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If you’re looking for an active customer service role in fine dining or the culinary arts, you should consider the flexible hours of waitstaff. Finding a waiter position is no easy task, but you can help yourself stand out from the pool of applicants by creating a well-written, concise waitstaff cover letter to capture the attention of busy restaurant managers. When you use a waitstaff cover letter example to help you, the process is simple. We paired our job-winning letter with specialized advice on how to structure your experience in your own cover letter.

Sections of a Waitstaff Cover Letter

The most common sections you’ll see on a cover letter include:

Cover Letter Sections

For this section, provide your contact information and center it at the top of the page. Provide the date you’re writing the cover letter and the employer’s mailing address.

Pro tip: While it’s appropriate to add your city and state to your cover letter heading, you no longer need to include your full mailing address. Today, most hiring managers will contact you via phone or email.



    Open your cover letter with a greeting such as “To Mr./Mrs./Ms. [last name of hiring manager]:” The name can usually be found in the job posting.



      Use this section to introduce yourself and express your reason for applying. Alternatively, you can take a creative approach and write a memorable opening cover letter line.



        The body of your waitstaff cover letter should be concise, typically three to four sentences that relate your skills and experience to the specific job to which you’re applying. If it’s a mom-and-pop diner or family oriented restaurant, highlight your abilities to make customers feel at home and comfortable. If the restaurant is more in the fine dining category, mention your attentiveness and knowledge of wines or different types of cuisines — be careful, though: Don’t fake it and make sure to be authentic.



          End your waitstaff cover letter with a friendly invitation for the restaurant manager to contact you for an interview, and thank them for their time in reviewing your submission.



            If you’re hand-delivering your application or submitting it through the mail, provide a handwritten signature with a typed version and phone number placed below it. If submitting electronically, just type your name.



              Make Your Cover Letter Stand Out

              The best jobs get many applicants, so it’s important to make your waitstaff cover letter stand out. One of the best ways to do this is to incorporate attention-grabbing action verbs in your cover letter and resume. Here are a few examples of action verbs that could work for a waitstaff cover letter.

              Communicate: This can be used to refer to your communication skills and ability to be personable with customers and colleagues.

              Maintain: Restaurants are busy work environments. Management will want to know you can be tactful and remain cool under pressure. This can also refer to your ability to maintain flexibility and odd work hours, including weekends and holidays.

              Deliver/Provide: These words can help indicate your excellent guest service skills.

              Multitask: Waitstaff must be able to multitask effectively — taking orders for multiple tables and being accurate, juggling multiple responsibilities.

              Make: Some restaurants require their waitstaff to be able to make recommendations from the menu, and appeal to guests’ tastes and flavor preferences.

              Importance of Using Waitstaff-Related Keywords

              Many larger restaurants use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to help them find the most qualified individuals. ATS can help businesses cut down the pool of applicants by as much as 50 percent simply by scanning resumes and cover letters for certain waitstaff-related phrases and keywords.

              Look at the following job advertisement, for example. We scanned the ad for any responsibilities that were repeated or slightly rephrased, such as customer service by welcoming guests and creating a positive experience, and maintaining a clean environment by clearing dishware and maintaining table layouts.


              If you were applying for the following job, we’d recommend writing something like:

              “In my previous position, I was responsible for maintaining a friendly and clean environment for my guests by clearing away empty glassware and properly arranging tables. I did this to ensure excellent customer service for each guest and made sure to welcome each customer as they entered the establishment.”

              Build a Cover Letter

              Match Your Waitstaff Cover Letter to a Resume

              A waitstaff resume is only as good as the waitstaff cover letter that’s paired with it. When you use our cover letter sample to highlight your skills and restaurant work experience, you can help strengthen what’s listed on your resume and show why you are an excellent fit for this waitstaff position.


              Additional Food Service Cover Letters

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