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Written by Anna MuckermanAnna Muckerman

Restaurant resume example & writing guide

Whether you’re ready to land a job as a cook, server, host, restaurant manager, or busser, this restaurant resume example and guide contains a proven recipe for job search success.
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Restaurant resume example & writing guide
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Restaurants are some of the most popular workplaces for people at every stage of their careers. In fact, nearly one-third of all Americans had their first job in a restaurant! Restaurants offer a wide range of opportunities from entry-level positions as bussers and hosts to more advanced roles in the kitchen or as a restaurant manager.

Whether you’re looking for a summer server position or a full-time job as a sous chef, you’ll need a great resume that highlights your strengths and previous experience—or the right traits needed to work in a fast-paced environment. This restaurant resume example and guide is designed to help you create a job-winning application with ease.

Resume guide for a restaurant resume

Accelerate success with Resume.io. Our guides and resume examples cover over 500 professions, and our resume builder makes creating a compelling resume easier than ever.

This resume guide and corresponding restaurant resume example will cover the following:

  • How to write a restaurant resume
  • Choosing the right resume format for restaurant jobs
  • How to add your contact information
  • Using summaries
  • Adding your experience
  • Listing education and relevant experience
  • Picking the right resume design/layout
  • What the restaurant job market looks like, and what salary you can expect

How to write a restaurant job resume

The very first step in writing your restaurant resume is understanding what sections to include. Your resume should contain the following elements:

Restaurants are a great place to gain professional experience even if you’re a student or recent grad. If you have limited experience, your restaurant job resume should be crafted to highlight your positive attitude and ability to quickly transition into the fast-paced environment of a restaurant.

Consider these points when writing your restaurant resume:

  • While you’ll want to list any previous duties you’ve handled in restaurant settings, make sure to focus on accomplishments as well. Use numbers and statistics to give more weight to your employment history bullet points. You could describe the number of clients served, number of tables in the restaurant, or any awards you or the restaurant won.
  • Your resume should be tailored to each restaurant you apply to. Customizing your resume means updating the skills and employment history bullet points to match the needs of the company, and also including the restaurant name and the job title in your professional summary. Also, make sure to update your formatting to match the vibe of the restaurant. A fine dining establishment will call for a different look than a homestyle diner.
Expert tip

Optimize for the ATS

While local restaurants may still ask for emailed or paper copies of your resume, larger chains will almost certainly use online hiring portals to collect applications. When applying online, remember that a human hiring manager may not be the first to read your resume. Virtually all medium and large companies now use ATS recruitment software built into online hiring portals to screen and evaluate candidates. These algorithms scan resumes for keywords—most of which you can find in the job description. Only the highest-ranking resumes pass through to be reviewed by the hiring manager while the rest get filtered out.

Here are a few steps to take to increase your chances of making it past this hurdle:

  1. Make sure to read the job description closely and highlight any duties or skills that are relevant to the specific restaurant and role.
  2. Place these “keywords” throughout your resume where appropriate for your skills and experience.
  3. Use the employer’s exact language to ensure that the ATS picks up the keywords you’ve included.
  4. Never try to cheat the ATS by adding excessive keywords or lying about your experience—the hiring manager will find out soon enough!

To learn more about conquering the ATS, check out our article on resume ATS optimization.

Choosing the right resume format for restaurant jobs

Choosing the right resume format for restaurant jobs can be tricky. The first question to ask yourself is “How much relevant experience do I have to show?”

If you have at least three hospitality or restaurant-related roles to add to your resume, then we recommend that you stick with the reverse chronological resume format. This format is focused primarily on the employment history section, listed in reverse chronological order, and allows you to expand on your academic and professional experiences up to this point. This is the format you will find in our adaptable restaurant resume example because it’s the structure that most hiring managers expect to see from professional candidates.

If you’re still a student or have virtually no experience, you may opt for the functional format. This format focuses on skills right at the top of the page and may include a very short employment history section, or no employment history section at all. A combination, or hybrid resume format, allows you to emphasize your skills while still showing a bit of previous work experience.

Include your contact information

Your contact information allows the hiring manager to get in touch with you to set up an interview and is thus an extremely important part of your resume. Your name, phone number, and email address should be placed in an attractive and professional header at the top of the page. Here are some of the key pieces of information to include:

  • Full name & title. List your first and last name and include the name of the role from the job description like head chef, server, host, busser, or restaurant manager.
  • Professional email address. Use a clean format like [email protected]. Don’t use a quirky, unprofessional email address or an .edu even if you are a student.
  • Phone number. List a number where you can be easily contacted and make sure to set up a professional voicemail greeting.
  • Location. For restaurant jobs, be sure to list your city and state to show that you’re in the right area to be considered for the job. Your home address is not necessary.

If applying in the U.S., Canada, or the U.K., don’t include:

Do

Tiffany Greenspan

Restaurant general manager

090-080-0000

[email protected]

Don't

Tiffany Greenspan

restaurant worker

090-080-0000

[email protected]

Make use of a summary

Restaurant managers are busy, so help them see your best attributes by creating a targeted summary. These 3-4 lines at the top of the page are meant to catch the employer’s attention and give them just enough information about your skills and experience to make them want to read the rest of your resume.

Start by including a few adjectives that describe your most impressive personality traits or amount of experience you have. Use action verbs in the simple past or present tense to talk about your accomplishments. Add numbers and statistics to quantify your successes and provide concrete details where possible. Name drop any impressive previous employers or awards that you or the restaurant won, and make sure to include the name of the restaurant you’re applying to for a personal touch.

Your summary, sometimes called a profile, should get to the point about why you’re a stronger candidate than others who have completed the same basic duties in restaurants. Make sure to match the tone with that of the restaurant and use specific language from the job description to show that you understand the employer’s needs.

You can find adaptable restaurant resume example summaries below:

Server adaptable resume summary/profile example

Seasoned server with 10+ years of experience working in delivering first-class service to dining patrons in busy restaurants at banquets. Extremely customer-focused and dedicated to maintaining restaurant and food industry standards, while enhancing the positive reputation of dining establishments. Excited to bring customer service experience to the esteemed Dunley’s Dining Room.

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Cook adaptable resume summary/profile example

Motivated and creative cook with several years of experience working in fast-paced kitchens. Adept in working with other culinary professionals to achieve goals and ensure customer satisfaction. Committed to using safe and sanitary cooking practices and maintaining an organized and clean cooking area. Ready to bring experience and fresh ideas to California Kitchen’s Brentwood location.

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Restaurant manager adaptable resume summary/profile example

Attentive and effective restaurant manager with 5+ years of experience managing large, family-style dining rooms. adept in all aspects of successful restaurant management. Ability to motivate diverse teams and develop a sense of purpose and unity to create exceptional dining experiences for customers. Passionate about the food service industry and eager to bring my years of experience and growth to the Winham Farms Greenwood location.

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Outline your restaurant work experience

Although you can land a restaurant job with no experience, hiring managers will be interested to see any previous work experience in restaurants or in hospitality positions. Start this section by listing your current (or most recent) job and working your way back to your first job (or until you’ve covered the past ten years of relevant experience). Include the job title, employer name, dates worked, and location.

Under each subheading, aim to add 3-5 bullet points that describe your key duties and accomplishments in concise statements, omitting “I.” To show the impact you had on previous workplaces, start each bullet point with an action verb like managed, organized, led, created, or crafted. Make sure to include numbers and statistics that show your value and achievements.

Take a look at these bland bullet points:

  • “Served meals in busy restaurant”
  • “Quickly took orders”
  • “Worked with staff to clean tables”

Now check out these results-based points:

  • “Memorized 25+ dishes and allergen information in high-end dining room”
  • “Upsold wine, appetizers, and dessert to increase sales by 20%”
  • “Collaborated with team to clear and reset 40 tables per service”

Take a look at the restaurant employment history resume sample below:

Adaptable resume employment history example

Lead Server at The Cheesecake Factory, Miami 
November 2016 - Present 

  • Train and mentor new servers, ensuring high standards of service and customer satisfaction
  • Coordinate with kitchen staff and management to optimize restaurant operations and resolve issues
  • Consistently receive positive feedback from customers and management for excellent service and professionalism

 

Bartender at Applebee's, Fort Lauderdale 
July 2014 - October 2016 

  • Created signature cocktails and provided expert recommendations to customers
  • Managed bar inventory and placed orders to maintain adequate stock levels
  • Collaborated with servers and kitchen staff to ensure timely and accurate service
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How to write an restaurant resume with no experience

It’s totally possible to land a restaurant job with no experience. In fact, many restaurant workers are students or first time job seekers. However, there is still an art to crafting a resume with no experience and it comes down to showing that you have the right personality traits to learn quickly and thrive in the unique workplace that restaurants offer.

In order to write a restaurant resume with no experience, focus on any customer service or hospitality-related experience you do have and show the hiring manager why you’re a motivated candidate who is eager to learn and contribute.

If you’re a student, you can emphasize skills gained through education, extracurricular activities, volunteer work, or personal projects that are relevant to the job you're applying for. Transferable skills such as communication, problem-solving, teamwork, and time management are valued by employers because they are hard to teach but can be applied across a wide variety of positions.

Don’t forget the power of personal connections as well. Ask family and friends if they have any connections within the restaurant industry and consider stopping by the location in person to meet the manager and make a positive first impression face to face before submitting your resume.

Include the relevant key skills that make you a great restaurant employee

The skills section might seem like the easiest part of your resume to complete, but it actually serves a key purpose in getting you past the ATS we mentioned earlier and also showing the hiring manager your unique qualities at a glance. For servers and other restaurant workers, make sure to combine hard and soft skills to show that you’re a well-rounded candidate. Hard skills are technical proficiencies that are often industry-specific like POS systems, upselling, knowledge of wine, or cooking techniques. 

Soft skills, on the other hand, are personal traits like motivation, communication, collaboration, and adaptability that are extremely necessary to provide a positive customer experience in restaurants. Make sure to reread the job description for an idea of what the restaurant manager is looking for. 

Here’s what the skills box looks like in our restaurant resume template. 

Key Skills and Proficiencies

Marketing
Management
Food Quality
Customer Service
Customer Satisfaction
Restaurant Management
Organized
Communication
Cleaning And Organizing

Detail your education & relevant certifications

While you may not be required to have any formal education for restaurant jobs, the education section is an essential component of any complete resume and serves to provide the restaurant manager with an overall picture of your background. If you’re a recent grad, you may want to place this section above your employment history, while more experienced professionals should do the opposite. 

List your degrees and high school diploma from most recent to oldest as you did for your work history. Add the degree name, school, dates attended, and location. If you’re still a student, you can also add 1-2 bullet points that showcase academic achievements like leadership positions, relevant coursework, or impressive grades. Just make sure to only pick details that have a clear link to the restaurant job you’re applying to.

Beyond formal education, this section is a great opportunity to list certifications or training relevant to your restaurant work like food hygiene or bartending courses.

Adaptable example for education and certifications

Associate of Science in Culinary Arts, Johnson & Wales University, North Miami 
September 2012 - June 2014

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Pick the right resume layout and design for a restaurant resume

To work in a restaurant, you won’t need an overly complicated resume layout, but you should still strive to create a positive and professional first impression through your design choices. Make sure your header stands out and clearly showcases your name and contact information. An accent color can help with this, although for more high-end restaurants, a neutral color scheme is often a better choice. 

Make sure to include lines for separating sections along with bolded subheadings and bullet points to keep your resume easy to read. Expertly designed resume templates are a great way to create a clean and professional look that you can easily adapt for each restaurant you apply to.

Restaurant job market and outlook

Restaurant employment continues to fluctuate since the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, overall growth remains positive. According to the National Restaurant Association, demand for employees is still high, meaning you should be able to find a restaurant job during the course of your job search.

What type of salary you can expect in restaurant jobs

The salary for restaurant jobs varies widely based on location and the exact position, but here are a few examples of median annual salaries from U.S. data.

Restaurant resume text only

Restaurant resume text only

Profile

Experienced restaurant professional seeking a management position that utilizes my skills in team leadership, customer service, and efficient restaurant operations to contribute to the success and growth of a renowned dining establishment.


Employment history

Lead Server at The Cheesecake Factory, Miami 
November 2016 - Present 

  • Train and mentor new servers, ensuring high standards of service and customer satisfaction
  • Coordinate with kitchen staff and management to optimize restaurant operations and resolve issues
  • Consistently receive positive feedback from customers and management for excellent service and professionalism

 

Bartender at Applebee's, Fort Lauderdale 
July 2014 - October 2016 

  • Created signature cocktails and provided expert recommendations to customers
  • Managed bar inventory and placed orders to maintain adequate stock levels
  • Collaborated with servers and kitchen staff to ensure timely and accurate service


Skills

  • Customer Service 
  • Excellent Communication Skills 
  • Leadership Skills 
  • POS systems 
  • Extensive knowledge of food and beverage pairings


Education

Associate of Science in Culinary Arts, Johnson & Wales University, North Miami 
September 2012 - June 2014

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Key takeaways for building a restaurant resume

Restaurant jobs are a great stepping stone into the professional world, or even a possible career path for those looking to become chefs and managers. Make sure to create a resume that highlights relevant industry experience or focuses on transferable skills and motivation if you’re still a student. Use action verbs, numbers, and concrete information to clearly explain why you’re the best candidate for the specific role.

A strong layout and presentation is also an important part of showing a hiring manager that you would fit into the restaurant work environment. Our online resume builder allows you to quickly create an attractive resume to impress employers and land a restaurant job in no time.

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