We surveyed US hiring decision-makers to find out if cover letters are still necessary and if *you* need one to land a job in 2020. Here’s what we found.
A tantalizing server cover letter, coming right up!
Getting the best serving jobs requires more than a smile and the ability to carry three plates on one arm.
Every restaurant has a pile of resumes in a drawer somewhere.
There’s a reason—they’re as bland as nachos without the dip.
After you apply our advice, the manager reading your server cover letter will feel like he’s ordering off the secret menu.
In this guide:
- Two server cover letter examples: one fine dining server cover letter, and one for someone with little to no experience.
- Everything there is to know on formatting your restaurant cover letter.
- A walkthrough of all the elements of a successful serving cover letter.
- A fill-in-the-blanks template you can have ready in 15 minutes.
For starters, have a look at these two server cover letter examples. See how they make the best of their strengths.
1. Server Cover Letter Examples
First, is a fine dining restaurant cover letter by Molly, a waitress with several years of experience.
Molly is applying for a job which apart from the usual serving responsibilities asks for special proficiencies in holding up high hospitality standards while serving guests, being able to provide extensive knowledge of dishes, combinations, and upsell on this basis.
This server cover letter conveys that perfectly:
Example #1: Experienced Restaurant Server Cover Letter
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4977 Gambler Lane, Channelview, TX 77530
Channelview, September 15, 2019
14 Restaurant Street
Channelview, TX 77530
I was elated to see a Server opening at the Ivy, having been impressed with the quality of service and food as a guest there last year. With 4+ years of serving experience under my belt, I am certain that I can help you uphold your standards and improve even further.
In the job ad, you say you require a server that can uphold the highest hospitality standards, and have complete knowledge to advise and upsell to customers. In my current position at Duck&Waffle, I have consistently scored 98%+ on menu knowledge, combinations and wine pairings. I am used to a high-traffic environment like yours, regularly serving 120-150 covers in an eight-hour shift. I have been commended 4 times by my manager for above-and-beyond hospitality and customer service.
When I visited The Ivy, I had a feeling that even though everything was extremely sophisticated and high-end, nothing was forced or fake to drive up the prices. It felt like the ultimate fine dining experience, which this town lacks. This is why I believe this is the best place for me to work and develop.
When would be good to have a meeting or a call to discuss how I can apply my fine dining skills and experience to further cement The Ivy as the best restaurant in town?
You can bet that Molly is going to be one of the waitstaff manager’s picks.
Did this server cover letter example seem overwhelming? Do you not have that much experience, or does the job simply not require it?
No big deal.
Even if you have no serving experience, we will help you write a serving cover letter that will set the table. For your job interview.
This is Greta, a candidate with zero relevant experience. She’s writing a cover letter for a server position at a big chain restaurant. The position requires a positive attitude, communication skills, and being familiar with food handling and preparation.
Example #2: Entry-Level Waitress Cover Letter
4458 Lightning Point Drive, Channelview, TX 77530
Channelview, September 15, 2019
12 Restaurant Street
Channelview, TX 77530
While in Applebee’s for lunch, I was excited to spot that you are looking for servers. I have always enjoyed chatting to your employees there, and it seems like a fun place to work at. As an outgoing student with customer service skills, I will fit right in.
The notice read that you require someone with a positive attitude, good communication skills, that can follow food handling and preparation guidelines. In my current job as a Cashier at Joe’s, I have been assessed at 100% for following procedures, so I am confident I can follow yours too. I have been commended for my positive attitude when dealing with difficult customers two times in three months, and I have good leadership and communication skills from being active in the Debating Club at school.
Applebee’s in our town is a social hub for young people and adults alike. Every time I visited, I was made to feel at home and had great fun. I love giving back to the community and helping people feel good, so I think it is the right place for me to gain more experience.
Can we have a meeting to discuss how my customer service skills can help Applebee’s uphold its spot as the primary meeting spot in town?
These are two server cover letters that will definitely stand out.
Don’t have a resume ready yet? See a dedicated example here: Server Resume Samples & 20+ Writing Tips
Let’s work on your own server cover letter now.
2. Write a Glowing Server Cover Letter Step by Step
Here’s how to ace your server cover letter:
1. Set The Table—with Our Server Cover Letter Format
The restaurant floor can be chaos.
If you can’t write an organized cover letter, how will you be trusted to juggle serving a dozen tables at a time?
Let’s let the waitstaff manager know that you are a professional.
Key formatting tips for your server cover letter format:
- Keep the text aligned to the left. Don’t justify. Indent only if you have space.
- Make things square with 1-inch+ margins on all sides.
- Use an easily readable font—Calibri, Arial, Times New Roman.
- Space your lines out in 1.15 increments. Leave a line between each section and paragraphs.
- One page cover letters are more than enough.
Expert Hint: Many jobs are declining, but not this one. Your server cover letter will be relevant for a long time—the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that server jobs will grow by 170 thousand, or 6% in the next decade. Not a server yet? Check out our career change resume guide.
2. Include Your Contact Information in Your Server Cover Letter Header
People sometimes put their contact details on their resume, but forget to do it on the cover letter too.
And your restaurant cover letter header must match your resume header 100%.
Below, list the city and date, and then the contact details of the hiring manager.
Just like this:
Server Cover Letter Header
[ Your Full Name]
[ Your Job Title ] (Optional)
[ Phone Number ]
[ Email Address ]
[ City and Date ]
[ Hiring Manager’s Full Name ]
[ Hiring Manager’s Position, e.g. Waitstaff Manager ]
[ Company Name ]
[ Company Street Address ]
[ City and Zip Code ]
3. Tell Them What Position You’re Applying For, And Why
Restaurants are busy—on the customer side and on the employee side.
You aren’t going to be the only candidate for that server job.
You can be the best one, though—
Show that you mean business right away—and in your cover letter, address the hiring manager by name.
Most people won’t take the time to find this information out, which will make your server cover letter stand out.
At the start of your cover letter make clear which position you’re applying for, and describe in short why you are the right person.
You can use this fill-in-the-blanks template based on our restaurant server cover letter examples:
Server Cover Letter Sample: Introduction
Dear [Hiring Manager’s Name]:
When I saw that you are looking for a [Position Title] at [Target Company Name], I was thrilled. As a server with [number of years]+ years of experience, with [customer service/hospitality/menu knowledge/wine pairings/other relevant skills you have] expertise,I’m certain I can help you uphold your status as the top restaurant in town.
4. Describe What Your Strengths Are
Don’t serve a bland dish.
When writing a cover letter for restaurant server positions, after you introduced yourself, get into why they should hire you.
Look at the description of the job advertised. Out of the list of the skills, duties and responsibilities, think about which ones are the most important to the employer, and which ones set you apart from the crowd.
Describe yourself as their perfect candidate, and back it up with your achievements in those things.
If you’re in a rush, start with this template.
Serving Cover Letter: Second Paragraph
You advertise that you are looking for a [Position Name] skilled in [refer to the requirements of the job]. During my time as a [Name of Your Current or Most Recent Company] I have gained experience in [responsibilities, duties, or projects you’ve successfully completed, supported by metrics, if possible]. I am confident that these skills will translate into success for [Target Company Name].
Expert Hint: Want to increase your chances? Get certified as a restaurant server by the American Hotel and Lodging Association Educational Institute. The more certifications on a resume you have, the better your chances.
5. Show That You Want To Work There
The last paragraph of your server cover letter should explain exactly why you want to work there.
Of course, you’ll be applying to many places, but it doesn’t take long to make every one of them feel special.
Take a little time to find something distinctive about your employer, be it through their website, or just going to have a look around.
This will set your server cover letter apart from the copy-and-pasted rest.
Check out how we personalize our serving cover letter examples:
Cover Letter For Restaurant Server Example: Your Motivation
I find it really admirable that at [Target Company Name], you put such a strong focus on [something you genuinely admire about the company]. These values are also personally important to me, therefore I believe [Target Company Name] is the ideal opportunity for me to develop my skills, and help you keep your standards high.
6. Secure The Result: Call To Action
You’re almost there. Right at the end of your cover letter.
A good server doesn’t slouch in the last hour of their shift.
If the reader got this far in your server cover letter, don’t leave anything to chance.
Be bold and ask for an interview or at least call, and justify it with your biggest strength or achievement in their most desired skill.
See this fill-in-the-blanks waitress cover letter:
Server Cover Letter: Call to Action & Sign Off
Let’s schedule a meeting or a call to discuss how my [your strongest skill/achievement] can help [Target Company Name] achieve [their goals/something important to them]?
[Digital Copy of Your Handwritten Signature]
[Your Full Name]
When composing your restaurant cover letter, remember to:
- Make sure your header matches the one on your resume—and remember to address the hiring manager directly.
- Copy what suits you from our server cover letter examples—or check out our other cover letter templates from ResumeLab.
- Make clear the position you’re looking for, and give a short rundown of why you’re the best person for this job—in the first paragraph.
- In the second paragraph—show you can fulfill the key requirements and duties of the position, backed up by your achievements and skills.
- Research something distinctive about your employer—and show them real interest this way in the third paragraph.
- Don’t leave anything to chance—request an interview, and sign.
Any questions left unanswered about server cover letters? Need further help with writing your cover letter for server positions? Drop a comment, we’ll help!