Create a Food Service Resume
in 5 Simple Steps

  • Step 1: Add Contact Info

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  • Step 2: Include Work Experience Details

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  • Step 3: Provide Education Details

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  • Step 4: Select Your Skills

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  • Step 5: Fill in Your Background

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Get Expert Writing Recommendations for Your Food Service Resume

Being able to articulate your skills and experience is critical in the food service industry. Cultivating this skill can turn even the most mundane tasks into extraordinary-sounding accomplishments.

LiveCareer’s Resume Builder makes writing a food service resume quick and easy by providing text suggestions for every section. Here are some examples of text the builder might recommend for the Work History section of your food service resume:

  • Memorized restaurant wine stock and appropriate entree pairings, driving daily wine sales.
  • Tended bar at special events up to five times a month and directed the team to provide exceptional service for social gatherings.
  • Maintained adequate levels of condiments and well-stocked drink stations to keep service flowing smoothly.
  • Delivered in-depth training to workers in food preparation and customer-facing roles to promote strong team performance.
  • Compiled 25 recipe ingredients and prepared them for cooking by washing, cutting and/or measuring food items.
  • Operated efficiently in a high-volume setting to prepare and serve more than 70 drinks per hour.

8 Do’s and Don’ts for Writing a Food Service Resume

  • Do Choose an Appropriate Food Service Example. Some restaurants are fun and playful while others are more formal and reserved. Your resume should reflect the difference. Choose a design that mirrors your personality and the restaurant’s general vibe.

  • Do Use Active Voice for Descriptions. When job seekers use the active voice, it displays confidence and shows that you got the job done. Consider the difference between saying you were responsible for accurately memorizing 50 wine and entree pairings versus saying that you simply memorized all 50.

  • Do Use Numbers When Appropriate. Many people reserve numbers for tech, accounting and other STEM-field resumes. However, using numbers can lend credibility to your resume and experience. Quantify not just the work you did but also the advantages this generated for the restaurant or bar (e.g.,“Upsold dessert items, increasing store sales by $800 per week.”).

  • Do Get Creative: Some individual food service roles call for creativity while others do not, but the restaurant business overall does. Try to strike a balance between fun and formal by getting creative with descriptions. This can help your resume stand out to a hiring manager, who is likely to receive anywhere from dozens to hundreds of applications.

  • Don’t Forget to Focus on Food Service: Even if you had a great corporate job in tech before moving into food service, it’s a good idea to keep your resume centered on your direct experience in the field. If you don’t yet have a lot of food service experience, then point out your transferable skills. For example, customer service skills gleaned as a receptionist will come in handy as a server or hostess.

  • Don’t Forget the Soft Skills: Focusing on your food service skills and qualifications is important. However, employers also appreciate soft skills, such as communication. This skill comes in handy when listening to customers to take complex orders and multiple requests.

  • Don’t Get Too Wordy: Many people who work in food service are passionate about what they do. Still, it’s important not to get wordy with the descriptions. Focus on writing succinct descriptions of what you did, the effect it had on the establishment and customers, and any numbers you have to support those results.

  • Don’t Exaggerate the Truth: Employers with experience in food service can spot exaggerations or accomplishments that don’t look feasible. They may then call your previous employer to verify your statements, which would cause you embarrassment. Stick to the truth on your food service resume.

Beat the ATS With These Food Service Resume Skills

When writing a food service resume, you need to consider how you will get past recruitment software. Known as applicant tracking systems (ATS), these programs scan resumes for preset keywords to then create a shortlist of resumes for a human to review.

LiveCareer’s Resume Builder helps you beat ATS by pinpointing the right skills for food service. Depending on the position you have in mind, these may include any of the following:

  • Ability to work in a fast-paced bar or restaurant environment.
  • Flexible schedule.
  • Clear tables quickly and efficiently.
  • Ability to neutralize conflict in a bar setting.
  • Sanitize utensils after use.
  • Memorize menus, specials, and wine pairings.
  • Manage alcohol inventories.
  • Ability to keep track of customers’ alcohol consumption.
  • Record orders accurately.
  • Set tables for up to a 12-course meal.

Food Service Resumes for Every Professional Level


Food Service Worker

Food service workers with very little experience may still bring other assets to the table. Choosing an example that utilizes a functional format, like the one above, can help you flaunt these by focusing more on your professional skills, education and general qualifications than on your work experience.

The example shows employers that while Alan has not been working in the business for a long period, he invested in his education in culinary arts and acquired the basic skills needed to be successful in a restaurant or bar environment. Build my Resume


Head Bartender

As food service workers climb to mid-level positions, they gain invaluable work experience. Many may also complement this with a degree or certification in a related field. This may range from culinary arts, to business management, and to communications.

Combination resume formats, such as the resume above, allow workers to give equal attention to experience, skills and education. This immediately emphasizes the array of assets the worker will bring to the table. Build my Resume


Restaurant General Manager

After many years of experience, food service workers will want to focus more on their stellar work than on their skills. In a chronological resume format, like the one above, the Skills Section drops below the applicant’s Work History and focuses on highlighting high-level skills that are valuable in food service. In the example above, these include staff scheduling, workflow planning and regulatory compliance, which are all skills used in a management-level role. Build my Resume

Food Service Cover Letter

If you find this sample helpful, we have many more food service cover letter examples.

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Resume Success Stories

Statistics and Facts About Food Service Jobs

Popular Medical Job Titles

  • Restaurant manager
  • Bartender
  • Food service worker
  • Barista
  • Host/Hostess
  • Server
  • Dishwasher

Source: Fit Small Business

Median Annual Pay by Job Title

Food servers $21780
Host/Hostess $22160
Barista $22330
Bartender $22550
Food service manager $54240
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Facts About Food Service Workers

  • Elementary and high school cafeterias employ about 4 percent of America’s food service workers.
  • The IRS estimates that 40 percent of tips go unreported, which implies that salaries for food service workers may be higher than it appears.
  • Tips make up about 70 percent of the salary for most servers, but about 10 percent for chefs and cooks.
  • Tips per hour range from $13 in San Francisco, Boston and Miami to $7 in Detroit, Seattle, and Minneapolis.
  • Some students have remained in the food service business in the hope of gaining the experience they need to open their own restaurant. In fact, ECPI University estimates that in 2012, 40 percent of food service managers owned either a food service franchise or a restaurant.
  • CBS News estimates that 14 percent of servers have a bachelor’s degree, while 16.5 percent of bartenders have earned the same.

Source: Chron and The Atlantic

Best Cities for Restauranteurs

Are you considering opening a restaurant? If so, you’ll want to find the best market. Below, we’ve identified the top five cities for becoming a restaurateur. Pro tip: Texas tops the list.

  • Cedar Park Texas
  • Frisco Texas
  • Mission Texas
  • Alpharetta Georgia
  • Franklin Tennessee
  • Fishers Indiana
  • Smyrna Georgia
  • Milpitas California
  • Round Rock Texas
  • Southaven Mississippi

Source: NerdWallet

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