Restaurant servers, also called waiters or waitresses, are the face of a restaurant or bar. Their job is to attend to patrons and provide high-quality, friendly service to ensure a pleasant experience. Finding the perfect server can seem like a tall order. You want someone who’s well-organized, personable, trustworthy, and hard-working, but they also need to be closely attuned to your customers’ needs.
Sound difficult? It’s not as hard as you may think! In this guide, we’ll clue you in on everything you need to know to create the perfect restaurant server job description, starting with three sample job description templates. You’ll begin receiving high quality server resumes before you know it.
Server Job Description Example
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Fine Dining Server Job Description Example
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Experienced Server Job Description Example
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Write a Server Job Description That Will Serve You Well
When looking for a server, you’re probably on the hunt for someone that’s friendly, customer-oriented, and great with people. After all, they’ll be the face of your company. But in the same way your future server will represent you, your job descriptions will represent your restaurant to your future employee. So what does that mean for you?
Basically, you want to have a job description that’s just as engaging as your future server! That means you can’t be vague or generic, and you also can’t wax poetic for two or three pages. Easier said than done, right?
We’ve seen way too many job descriptions that just list the responsibilities with no info on the restaurant, and some that literally just say “Restaurant Server wanted” without any clear contact info! It might feel difficult to strike the line between just enough and completely overboard, so here are some tips on how to find that perfect balance.
So, why do you need a server anyway?
Here’s a golden tip on how you can start to structure your restaurant server job description: are you focusing on why you’re actually hiring for the position? For example, does your cafe need better quality staff? Is your restaurant or catering business growing and becoming more than your staff can currently handle?
Make it clear upfront why you need a new server to allow potential candidates to assess if this job could be a great fit for them.
Equally important is writing your job description in a way that reflects the values and qualities you want to see in your future hires. If you’re looking for a restaurant server, you’ll be looking for someone who’s got excellent customer service skills, a sharp memory, and is a team player. How does your job description convey that?
- If you’re looking for someone with great customer service skills, do you mention the need for a customer-first mindset in the job description? Do you clearly emphasize that your organization offers a great customer experience?
- If you need someone with a sharp memory, do you make it clear that active listening is required? Do you highlight the importance of taking orders accurately?
- Should you need a team player, have you included needed soft skills like great communication? Does your About Us section showcase that your restaurant is a team? Do you offer any benefits that show how you care about your team?
If you spend a few extra minutes to really infuse your company’s unique perspective and tone of voice, you’ll be well on your way to writing a server job description that connects with your audience.
Edit for a job description that hits the spot
The first draft of your job description rarely hits all the right notes; it’s editing that really takes your job description to the next level.
Once you’ve included the minimum requirements like your about us section, requirements, and qualifications (more on that later), make sure that only what’s essential is there. A good rule of thumb is to keep it to around 500 words (after all, concise writing keeps the reader’s attention and sticks in their brain longer).
After you’ve cut out the fluff, check it for grammar and spelling. Also, keep an eye on the overall flow and tone: does each paragraph stick to one main idea? Does the whole server job description read smoothly? If it doesn’t, make changes until it sounds natural.
Finally, have a second pair of eyes check the text (ideally someone within the food service industry). Once that’s done, check for any formatting issues and then publish it online. Let the server resumes start rolling in!
A Server Job Description Outline to Stir You
Feel like you know what needs to go into your job description, but no idea how to structure it or get started? Follow our tried-and-true outline, and you’ll be done in a jiffy!
First off, provide a quick intro about your restaurant or bar. Don’t give too many details, but provide just enough to entice readers to give the job a chance. Try to answer questions like why you’re hiring, who they’ll be working with, and when are you looking for a server to start.
About the company
Last but not least, include a “behind the curtains” peek into your organization. Don’t give them your entire history, though. Simply explain a bit about who you are and what’s important to you, like your values, mission, and vision.
What you’ll be doing
While many server tasks are common within the field, it’s still important to list the most important ones your future server will be doing on a daily basis. Alternatively, use this section to highlight what’s unique about the role.
We’d recommend using bullet points (like we did below) so it’s easier for readers to quickly skim through this section.
- Provide excellent table service and meet all guests’ expectations, answering any questions needed
- Perform side work and close-out duties on a rotating basis
- Understand the menu (pairings, preparation, cooking, methods, etc) to guide clientele
Candidates use this section to determine if they have a shot at getting the server position. While it’s important to list the necessary qualifications, avoid the urge to include every possible hard or soft skill the ideal candidate should have.
Many skills can be learned on the job, so only include what’s absolutely necessary to have from the get-go.
- 3-5 years experience in fine dining
- Strong communication skills (French, German, or Russian a plus)
- Can carry up to 50 pounds
- Retail Food Program Service certification required
It’s important to reward and recognize the hard work of your employees, but don’t make promises you can’t keep. Be honest about the benefits you offer, like insurance or PTO, and include a salary range so potential candidates can quickly determine if it’s a good match for their needs. Add any other benefits that will make you stand out from the competition, too, like gym memberships or paid company trips.
What Are Servers in Charge of Anyway?
Most servers will need to juggle many hats as they perform various tasks at a restaurant, cafe, or bar. While servers won’t hold every role listed below in one given day, you can use the below examples to include some potential roles for your restaurant server job description.
- A great restaurant is only as good as its service. The core of a server’s role is to make sure their guests are comfortable and having a great time. By doing so, they’ll be likely to ensure that customers come to visit again.
- Receive and greet guests, checking tables to ensure guest satisfaction and maintaining all sanitary standards, while also resolving any guest issues and answering questions
- This role requires strong interpersonal skills, a customer-first mindset, great verbal communication skills, and a friendly demeanor.
- With increasing food and delivery prices, restaurants can struggle with profit margins. However, a great server will be skilled in the art of upselling, bringing up the average check size (and total tip), benefitting both them and the restaurant in one fell swoop.
- Take orders and serve food and beverages to guests, upselling when possible
- This role requires a deep understanding of our menu and products, excellent negotiation tactics, strong verbal communication skills, and an attentive eye for detail to determine what customers might like.
Conflict resolver/problem solver
- Like it or not, situations will arise when restaurant patrons aren’t 100% satisfied with their order. Whether the kitchen forgot to serve a dish, or service takes longer than normal, customers may become frustrated. An excellent server will rise to the challenge and find a suitable approach to resolve disagreements and ensure guest satisfaction.
- Resolve any issues that may arise with customers and find a satisfactory outcome, transferring to the manager on duty if necessary
- This position requires excellent conflict resolution skills, patience, and the ability to stay calm under pressure.
- Running a restaurant involves more than just serving customers—it also involves keeping the business afloat. Many establishments don’t have dedicated full-time staff just for those tasks, so usually servers are responsible (at least in part) for additional administrative duties such as counting money in the register, detailing inventory levels, and more.
- Perform additional duties on a rotating basis as needed, including but not limited to attending company meetings and checking inventory
- The role requires strong attention to detail, math skills, and excellent written communication skills.
Food & wine expert
- At more upscale or fine dining establishments, you’re likely to have patrons ask complex questions about the menu, or expect recommendations. Whether it’s answering questions aout food preparation techniques or suggesting wine pairings, an excellent restaurant server can keep guests happy, upsell items, and provide an unforgettable dining experience.
- Maintain a thorough knowledge of the menu (pairings, preparation, allergens, etc.) to answer customer questions and provide recommendations
- The role requires a strong passion for food and drink, some wine knowledge, and excellent verbal communication and sales skills.