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Restaurant Server: Examples and Tips

Restaurant servers are key to delivering a good guest experience in restaurants. Fulfilling host, salesperson and customer service duties, they take care of customers’ dining requirements, from initial orders to processing payments. Servers should have solid menu knowledge, and be able to efficiently handle orders and delivery of food. Though the position doesn’t require specialized training, some employers prefer candidates with a high school diploma and work experience.

Use these examples and tips to fashion a distinguished resume for a restaurant server job.

Top 4 Characteristics of a Best-in-class Restaurant Server Resume

  1. Summary Present a concise rundown of your best skills and work history, making sure that they address the job description. Use terms and phrases that emphasize your flexibility and work ethic, such as “Reliable, punctual restaurant server experienced with fast-paced dining venues. Well-versed in excellent customer service and safe food-handling practices.”
  2. Skills Present a blend of relevant practical and soft skill sets that highlight your abilities to get the job done, but also show you can be a collaborative team player. Mention skills such as the ability to carry heavy loads, customer issue resolution, efficient order and payment processing, and a positive attitude.
  3. Work history Mention previous jobs that display abilities important to restaurant server work, such as working as a customer service representative at a store. Focus on work achievements, or recognitions that show the quality of your work (e.g., “Nominated ‘Employee of the Month’ twice for excellent customer service”). If you are a recent graduate or first-time job seeker, create a section called “Activities” where you can share any volunteer work or internships that relate to server tasks (e.g., being a volunteer caterer at a nonprofit event).
  4. Education Include your highest academic credential (e.g., high school diploma or college degree), as well as any training you’ve had in restaurant work through part-time or extracurricular work. For example: “Server training at ABC restaurant, summer part-time work.”

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Find the Right Template for Your Resume

Make sure your restaurant server resume looks its best, using our easily customizable templates.

Charismatic

The splash of color gives this layout a unique look, while strong headers and dividing lines make it easy to navigate.

Distinguished

This template features prominent placement of the job applicant’s name, plus a straightforward layout that allows for easy customization of information.

Insight

This design groups section headings in the left margin, enabling recruiters to scan content at a glance. A color border for the header and bold fonts achieve a streamlined look.

For more options to create on your own, please see our resume templates page.

Do’s and Don’ts for Creating Your Resume

  • DO use appropriate industry-specific keywords Extract specific keywords for your resume from the job description, looking for phrases that match up with your own skills, such as “cleaning and organizing dining areas.” “customer service experience” or “excellent energy and personality.” Integrate these phrases with your resume’s summary, skills and experience sections, showing how you have the right abilities, as well as the experience that shows how you’ve used these abilities.
  • DO proofread your resume Servers are expected to be efficient and accurate in all phases of their work — the same goes for your resume. Run a spell-check and grammar check on your resume before you submit it, and take the time to make sure your factual data is correct.
  • DO quantify your skills and achievements The more detail you can supply when listing your previous achievements, the more employers will understand how effective you can be. For instance, instead of a vague statement such as “familiar with various types of beef,” you should write “has extensive knowledge of 8 different cuts of beef.”
  • DON’T make your resume too long Recruiters take only a few seconds to read resumes, on average. Make sure your resume contains information that is relevant to the position, and is arranged in short, punchy phrases and sentences for quick reading. Limit your work history to the last 10 years, and highlight skills and work achievements that emphasize the most relevant abilities for the job.
  • DON’T use passive verbs in your resume Listing your achievements using weak verbs (e.g., “was responsible for”) creates an impression that you’re a passive employee. Use active verbs to energize your accomplishments. For instance: “Assisted customers with dietary restrictions and food allergies” makes more of an impact than “was tasked with helping customers with dietary restrictions and food allergies.”
  • DON’T forget to customize your resume for each job application Tailor your resume according to each job profile you’re applying for, making sure to update keywords, skills and work accomplishments based on what each job requires. For example, one server job might stress bartender skills, while another might emphasize event catering. Be sure to fit your own skill set and experiences to each position.

Restaurant Server Resume FAQs

1. What are some top skills you should include in your resume?

Practical skills:Soft skills:
Cleaning and preparing restaurant tablesAbility to work under pressure
Attending to customersTeam spirit
Presenting menus, and taking and serving ordersEfficient multitasking
Proficient customer serviceDedication towards work
Helping customers select food and beverages according to requirementsKeen learner
Collaborating with restaurant staff membersExcellent communication and interpersonal skills
Handling customer complaints and queriesDetail-oriented
Payment processing
Practical skills:
Cleaning and preparing restaurant tables
Attending to customers
Presenting menus, and taking and serving orders
Proficient customer service
Helping customers select food and beverages according to requirements
Collaborating with restaurant staff members
Handling customer complaints and queries
Payment processing
Soft skills:
Ability to work under pressure
Team spirit
Efficient multitasking
Dedication towards work
Keen learner
Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
Detail-oriented

2. How should I update my resume to take the next step in my career?

To move up to waitstaff leader or a similar managerial position, highlight strengths such as:

  • Examples where you’ve taken leadership to help improve restaurant operations and service
  • Projects where you demonstrated organizing and delegation skills
  • Your overall knowledge of food and beverages

3. How should I format my resume for a restaurant server position?

If you have a few years of experience, use a combination format, which features both your relevant work history and skills. If you’re a recent graduate or first-time worker, use the functional layout, which allows you to give more detail on the skills you already have.

4. How should keywords be used in a resume?

Each section of your resume should contain keywords that relate to the job, as found in the job description (e.g., “cleaning and sanitizing dining areas” or “multitasking abilities”). In your summary and work history sections, describe how you’ve successfully fulfilled these requirements in previous jobs, and in your skills section list your abilities that match these keywords.

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