After being cooped up in 2021, 2022 is projected to be a very good year for hospitality. So, for those looking to get back into the industry, a job as a restaurant server might be a great opportunity. In fact, waiter jobs can be quite lucrative when the industry is bumping.
Now, although the demand for waiters is high these days, getting a waiter job that fits your needs may not be as simple as it sounds. There are quite a few factors to consider when looking, and applying, for these waiter job postings.
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Whatever your situation is, there is ample opportunity to find waiter jobs that fit your lifestyle. There is a shortage of hospitality workers out there, and managers are looking for willing candidates.
However, these opportunities won’t just be handed to you. You still need to do your due diligence, spruce up your resume, and refresh your skills in order to land a great waiter job.
Here are 5 tips for applying to waiter jobs, so that you can get the shifts you want.
1. Spruce up Your Resume to Get the Best Waiter Jobs
Before applying to any position, including one as a waiter, you should thoroughly review your resume. You want to make a good impression.
Make sure your resume is up to date and doesn’t have too many gaps. It is not the end of the world if there are gaps in your resume, but just be sure to have a good reason for them. The experiences that you list in your resume should be as relevant as possible to the waiter job that you are applying for. If you don’t really have much experience in the industry, try to highlight experiences that showcase skills that can be seen as transferable. For a great guide on how to write a stellar food service resume, check out this free resource or click the button below to download the resume template now.
Identify the skills that a manager is looking for in a waiter and highlight them in your resume:
Hospitality is all about customer service. You need to be able to put on a friendly face and communicate professionally. If you have any experience in a customer service role, be sure to highlight it (even if it’s not as a waiter).
Some roles will require you to have certain certifications in order to work as a waiter. If you already have any of these certifications, carve out a section in your resume for them so that employers can quickly see that you have the requirements written out in their waiter job posting.
In order to handle food, some jurisdictions will require you to have a food handling certificate. The ServSafe Food Handler course is accepted in all 50 states, but not all states have a hard and fast rule about needing it.
Another common requirement for a waiter is a certification to serve alcohol to guests. Depending on what state or province you live in, there are different age requirements for serving alcohol. The majority of states permit adults over 18 years old to serve alcohol, but there are some that require servers to be at least 21 years old. Check out our bartending article for more details on this.
Attention to detail
The busier a kitchen gets, the more things can go wrong. Sometimes it is up to you to notice any problems with an order before they occur.
Every touchpoint with customers is a special opportunity. Simple, repetitive tasks such as providing guests with menus, going over daily specials, being attentive to drink refills, are all opportunities to stand out.
Multitasking and problem solving
When it comes to waiter jobs, you may need to remember complex orders, split bills, and offer menu suggestions. Make an effort to showcase your multitasking abilities and your problem-solving skills to potential employers.
Waiters are constantly communicating with other wait staff, back of house staff, and customers. Communication and teamwork are the keys to success when it comes to working as a server. Highlight experiences where you had to communicate and work with multiple people in a professional capacity. Consider highlighting leadership skills when you are describing your experiences on your resume. It could hlp you land an even better waiter job!
Demonstrate that you can keep your cool in hectic environments (like happy hour at a restaurant). Emphasize experiences where you had to manage multiple tasks, as well as your own emotions, in a busy environment. You can share examples of emergencies that occurred and how you responded to them.
2. Look for Jobs that Fit your Experience Level
It takes more than googling ‘waiter jobs near me’ to find a waiter job that fits your experience level. Working as a waiter or waitress for a restaurant is different from working at a specialized event venue. Try to apply for jobs that are similar to the roles that you’ve held in the past. If you were a bartender that helped your colleagues by taking on some server duties, you can note that when applying to a wait staff job. Some restaurants will require you to have some experience as a waiter but others are happy to hire a newbie. Every single waiter who is working now was a beginner at some point, so don’t worry if you aren’t as experienced.
3. Look for Shifts that Fit your Schedule
Most waiter jobs at establishments such as restaurants will require you to commit to a weekly or bi-weekly schedule. They don’t offer much flexibility. If flexibility is what you are after in your next job opportunity, a career as a temp worker in hospitality might just be for you. If you sign up with different temp staffing agencies, they will send shifts your way. However, most of them will bombard you with shifts that are below your pay expectations and desired locations. You could easily end up wasting a lot of valuable time scanning and responding to shift requests that don’t fit your desired schedule, location, and overall preferences.
Luckily, there are other options out there. Hyre’s temp staffing marketplace encourages temp waiters and waitresses to note their availability and preferences. This allows you to receive notifications for shifts that actually take your preferences into consideration. The digital nature of the platform ensures that you can update your availability on your profile without having to communicate back and forth with an agency through emails or calls.
4. Refresh your Skills Prior to your First Waiter Shift
Some restaurants have trial periods that they use to determine if a new waiter has potential. It’s okay to make mistakes during your first shift, but you must show improvement and learn from mistakes in order to land a full-time contract. Consider practicing how to prepare tables, hold 3 plates and oval trays, and serve food, prior to your shift. To put this in perspective, you will need to carry 2-3 plates on a tray on a regular basis. Your manager will appreciate your dedication to learning the craft of a waiter.
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5. Consider Multiple Workplaces
If you are looking for more income, it is worth considering multiple workplaces. Most events and restaurants hiring waiters do so on a part-time basis, and you may have free time that you can spend earning money. It is also a good way to test out different waiter jobs to see which one is a better fit for you. Hyre’s temp platform allows you to pick up shifts posted by different venues. This variety can also be very exciting!
As you can tell, there is a lot to consider when applying to your next waiter job. We hope you weigh all of the options and use our tips in order to land the best job possible.