. When they relate to restaurant servers, such as your passion for food blogging, add it to your wait staff resume.
5. Memberships in Trade Organizations
Adding your membership in a waitstaff or food service association shows the restaurant supervisor you’re a professional choice. Take a look at these examples:
- Association of Nutrition & Foodservice Professionals (ANFP)
- Society for Hospitality and Foodservice Management (SHFM)
- National Restaurant Association (the other NRA)
- American Culinary Federation, Inc. (ACF)
- American Hotel and Lodging Association Educational Institute (AHLA-EI)
For more possibilities when it comes to additional parts of a resume, see this guide: What to Include on a Resume: 20+ Top Examples
Compile the Best Bits Into a Waiter or Waitress Resume Objective or Summary
Let’s take it back to the top—
An effective specials board stands just outside the restaurant and lures in hungry guests.
Likewise, an effective heading statement lures in the restaurant manager and makes them hungry to read more.
A standard heading statement comes in two flavors: the summary or the objective.
Go over what you’ve written in your server resume thus far.
Locate the most scrumptious morsels, those sure to stand out to a restaurant supervisor and which are relevant to add for this waitstaff job.
Select 2 or 3 of the top achievements and skills and use that as the chicken broth with which to construct the rest of the heading paragraph.
Do you have blisters from years on your feet serving food?
Use the resume summary statement.
The waiter or waitress resume summary is a quick introduction for the restaurant manager. It gives them a brief overview of your restaurant experience, server skills, and waitstaff job background. It also includes a numbered accomplishment to put that cherry on top.
Here are two waiter resume example summaries:
Sample Waiter Resume Summary Statements
|Friendly head waiter with over 3 years of experience in French cuisine and fine dining restaurants. Excellent knowledge of French wines, wine pairing, and French cuisine. 2018 waiter of the year and consistently responsible for over $150,000 in sales every month. Seeking to leverage professional serving skills and native proficiency in French to become the lead waiter at La Sirène.|
|Head waiter with plenty of experience in French cuisine, knowledge of French wines, and fine dining professionalism. Seeking a similar position at any French restaurant in the New York City or northern New Jersey areas.|
The second one will make them frown like there’s a hair in their pasta—
It isn’t tailored to one particular restaurant, doesn’t give details, and does not provide numbers to give them an understanding of just how well you performed your waiter duties.
What if you’ve never served tables before?
Use the resume objective statement.
A career objective is great when writing a resume with little or no experience in food service or delivery.
Rather than documenting your past experience, you delight the restaurant manager with your culinary career goals. Don’t forget to include a numbered achievement here, as well.
Here are two waitress resume objective examples:
Waitress Resume Samples—Objective Statement
|Friendly barista with 2 years of experience serving customers at a busy midtown cafe. Current bachelor's degree student majoring in food service management. Rang up more than $5,000 in sales per day and awarded the BDP Service Recognition certificate for March 2019. Looking to leverage customer-centric attitude and cafe skills to become the next waitress at Vaucluse Restaurant.|
|Having just completed a bachelor’s degree in food service management, I’d like to get my foot in the door by starting as a server somewhere in town. I also have experience as a barista, and my customers all are happy with the service I provide.|
Just like in the waitress resume summary, tailor your objective to this particular restaurant. Give a numbered win to make them hungry for more.
Looking for the full recipe on starting a resume correctly? Look no further: How to Open a Resume: Tips & Examples
Write a Great Waiter or Waitress Cover Letter
Unless the restaurant job ad specifically says not to—
Always deliver a cover letter with your resume for a waiter or waitress job.
How to write a waitress or waiter cover letter:
- Format the cover letter before you go about writing it.
- Address the waitress cover letter directly to the restaurant owner or manager.
- Write a cover letter introduction which entices the reader to want to get to know you.
- Highlight the most impressive restaurant experience and serving skills you bring to the table.
- End the cover letter with a call to action wrapped neatly inside a powerful closing sentiment like a burrito.
Not so difficult, right?
Plus, a great cover letter that matches your resume will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our cover letter builder here. Here's what it may look like:
Learn more about writing a cover letter for waitress and waiter jobs specifically: Server Cover Letter Example: 25+ Tips
Recap—Waiter/Waitress Resume In an Allergy-Free Nutshell
Here’s the concentrated formula in an easy-to-read menu format—
How to write a resume for waitress jobs:
- Format the waiter or waitress resume template with a great font, correct line spacing, proper margins, and plenty of white space.
- Skip writing the waiter or waitress resume objective or summary until the end.
- Document your previous work history using action verbs, bullet points, and a tailored approach.
- Talk up the most relevant waitress skills and waiter abilities by referring to the restaurant job responsibilities section.
- List your education correctly, even though you don’t need it to secure waiter jobs.
- Spice up your waiter resume and waitress job application with choice additional sections.
- Don’t forget to include a waiter or waitress cover letter if you want that restaurant interview!
Okay, that’s it! Now, we’d love to hear from you:
- What are the biggest challenges for you when writing a server resume?
- Are you having problems coming up with relevant restaurant skills or achievements?
- Do you need help with how to make waitressing sound good on a resume?
Let’s chat below in the comments, and thanks for reading!