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Professionals in the food service industry market their skills with all-inclusive cover letters detailing their experience. Your cover letter can help get you noticed for an interview or move into higher-level jobs such as chef.
Learn important formatting techniques with a food service cover letter sample from our extensive library. Generate your professional cover letter with an easy-to-use cover letter builder and valuable letter-writing tips.
Workers in the food service industry perform a variety of tasks, depending on their specific role, but all of them share certain skills. To stand out as a premier food service professional, customize a cover letter example to highlight your excellent customer service, communication and teamwork skills. Illustrate these skills with specific examples from your previous positions, focusing on relevant skills based on the job description..
Food service managers are responsible for the daily operation of restaurants, which requires excellent management, communication, organizational and interpersonal skills. Update a restaurant manager cover letter sample to reflect your experience in the food service industry, including your ability to oversee numerous employees and activities, schedule workers, order supplies and manage budgets.
A server’s main duty is to help restaurant guests and generate sales for the restaurant. That requires them to submit food orders to the kitchen, send drink orders to the bar, fulfill orders correctly, and deliver everything safely to the correct tables. To stand out as the best server for the job, emphasize your food and beverage knowledge and provide specific examples of your superior hospitality skills in hectic situations.
Bartenders assist guests, and take and execute drink orders. This requires extensive product knowledge as well as a repertoire of classic and contemporary cocktail recipes. Employers seek bartenders who serve drinks quickly and accurately while providing superior customer service. Stand out as a top-notch bartender with examples working at high-volume establishments and exhibiting grace under pressure. The ability to multitask and handle money accurately are also important skills.
Hosts are responsible for greeting guests as they come into the restaurant, and overseeing reservations and restaurant capacity. Hosts determine where guests are seated and have the important role of making people feel welcome and accommodated while also setting the pace of service for servers and the kitchen. Appeal to potential employers by filling your cover letter with details as to the restaurant capacity of previous employers, reservation duties and your enthusiasm for hospitality.
Cooks and line cooks are responsible for the execution of orders sent to the kitchen from servers. This requires food preparation: chopping, cleaning and cooking. All orders must be made to the specifications indicated by the server with an attention to detail to prevent allergy complications. To make a strong cover letter for a line cook position make sure to emphasize the amount of daily volume the restaurant could do, the kitchen stations you perform the most strongly in, and how you contributed to controlling/minimizing food costs.
Chefs oversee daily food preparation at dining establishments, including directing cooking staff, planning menus, developing recipes, ordering raw ingredients and preparing food. Showcase your ability as a world-class chef with details about any professional culinary training you’ve completed and examples of high-end restaurants you’ve helped prosper with your culinary skills. Citing specific examples of how you managed or improved food costs will definitely make you appeal to employers.
Dishwasher may not be the most glamorous job in food service, but is one of the most essential. A dishwasher is responsible for making sure a restaurant has clean plates for guests, and that the kitchen has all the clean tools they need for prep and service. For a dishwasher position, it’s good to highlight the overall size of the restaurants you worked for to give a potential employer an idea of the volume you can handle. Be sure to mention any additional duties taken on including waste removal, cleaning and kitchen prep.
This template is perfect if you’re seeking a bold visual statement, and also demonstrates that you are as up-to-date as your potential employer.
With its striking fonts and vivid coloring, this cover letter template helps you make a strong impression with hiring managers.
For job seekers who want to show off strong qualifications and experience without distracting bells and whistles, this clean cover letter example fits the bill.
The classic cover letter template is a good choice for job candidates with minimal experience who want to project a professional image.
This sharp layout places emphasis on job experience and major achievements, highlighting your abilities as a top-level manager.
This cover letter example is easily adaptable across many professions, allowing you to detail your experience, leadership skills, and technical expertise.
This clean template emphasizes your progressive, up-to-date experience and achievements -- the qualities that pioneering, cutting-edge companies seek.
This solid template lets you get to the point with your credentials, and why you are a good fit for the job.
When you need to get all the important details about your capabilities across without wasting space, use this compact, well-organized template.
The most common sections you’ll see on a cover letter include:
Cover Letter Sections
Input your name, city and state, phone number and email address into the heading of a food service cover letter. We recommend that you create a dedicated professional email for your job search.
You can also add your full postal address to the header, but many hiring managers admit that it’s fallen out of fashion. Recent studies have also shown a new hiring bias against commuters, so if your address is outside of the hiring manager’s optimal commuting distance, this information could hurt your job search.
Personalize your food service cover letter by addressing your greeting to the person hiring for the position. Finding this information is slightly easier if you’re applying for an independently owned cafe or a restaurant — the owner or manager is normally in charge of hiring. You can find this information by reading restaurant reviews, or calling the hostess and asking.
As you can see in this cover letter, our sample applicant, Ms. Leanne Brindle, is applying for a barista position at a nationwide chain. Since this is a national company, she can’t address her cover letter to the owner. Instead, she identifies the cafe leader, or store manager, as the person responsible for local hires and wisely addresses her letter to Ms. Theresa Adams.
Introduce yourself, including the specific position you’re seeking. Briefly explain why you’re the best fit for the job and the skills you possess that match the job requirements using pertinent industry-related keywords. Ms. Brindle fails to do this in her cover letter.
She lets the hiring manager know that she has a few years at a larger national coffee chain, but she doesn’t specify how many years. She also fails to explain how her experience makes her the ideal candidate for a barista position. You can improve on this letter by adding one detailed example that meets the job requirement. Let’s use the hypothetical Blue Bottle barista position that Ms. Brindle is applying to.
If the position requires all baristas to understand optimal brewing temperatures and describe flavor profiles to customers, you can spin this.
“I like to attend local roasters every season to request free cupping sessions, where I learn optimal brewing times and temperatures to achieve the perfect cup of joe. I would love to bring this knowledge to your branch and learn more about Blue Bottle's different beans and brewing styles.”
Expand on your introduction by connecting your past accomplishments with the requirements in the job description. Focus on your most relevant qualifications and skills with specific examples from your professional experience. This is where Ms. Brindle allows herself to shine.
She shares her average drinks-per-hour rate with the hiring manager, and highlights her food and safety skills by sharing how frequently and easily she can pass health inspections. A good or poor health rating can seriously impact a cafe’s business, so this is an important skill to share on a resume. If you include similar metrics on your cover letter but include the personalized details we recommend for introductions, you’re more likely to get an interview.
End strong by summing up your qualifications for the job and why you want it. Thank the reader for their time and politely express your interest in continuing to the next stage in the hiring process.
Attention to detail is vital in the food service industry. Demonstrate your thoroughness by proofreading your cover letter and resume to ensure they’re free from typos.