Waiter Cover Letter: Tips and Examples

Updated 19 April 2023

If you are a people person with great attention to detail and the ability to multitask, you could be the perfect fit within the service industry. Whether you have been waitressing for several years or have no experience yet, a cover letter is the best tool to set you apart from other applicants. Prove to recruiters that you have what it takes to be an exceptional candidate by showcasing your desirable skills and qualities. In this article, we guide you on how to craft the perfect waiter/waitress cover letter with helpful tips and examples to get you noticed.

Related: How to Write a Cover Letter

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How to write a waiter/waitress cover letter

When writing a cover letter for a wait staff position it is important to tailor each one to the specific role you are applying for. Your cover letter is what distinguishes you as an individual. Unlike a CV that provides a factual list of your skills and qualifications, the cover letter allows you to inject some personality, letting the recruiter get to know you better. Follow these guidelines to make sure your cover letter leaves a great first impression:

1. Create a confident opening paragraph

The opening of your cover letter needs to grab the attention of the recruiter so you must confidently explain why you are applying for the role. If you have an authentic connection to the restaurant or brand, convey your enthusiasm about the opportunity to work for their business. If you have been referred by an employee mention this from the outset, this will motivate the recruiter to find out why they think you are a good fit for the role and increase your chances of being offered an interview.

Related: 7 Powerful Ways to Start a Cover Letter (With Examples)

2. Show how you add value

Working in the service industry has few formal requirements, therefor waiters and waitresses are common entry-level positions for job seekers. To ensure recruiters pay attention to your cover letter it's essential to show how you can add value in other ways. Show that you are excited by the job opportunity and passionate about delivering an excellent dining experience to patrons. Highlight key skills listed in the job description and demonstrate them using your experiences either during education, volunteering or work experience. Describe two or three key accomplishments that reflect how you deliver an exceptionally good level of service.

Related: How to Write a Skills-Based CV: Template and Examples

3. Be concise

It can be tempting to try and list as many skills and qualifications as possible within your cover letter, but you mustn't simply rehash your CV. Instead, provide a few succinct anecdotes that are relevant to the job description, keeping to under one page in length. When you have finished writing your cover letter, re-read it and identify any sentences that are too wordy and remove any information that does not directly relate to the advertised role. Use your cover letter to give the recruiter specific insight into the traits you possess that make you an excellent waiter/waitress.

4. End with a call to action

When concluding your cover letter you want to encourage the recruiter to make contact and proceed to the next phase of the application process. To improve your chances of getting an interview you should sound both confident and enthusiastic in your closing statement. Express both your interest in the role and the value you will bring to the business while showing an eagerness to learn and improve while on the job. Finish by thanking the recruiter for their time and consideration and advise them of your availability to move forward to a face-to-face or telephone interview.

Related: How to End a Cover Letter

Skills to include in a wait staff cover letter

Every employer will have specific skills that they are looking for in a waiter/waitress so it is important to refer back to the job description regularly when writing your cover letter. Here is a list of common skills that recruiters value when hiring new wait staff:

  • Communication - A good waiter or waitress must listen attentively to the needs of the customer and be able to reiterate any food preferences or allergies to the kitchen staff. It is also your responsibility to convey any messages from the kitchen to the diners should a message need to be passed along. You should be able to effectively answer customer questions and also engage in polite, friendly conversation to give the diners a pleasant experience.

  • Memory - There is a lot you need to remember as a waiter or waitress, from menu details, seasonal specials, customer requests and allergy sensitivity. While a notepad and pen is a useful tool, employers are looking for staff who have the ability to reliably recollect details throughout the course of their shift.

  • Time management - Waiting staff are responsible for managing several tasks at once, so the ability to multitask and effectively manage your time is an essential skill. One table may be ordering their starters while another is finishing their dessert, you should be able to stay attuned to each tables individual needs throughout your shift and keep on top of tasks to provide a seamless service.

  • Physical stamina - A large portion of the wait staffs shift is spent on their feet, lifting heavy trays of food and cleaning down tables. You must possess the physical endurance to complete all of your tasks while remaining energetic and attentive to customers.

Related: 10 Best Skills to Include on a CV

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Example waiting staff cover letters

Here are two example waiter/waitress cover letters that you can use to help you write your own:

Waiter/waitress cover letter example

Dear Ms Jones,

It is with much excitement that I submit my CV in response to the waitress position available at Restaurant XYZ. I was told about the opportunity by my former colleague Steven Rowe, who I worked closely with waiting tables for 3 years at ABC Diner. My reputation for delivering first-class, customer-focused service and passion for providing a premium experience makes him think I would be a good fit for this role.

During my time at ABC Diner, it was my responsibility to provide patrons with a quality dining experience. I can remain calm and focused under pressure while taking orders and handling a large volume of tables. I can also respond promptly and courteously to any requests. I have hands-on experience cleaning down and resetting tables following strict hygiene standards. I am meticulous in all aspects of my work and can be depended upon to perform opening and closing duties. Some of my skills and accomplishments include:

  • Competent mathematics skills and confidence handling credit card and cash payments

  • Assisted in the training of 5 new waiters to increase overall restaurant performance

  • Memorised ABC Diner's wine list and implemented a menu pairing strategy that boosted wine sales by 10%

I feel that my energy and enthusiasm, along with my previous experience would make me a great addition to your team. I would welcome the opportunity to discuss my application in more detail and am available at your convenience for an interview. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Yours sincerely,

Grace Edwards

Waiter/waitress cover letter example - no experience

Dear Mr Singh,

I was excited to see that Restaurant ABC has a position available for a new waitress, as a frequent patron of your establishment with a passion for the food and hospitality industry I am confident I would make a great addition to your team. I have just completed a Level 2 diploma in food and beverage service that has taught me the skills required to take on my first role outside of college.

I am an enthusiastic and energetic individual who is eager to provide outstanding customer service to a multitude of diners. Here are some of my strengths that would enable me to make a positive contribution towards the smooth running of Restaurant ABC:

  • Able to work at a fast pace while remaining calm under pressure

  • Familiar with a wide range of food and beverages and able to memorise menu options

  • Understanding of the importance of effective hygiene measures

  • Positive work ethic and ability to accurately follow instruction

  • Confident handling money and taking payments

I am a reliable individual and work well either as part of a team or autonomously and feel my attention to detail and excellent communication skills would make me an exceptional candidate for the position. Please find a copy of my CV enclosed outlining further details of my skills and experience. I would very much like the opportunity to visit your restaurant and discuss my application in more detail at your convenience. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Yours Sincerely,

Maggie Peterson

Related: Interview questions for a server (with examples)

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