How to Write a Waiter/Waitress Resume

You can write a great resume for your waiter or waitress job search by showing you provide guests with a positive dining experience. To convince hiring managers you’re right for their restaurant, you’ll want to emphasize relevant skills such as engaging with customers, working quickly with kitchen staff, or handling special orders and menu questions. You can also enhance your resume by giving background details that align with your job targets, such as the types of cuisine you’ve served or the size of restaurants you’ve worked at.

The following tips and examples will help you organize your best information into a resume that gets you closer to your next waiter or waitress job.

  • Entry-level
  • Mid-career
  • Senior-level
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1. Write a dynamic profile summarizing your waiter/waitress qualifications

In a brief paragraph, your Profile should describe your top qualifications for your target waiter or waitress role. Think about the ways you’ve excelled in past service jobs and what you’ve been praised for by restaurant managers, customers, or other waitstaff. For instance, maybe you’ve shown high efficiency in bringing food and drink orders to customers. Or you’ve taken on training duties for junior waitstaff at your current restaurant and want to continue those in your next role. You may also want to cite your experience in a similar dining environment or type of cuisine, if possible, so restaurant managers see that you’d train quickly.

Entry-Level Profile Example

Energetic Waiter with 2+ years of experience in a high-volume chain restaurant. Provide courteous, attentive service while driving sales of daily specials, appetizers, and desserts. Fast learner who adapts readily to new work challenges and conditions.

Senior-Level Profile Example

Personable Waitress with 10+ years of experience in fast-paced restaurant settings. Skilled at memorizing menus, training new hires, and providing top-caliber service to customers. Draw on strong knowledge of POS systems, including Toast, TouchBistro, and Upserve.

2. Outline your waiter/waitress experience in a compelling list

A strong Experience section describes not just your relevant duties but also the positive impact of those duties on each restaurant where you’ve worked.

You can show your impact as a waitress or waiter by giving specific numbers on your performance. These may include how many customers you served, how much revenue you brought in, or where you ranked on your team for guest satisfaction. When data isn’t available, you can still show results by explaining how the job responsibility promoted the restaurant’s overall success. For instance, if one of your task areas was side work like cleaning and restocking, you could mention how these duties helped the kitchen staff stay efficient and on-task preparing food orders.

Entry-Level Experience Example

Waiter, Applebee’s, Philadelphia, PA | October 2020 to Present

  • Quickly and courteously serve food and beverage orders to ~30 customers per shift
  • Use Lightspeed POS system to process cash, credit, debit, and gift card payments
  • Support other servers and kitchen staff by completing side work such as cleaning, restocking, and food running


  • Used cross-selling methods to increase personal appetizer and dessert sales by 25%

Mid-Career Experience Example

Waitress, Le Virtu, Philadelphia, PA | April 2019 to Present

[Rustic Italian restaurant with 75 seats]

  • Take and serve food and drink orders to patrons of this popular local restaurant
  • Proactively learn new seasonal food and cocktail menus
  • Use POS system to input orders and process cash, debit, credit, and gift card payments
  • Perform side work (including setup, sanitization, restocking, and assisting other servers) to help maintain a clean, efficient facility


  • Named “Employee of the Month” 3 times for top-quality customer service and team support

For purposes of finding a waiter or waitress job, your education and certifications are probably less important than any service experience you have. But know that for some restaurant managers, a school diploma or relevant certification can give you an edge over other applicants, so you’ll want to include those credentials. Also, consider citing any formal training you’ve had on safe food handling since that’s a requirement for servers in some states.

Below are templates and examples to help you format your education and certification details on your resume. Note that optional template areas are in [brackets].



  • Degree Name — [Major], School Name, City, ST | [Year]


  • Bachelor of Arts (BA), Temple University, Philadelphia, PA



  • Certification Name or Title, [Awarding Organization] | [Year]


  • ServSafe Food Handler, National Restaurant Association

You can enhance your waiter or waitress resume with a “Key Skills” section covering customer relations, payment processing, and food and beverage service. In addition to these core areas, you may want to add any skills you have in restaurant POS systems.

Also, consider using this section to show your background in the type of dining environment you’re now seeking. For instance, if you’d like to work in a high-volume restaurant and have experience, include the phrase “High-Volume Restaurant Operations.” Below is a list of common skills for waitress or waiter resumes:

Key Skills and Proficiencies
Cash & Credit Card Handling Conflict Resolution
Cross-Team Coordination Customer Communications
Customer Service & Satisfaction Efficiency Improvement
Food & Beverage Sales Food Sanitation Standards
Gastronomy Menu & Order Memorization
New Hire Training Payment Processing
Point-of-Sale (POS) Systems Process Streamlining
Task Prioritization Team Collaboration
Time Management  

How to Pick the Best Waiter/Waitress Resume Template

As with most vocations, waitresses and waiters should use a resume template that’s clear and straightforward. Choose a visual format that lets the hiring manager quickly review your most impressive career details. Select a simple resume font, and avoid any template that has an overly colorful or elaborate design.

Waiter/Waitress Text-Only Resume Templates and Examples

  • Entry-level
  • Mid-career
  • Senior-level

Carly Williams
(123) 456-7890 | [email protected] | Philadelphia, PA 12345 |


Collaborative Waitress with nearly seven years’ experience at popular Italian restaurants. Enjoy working on a team to provide guests a memorable and positive dining experience. Bilingual: Fluent in English and Spanish.

Key Skills

  • Customer Relations & Service
  • Efficiency Improvement
  • Food & Beverage Service
  • Menu & Ingredient Memorization
  • POS Systems (Toast, Upserve)
  • Payment Processing
  • Process Streamlining
  • Product Sales & Promotions
  • Task Prioritization
  • Team Collaboration

Professional Experience

Waitress, Le Virtu, Philadelphia, PA | April 2019 to Present
[Rustic Italian restaurant with 75 seats]

  • Take and serve food and drink orders to patrons of this popular local restaurant
  • Proactively learn new seasonal food and cocktail menus to provide guests up-to-date information on menu and specials
  • Use POS system to input orders and process cash, debit, credit, and gift card payments
  • Perform side work (including setup, sanitization, restocking, and assisting other servers) to help maintain a clean, efficient facility


  • — Named “Employee of the Month” 3 times for top-quality customer service and team support

Waitress, Birra, Philadelphia, PA | June 2016 to April 2019
[Casual Italian restaurant with 90 seats]

  • Took orders and promptly delivered food and beverages to guests
  • Increased personal sales 20% by effectively promoting specials and food-alcohol pairings


  • Fluency in Spanish
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Expert Advice
Advice From a Recruiter: Chris Shatto

Chris Shatto - Hospitality Recruiter and Expert Contributor, Linkedin

Meet our Expert: Chris is a respected hospitality leader with over 20 years of experience in upscale and luxury hotels and clubs, and is the owner of Gecko Hospitality, a renowned recruiting firm.

1. What are the most in-demand skills for waitstaff that should be featured on a candidate’s resume?-

Hard skills:

  • Knowledge of POS systems: Familiarity with common restaurant software and hardware is crucial.
  • Food safety knowledge: Understanding of food handling and sanitation guidelines.
  • Menu knowledge: Ability to explain menu items, make recommendations and answer customer queries.

Soft skills:

  • Communication: Articulate, clear, and patient communication with guests and team members.
  • Multitasking: Managing multiple tasks at once, keeping cool under pressure.
  • Conflict resolution: Handling customer complaints and issues calmly and effectively.

Additional qualities:

  • Teamwork: Collaborating effectively with kitchen and front-of-house staff.
  • Professionalism: Maintaining a positive attitude, even in stressful situations.
  • Certifications/awards: Any relevant recognitions, such as ServSafe certification or 'Employee of the Month' awards.
2. What work experience and other accomplishments are hiring managers looking for in a waitstaff?-

  • Prior serving experience: This is often the first thing hiring managers look for. Whether it's in a fast food joint, a casual dining establishment or a high-end restaurant. Your ability to handle customers, take orders, serve food, and clear tables efficiently and professionally can significantly boost your chances.
  • Customer handling: You should have experience dealing with a variety of customers. This includes handling complaints, providing excellent service, and creating a welcoming atmosphere for all guests.
  • Food and drink handling: Experience with handling food and drinks is crucial. This includes knowledge of different types of cuisine, beverages, and the appropriate serving etiquette.
  • Menu familiarity: You should demonstrate a thorough understanding of the restaurant's menu, including the ability to make recommendations and answer questions about ingredients, preparation methods, and dish pairings.
  • POS system experience: Experience with Point of Sale (POS) systems is often required.
  • Knowledge of safety and health guidelines: Understanding and adhering to health and safety guidelines, such as food handling procedures and cleanliness standards, is essential in this role.
  • Communication and teamwork skills: These are key in a busy restaurant environment. You must be able to communicate effectively with customers, kitchen staff, and other waitstaff to ensure smooth operations.
  • Adaptability: Restaurants are fast-paced environments. Your ability to quickly adapt to changing circumstances, such as sudden rushes or unexpected issues, will be highly valued.
  • Extended hours capability: The ability to work long hours, often on your feet, is a common requirement in the restaurant industry.
  • Personal attributes: Hiring managers also value personal qualities like attentiveness, patience, and a positive attitude. These traits can greatly enhance the dining experience of customers.

3. What else besides a resume should a waitstaff candidate be prepared to provide hiring managers? -

  • Cover letter: A well-crafted cover letter allows us to gauge your communication skills and understand your motivation for applying to our restaurant. It also shows their knowledge about our establishment, demonstrating their commitment and interest.
  • Sample menu: Candidates who provide a sample menu with suggested drinks and dishes demonstrate creativity and an understanding of our cuisine and branding. This could be especially beneficial for restaurants that frequently change menus or have a unique culinary focus.
  • Recommendations: Letters of recommendation from previous employers give us insights into their work ethic, reliability, and team spirit. This is crucial in the fast-paced hospitality industry, where teamwork is key.
  • Certifications: Relevant certifications, such as food safety or alcohol service training, underscore a candidate's dedication to professional development and adherence to industry standards.
  • Additional job experiences: Experiences outside of waitstaff roles, perhaps in customer service, event planning, or even theater (for performance and presentation skills), can bring additional value to their role within our restaurant.
  • Availability schedule: A candidate's schedule gives us an idea of their flexibility. In the restaurant industry, the ability to work during peak hours, weekends, and holidays is often a necessity.
  • Personal testimonials: Testimonials from previous customers can provide a firsthand account of the candidate's customer service skills, attentiveness, and ability to create a positive dining experience.

4. What advice would you give a waitstaff candidate about their job search? -

  • Optimize your LinkedIn profile: Recruiters often use LinkedIn to find potential candidates. Make sure your profile is up-to-date, includes a professional photo, and showcases your skills and experience. Consider asking colleagues or previous employers for recommendations to boost your profile's credibility.
  • Network: Reach out to contacts within the hospitality industry. Attend industry events, join online forums or groups related to your profession. Networking can often open doors to opportunities that aren't advertised.
  • Research potential employers: Before applying, research each restaurant to understand their style, values, and customer base. This information will help you tailor your applications and prepare for interviews.
  • Apply to relevant job opportunities: Use job search engines, industry-specific job boards, and company websites to find suitable opportunities. Don't limit yourself to advertised positions; consider sending speculative applications to restaurants you're interested in.
  • Prepare for interviews: Anticipate common interview questions and prepare thoughtful responses. Practice makes perfect. Also, think about questions you can ask the interviewer to show your interest in the role.
  • Follow-up: After an interview, send a thank you note expressing your continued interest in the role. If you haven't heard back within the expected timeframe, it's acceptable to follow up with a polite inquiry.

Frequently Asked Questions: Waiter/Waitress Resume Examples and Advice

What are common action verbs for waiter/waitress resumes?+

You might do dozens of things during a busy shift to provide guests with a great dining experience. But it can be hard to put that in writing on your resume. You may find yourself running out of action verbs to describe your work. To help you vary the language in your job descriptions, we put together this list of strong resume verbs for waiters and waitresses:

Action Verbs
Address Assist
Carry Coordinate
Create Engage
Enhance Ensure
Explain Greet
Improve Increase
Memorize Order
Prepare Prevent
Promote Provide
Recite Relay
Retrieve Recommend
Reduce Sell
Serve Solve
Streamline Take
Train Upsell

How do you align your waiter/waitress resume with a job posting?+

The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts that jobs for waiters and waitresses will increase by about ten percent between 2021 and 2031. This growth rate is faster than the average for all US jobs.
You can get more interviews in this growing field if you tailor your resume for each application. One great way to do this is by adding brief descriptions of the restaurants where you’ve worked in brackets right next to or below the restaurant name. Restaurant descriptions let you show any similarities between your past workplaces and the one that posted the job. For instance, maybe you’ve worked for restaurants of a similar size, cuisine, or service philosophy. By adding these details to your descriptions, you can make your resume that much more relevant to each new waiter or waitress job opportunity.

What is the best waiter/waitress resume format?+

In nearly all cases, you should use a Combination (or Hybrid) resume because it’s easiest for hiring managers to learn about your pertinent skills and experience – it’s also easiest for you to modify based on your job goals.
With the Combination format, you highlight your most relevant skills and experience in your Experience or Work History section and an intro section. (This combination of work history and intro content is where the format gets its name.) Usually, your resume intro should include a Profile summary and a Key Skills section. You may also include an Awards or Career Highlights section. Choose the details for these intro sections carefully. Make sure each item helps show your overall excellence as a waitress or waiter.

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Expert Advice
Include a cover letter with your resume
To increase your chances of getting an interview, make sure you write a strong cover letter. The key to writing an effective letter is customizing it based on each restaurant you apply to. Read our waiter/waitress cover letter guide to learn how. For other related examples, see our server and bartender cover letter guides.
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