10 Useful Waitress Resume Skills (And How To Improve Them)

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 24 February 2023

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Pursuing a career as a waitress can require mental and physical stamina to achieve excellence. To be successful, there are several skills that you may want to develop, which can also help you show your experience when applying for the role in a restaurant. Including them in your resume can help you present yourself as a suitable candidate to the hiring managers. In this article, we define waitress resume skills, list some important examples, share steps to improve them and show ways to highlight them effectively.

What Are Waitress Resume Skills?

Waitress resume skills comprise a range of hard skills and soft skills that assist in successfully carrying out the job responsibilities and ensuring customer satisfaction. They include skills that are necessary for taking orders properly, handling food securely and providing exemplary customer service. Operating point-of-sale systems, following proper food handling practices and having the ability to conduct transactions daily are some examples of hard skills. Communication, powerful memory and customer service are examples of soft skills.

For employment as a server, there are usually no formal educational requirements. Trainees may work under an experienced waiter who instructs them on serving procedures. Some organisations may have a more formal training programme to better equip their employees to serve customers with etiquette.

Related: How To Become A Waiter: A Guide With Duties And Skills

10 Essential Waitress Resume Skills

Including your waitressing skills in your resume can help you convey your familiarity with the responsibilities to potential employers. Below are some important skills you may include in your resume when applying as a waitress:

1. Point-of-sale systems

Familiarity with point-of-sale systems of restaurants can help you show the technical skills necessary to carry out tasks as a server. Uses of point-of-sale systems can include processing payments, entering orders on proprietary systems, communicating customer orders to chefs and assigning customers to their tables. Though they may differ between establishments, general knowledge of point-of-sale systems is usually transferrable.

2. Food safety

Another important skill to have as a server is being responsible for the food you serve. This competency displays your understanding of safe food handling practices and your dedication to the health and welfare of your clients. It requires having good hygiene, cautious handling of food and utensils, following the cleaning and sanitisation process and being aware of the regulations for safe food handling. You can include this skill in the skills section of your resume and also mention the ones that apply in your employment history section.

3. Listening skills

Good listening skills can help you listen to your customers and understand them without internal or external circumstances distracting you. This includes asking for clarification, summarising and paraphrasing to understand the request of your customers effectively. By actively engaging with them to fulfil their requests, you can demonstrate your sincerity and dedication to making their experience pleasant and satisfactory.

4. Multitasking

Multitasking is another important skill to have as a server, as you may work on multiple tasks and serve multiple orders regularly. It is important to check if customers require any additional help with serving or require second portions simultaneously for multiple customers. For instance, one customer may ask for a soup or starter while another may ask you to bring the check.

5. Communication

Effective communication abilities show the capacity to articulate concepts and information in a way that others can comprehend, whether verbally or in writing. It is important to ensure that customers can understand the menu and food substitutes available. It can help you ensure that you correctly understand client requirements as well. Excellent communication skills also allow you to convey the orders of customers to the kitchen staff and answer any queries they may have effectively.

Related: Top Communication Skills For A Resume (With Examples)

6. Positive language

Using positive language means letting customers know what you can do to help them. It comprises the capability of positively framing remarks and conveying information. For instance, instead of just informing a customer of your inability to fulfil their request if they ask for a certain substitute that the restaurant does not have, you can suggest potential alternatives. Using positive language when communicating with customers can increase the chances of enhancing their experience and ensuring their satisfaction.

7. Problem-solving

Problem-solving is the ability to find solutions that are acceptable to both the client and the establishment. This entails identifying the existence of an issue, locating potential fixes and giving the client alternatives for resolving the problem. Offering alternatives for meal replacements or customising orders to the dietary requirements of the customer are two instances of when a waitress may implement their problem-solving skills. If a customer finds their experience unsatisfactory, you may also work with the management to provide a suitable and mutually agreeable solution to resolve the situation effectively.

8. Patience

As a server, being patient can ensure you can help customers in understanding the menu and choosing their orders. Working patiently also ensures you can give attention to the customers and their requirements and can effectively cater to their requests during your shifts. When you are patient with others, it shows your respect and diligence, which may convince them to visit again.

9. Resilience

When serving many consumers or managing difficult clients, resilience is a crucial ability to deliver great service. It can help you ensure that a difficult circumstance with one customer does not adversely affect the positive experience of another customer. It can also enable you to manage various tasks without experiencing symptoms of exhaustion or overwhelm and maintain a positive attitude successfully at the workplace.

10. Social perception

Good social perception can help you in assessing customer satisfaction and foreseeing their requests. It can also help you detect when a customer may require attention and understand their emotions, including their satisfaction with the meal and overall experience. Social perception can also help you adapt your service approach as necessary to give the best possible client experience.

Related: 14 Effective Tips To Improve Your Resume Writing Skills

How To Improve Waitress Skills?

Here are some steps you can follow to improve your waitress skills:

1. Perform a self-assessment

Conducting a self-assessment is the first step in determining areas you require improvement. Making notes during customer encounters may help you determine the skills that can lead to successful interactions and favourable feedback to improve as a professional and deliver better service. Self-evaluation can be more effective if you can follow it as a continuous learning process to equip yourself better for the role.

2. Take feedback from your manager

Managers observe how servers interact with the customers to ensure proper service. You can ask them to provide you with feedback on your interactions and highlight your strengths and weaknesses. You can also ask them for tips on how to improve the weakness to make your interactions more efficient and informative.

3. Practise

Another useful way of improving your waitressing skills is by practising at home. As most of these skills are transferable, you can learn them every day throughout your career and improve yourself. For instance, you may practise memorising several names or items that the restaurant where you work regularly serves so that you can quickly provide customers with any substitutes based on their preferences or assist with any food-related query quickly.

Related: Key Food Server Skills (With Definition, Examples And Tips)

Ways To Highlight Waitress Skills

Below are ways you can highlight your waitress skills in different steps of your job application:

On a resume

There are several places on your resume where you can highlight your skills. You can review the job description to identify the essential skills that the hiring employers are looking for in their potential hires. By incorporating those skills or keywords in your resume, you can customize the resume that directly relates to the job and also increase its chances of clearing any screening rounds the hiring company may conduct by using applicant tracking systems. These applications scan and shortlist eligible applications based on set hiring criteria by the employer.

Related: Food Server Resume Skills (With Templates And Examples)

In a cover letter

When writing your cover letter, elaborate on the details of the skills you provide in your resume. This includes describing how your abilities benefited previous positions you held. You can also talk about the goals you want to achieve and the ways you intend to contribute to the organisation in meeting its objectives.

During a job interview

An interview gives the opportunity to convince potential employers that you can be successful in the role. You can prepare a list of relevant workplace scenarios using the STAR method, which requires you to specify the situation, task, action and result to show your efficiency in your previous roles. If required, you can also explain how these experiences helped you develop as a professional to help the interviewers assess your dynamic approach to work and achieve success.

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