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Whether you’re interested in a position at your favorite chain restaurant or are trying to move into fine dining, an eye-catching cover letter is an important part of your application package. Let us help you get started by using one of our server cover letter examples. Answer a few questions about yourself and your previous server experience, and use the tips and tricks below to build a well-written cover letter that is tailored to the position.
The most common sections you’ll see on a cover letter include:
Cover Letter Sections
Make it easy for the hiring manager to contact you by including your name, email and phone number in a clear font at the top-center of your server cover letter. You don't need to include your full mailing address.
Address your server cover letter directly to the hiring manager of the restaurant or establishment to which you’re applying.
If you’re applying to a national chain, you can address your letter to the local branch manager. You can normally find this information by calling in and politely asking the host for this information.
If you’re applying to an independently run location, you can address either the restaurant owner or manager. You can find their names by reading press releases or published reviews about the restaurant.
Indicate your interest in the server position, and briefly describe your experience and skills that the job requires. We strongly recommend that you identify one responsibility from the job advertisement that you excel in and open your letter with your accomplishments in that field.
For example, if you excel at pairing wine suggestions with multiple entrees and you’re applying for a server position at a restaurant with a renowned wine menu, point this out in your introduction. You could write:
“I specialize in wine pairings and tastings and feel a particular joy in helping my guests pair their meals to the perfect, complementary wines. I feel like this skill and passion makes me an ideal candidate to join your expert team.”
Use the body paragraphs to expand on the information in your resume, letting the reviewer know of any experience with POS software, or giving an example of how you handled an unhappy patron.
As you can see in this sample cover letter, Mr. Jackson strengthens his cover letter with some detailed specifics. He uses quantifiable metrics to let hiring managers know that his strengths lie in servicing a large number of dining guests per hour while maintaining clean, organized dining and prep areas. This makes him a great candidate for high-traffic restaurants.
If you can write a strong introduction followed with additional details like Mr. Jackson offers, you’ll be a strong candidate.
End on a professional note by expressing your thanks and asking for an interview or follow-up call.
Finish by including a valediction like “Best regards,” or “Sincerely,” and your name.
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.
Server and waitstaff positions are expected to experience average job growth through 2026, and these openings often see many applicants, especially for entry- and mid-level positions. To help your cover letter stand out, you’ll need to include action verbs and keywords relevant to the food service industry, and the specific server position to which you’re applying. You can usually find these action verbs by scanning the job description and looking for a bulleted list of job duties.
Take: Show you can take customer orders with accuracy and efficiency.
Perform: Indicate your ability to multitask by performing side work at your job.
Cooperate: Tell how you cooperate with fellow staff members.
Confirm: Make clear that you know how to confirm guests’ orders before putting them through to the kitchen.
Suggest: Highlight your skill for suggesting food and drink pairings.
While your resume may list these job duties in concise bullets, your cover letter should expand and give the hiring manager more details on how and when you performed these duties and the experience you gained.
It's important to include these keywords and phrases in your server cover letter to get past the applicant tracking systems (ATS) many companies use now, especially large chains that often require candidates to apply online.
These programs filter out cover letters that don’t include the pre-programmed keywords, which can mean your application doesn’t get to human hands even if you have the experience and skill set the position requires. For example, if you are applying for a job as a server at a fast-paced steakhouse chain, you may include a paragraph such as:
“I worked for three years at XYZ Steakhouse, handling an average of six tables at a time, and taking around 150 orders a night. I was responsible for completing side work, ranging from rolling silverware to cleaning my section, and had a guest satisfaction rating of 96 percent, based on customer surveys.”Build a Cover Letter
A professional resume is a great way to catch the attention of a hiring manager, but matching your server cover letter to your resume creates an even stronger application package, and increases the chances you’ll get an interview. Take the time to match the font and header on the cover letter and resume, and make sure that as you customize your server cover letter example that it reflects and expands on the bullet points in your resume.