If you’re looking for a position as a server or waiter, never send a resume without a cover letter. The cover letter will pique the hiring manager’s interest in your resume and convince them to take the next step: invite you in for the interview.
Types of cover letters
When looking for a job in the restaurant/food industry, there are two types of cover letters you can send out.
- An application cover letter is used when you’re looking at a specific position found in your job search. That means the establishment you’re writing to is looking for candidates to fill slots and you believe you fit the bill.
- A prospecting cover letter is sent to a hiring manager on spec. That means the business hasn’t actively advertised any positions but you’re inquiring about the possibility. Many a candidate has been fortunate enough to have the talent and experience to get the job because the hiring manager was unable to pass up having that person on their team.
Know what kind of cover letter you’re sending out and design it for that purpose.
The below example paragraph shows the focus and general gist of an application-style cover letter:
I saw your post for a server on Indeed. I am confident I have the necessary skill and background that you are looking for. I believe I bring a level of experience to the table that will help the company grow and maintain its current reputation as an exemplary place to get a good meal.
The below example paragraph shows the focus and general gist of a prospecting-style cover letter:
For the last two years, I have been employed at TGIF’s as a Head Server. That has helped me learn a lot about restaurant franchises and that includes your management training program. I am very interested in learning more about your program and any other employment opportunities.
These letters should encourage interest in you and show how you are an asset. Close out the cover letter with your phone number and email address, and note your preferred method of contact.
The content of your cover letter
A waiter and server cover letter should not repeat what’s already in the resume. It should promote and complement the material, convincing the hiring manager to go further. The cover letter offers you the chance to tell a compelling yet brief story as to why you are the best candidate for the job. The cover letter will be the first impression and should be the personal touch that leads to the fact based resume.
Tailor each letter to the company you’re applying to. Don’t simply substitute company and position names. A good cover letter will give reasons for interest in that organization and why your relevant experiences would be of benefit to that specific organization. The cover letter should demonstrate a level of interest and knowledge of the organization and position.
Keep it personal. A resume is essentially a list of accomplishments and responsibilities. The cover letter is your chance to humbly talk about how great you are. This was mentioned already but it bears repeating -- tell a compelling story that connects your experience and talents to the needs listed in the job ad. Mention your professionalism in always ensuring every customer gets the highest level of service.
Talk about why you love you being in the restaurant industry, and how that enthusiasm will be brought with you to the new position. Again, a primary area of focus for any cover letter for a waiter or server job is customer service. Touch on your strengths with customer service, as customer service is without a doubt one of the key skills needed for any waiter/server job.
You also need to display a bit of knowledge about the restaurant you are applying to work in. You don't need to recite the restaurant's entire history, but do know a little bit about their area of expertise, any dishes they're known for, their customer base, etc. If the restaurant has recently been in the news (and it's good news), feel free to touch on that, too. It shows you have done your homework on the restaurant, which will be appealing to the person reading your cover letter.
Thank the hiring manager for reading the letter and reviewing your resume. Suggest a good time and best way to contact you. Many suggest you offer to call at some point. We advise against that. Hiring managers are busy and if they are interested they do not need reminders of your existence.
Writing a waiter and server cover letter is an important piece of work. LiveCareer offers an expansive selection of Cover Letter Templates and Cover Letter Examples to help you get the job done right. Also, check out our Wait Staff Cover Letter Sample to get a feel for how to write one for a restaurant job.
Want more help? Check out these resources