Waiter/Waitress Skills: Add to Improve Your Resume!

There are over 2M jobs out there for Waiters & Waitresses

Think of the times that you’ve gone out to eat. You likely had a Waiter or Waitress taking care of filling your order and making sure your drink glass was never empty. How long did it take you to get an impression of how well that Waiter or Waitress would perform? Seconds? Minutes? 

That’s how it is when you apply for a Waiter or Waitress job. You have to leave an immediate impression on potential employers so they’ll have a reason to hire you. That’s where your Waiter/Waitress resume comes in. 

So, if you’re trying to land one of those 2M available Waiter/Waitress jobs, you have to have a resume that highlights the right skills. Let’s take a look at the Waiter and Waitress skills you’ll want to use to up your job-search game and improve your resume.

What do Waitresses and Waiters do?

Alright, let’s talk about what Waitresses and Waiters actually do. Here’s a quick rundown of the typical duties:

  • Greeting customers: Welcoming guests with a smile and seating them.

  • Taking orders: Getting customer orders right and passing them to the kitchen.

  • Serving food and drinks: Bringing food and drinks to the table and making sure everything is perfect.

  • Handling payments: Processing payments and making change.

  • Clearing tables: Cleaning up after customers and getting tables ready for the next guests.

  • Customer interaction: Chatting with customers and making sure they have a great experience.

What are the top Waiter and Waitress skills?

So, what skills do you actually need to be a great Waiter or Waitress? Well, they can be split into two main categories: hard and soft skills

Hard skills

Hard skills are the technical things you need to know to do the job effectively. They’re learned through training and experience and are critical for performing your job as a waiter or waitress. In fact, mastering hard skills can make you more efficient, which can, in turn, lead to better tips and more job opportunities. 

Here are some key hard skills you should highlight on your resume:

1. Point of Sale (POS) systems: Being a pro at using POS systems is a must. You’ll need to take orders, process payments, and maybe even manage tabs without breaking a sweat. Familiarity with different POS systems shows that you can quickly adapt to the technology used in various restaurants. This skill not only speeds up the service but also reduces errors in orders and billing.

2. Food and beverage knowledge: You must know the menu inside and out, understand the ingredients, and be able to recommend dishes like a food guru. This means being knowledgeable about dietary restrictions and allergens and pairing drinks with meals. Your expertise can enhance the dining experience and encourage customers to return.

3. Safe food handling: Keeping things clean and safe is super important. You need to know food safety and hygiene practices to keep everyone healthy. This includes understanding proper storage, learning about cooking temperatures, and avoiding cross-contamination. Certifications in food safety can be a big plus on your resume.

4. Customer service: This skill involves providing top-notch service, handling complaints like a pro, and making sure customers leave happy. It involves understanding the principles of excellent customer service, such as being attentive, courteous, and responsive to customer needs. Effective customer service can significantly enhance the dining experience and ensure repeat business.

5. Basic math skills: You’ll need to calculate bills, make change, and handle tips accurately. Math might not be everyone’s favorite, but it’s necessary! Quick and accurate math skills help provide a seamless experience for customers when it comes to billing and payments.

Soft skills

Soft skills are all about how you interact with people and manage your tasks. These interpersonal abilities help you work effectively with others and provide excellent service. Here’s what you’ll need:

1. Communication: Talking clearly and effectively with customers and your team is key. Good communication ensures that orders are accurate and that any issues are resolved quickly. It also helps in building a friendly rapport with customers, enhancing their dining experience.

2. Teamwork: Working well with the kitchen staff and other servers to keep everything running smoothly. Being a team player helps create a supportive work environment and ensures that service is efficient and coordinated.

3. Time management: Being efficient and serving customers promptly without making them wait. This skill involves prioritizing tasks and managing your time effectively during busy shifts to ensure all customers are attended to in a timely manner.

4. Multitasking: Juggling multiple tables and tasks at the same time without getting flustered. This skill ensures that you can manage a busy shift efficiently, balancing taking orders, serving food, and attending to customer needs simultaneously.

5. Problem-solving: Quickly sorting out any issues that pop up during service. Whether it’s a mix-up in the kitchen or a customer complaint, being able to think on your feet and find solutions is crucial.

What should a waiter put on a resume?

When you put together what a waiter/waitress does with the skills you need, you can start to write your resume. Match the Waiter and Waitress skills you have with the Waiter and Waitress skills listed here to make a master list. That’s the best way to craft a resume that will help you stand out from the crowd in a highly competitive market!

Here’s how to make your resume shine and catch the eye of hiring managers:

1. Contact Information

Make sure to include your full name, phone number, email address, and location.

2. Professional Summary

Since you’ll be dealing with menus a lot as a Waiter or Waitress, might as well start thinking like it. In the spirit of comparing your resume to a menu, the professional summary is like an appetizer – it gives a quick taste of what you bring to the table and entices hiring managers to read more. 

Write a brief statement that sums up your experience and skills, making sure your summary is concise yet impactful, giving employers a snapshot of your professional journey and your dedication to excellent service. For example: 

“Experienced waitress with over 3 years in high-volume restaurants. Skilled in POS systems, customer service, and food safety. Committed to providing exceptional dining experiences.”

3. Waiter and Waitress skills

Create a dedicated section for your Waiter and Waitress skills, as it’ll help your resume get past the applicant tracking system. Use bullet points to list both hard and soft skills to cover all the bases and impress a hiring manager:

4. Work experience

Back to comparing your resume to a menu, here comes the main course! List your previous jobs in reverse chronological order. Include the restaurant’s name, your job title, and dates of employment. Highlight key responsibilities and achievements that demonstrate your Waiter and Waitress skills and accomplishments. Here’s how to present your experience effectively:

Restaurant Name | Job Title | Dates of Employment

  • Managed up to 10 tables simultaneously in a busy restaurant.
  • Trained new staff on POS systems and food safety procedures.
  • Increased customer satisfaction scores by 15% through attentive service.

5. Education

Include any relevant education, like your high school diploma or any hospitality courses.

6. Certifications

List any certifications you have, like a food handler’s permit or alcohol service certification.

Final tips for a stellar waiter/waitress resume

  • Tailor Your Resume: Customize your resume for each job application, highlighting the Waiter and Waitress skills and experiences most relevant to the job description.

  • Use Action Verbs: Start your bullet points with action verbs like “managed,” “trained,” “increased,” and “handled.”

  • Keep it Concise: Aim for a one- or two-page resume that is easy to read and free of unnecessary details.

  • Proofread: Ensure there are no typos or grammatical errors. A polished resume reflects your attention to detail.

Serving up a successful job search

By highlighting the right Waiter and Waitress skills and crafting a well-organized resume, you’ll be ready to snag that Waiter or Waitress job you’ve been dreaming of. Remember, your resume is your chance to make a great first impression, so take the time to tailor it to each job application. Showcase your unique experiences, your dedication to excellent service, and your ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment.

Need to verify that you have the right Waiter and Waitress skills on your resume? Get a free review from our team of expert resume writers. 

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