Should I write a cover letter when applying for restaurant jobs?
We scanned over 10,000 recent job applications processed by our website – all geared only towards restaurant jobs. Amongst all the applicants who got a response, 67% did have a cover letter. If the data is to be believed, then yes you must provide a cover letter when applying to restaurant jobs if you want to increase the chances of getting an interview call.
If your mind is now wondering about “how to write a cover letter?” or “what is the purpose of it?” then keep reading! 😊
What is the purpose of a cover letter?
A cover letter is your sales pitch, it is an introduction to who you are. Show your personality a little bit, offer a glimpse of what you bring to the table – how your hard skills and more importantly soft skills align with the restaurant needs. It should offer just the right amount of information to tempt a restaurant manager to read your resume.
The cover letter becomes even more important when applying for front-of-house (FOH) job roles such as barista, cashier, or server jobs. For every back-of-house (BOH) job applicant (cook, baker, dishwasher), there are about 10 FOH job applicants (server, host, cashier, barista, bartender, beertenders). How do you expect the restaurant manager to choose you over 100s other applications under the time pressure to hire fast? They wanted to hire yesterday. A good cover letter can make that difference.
Pro Tip – If you are someone who gets excited seeing brewery / beertending jobs – guess you are not alone. About 23% of all the applications we get are for brewery jobs (See graph below). Beertender is the hottest, and the coolest restaurant job of 2021 specially amongst college students. If you really want the job, make your application stand out!
Cover letter vs resume – What is the difference between them?
A cover letter is a personalized introduction to who you are and why you are apt for the job. A resume provides details into your work experience and sort of providing a proof of what you claim in your cover letter.
Keep your resume 1-2 pages and highlight 3-5 of your most relevant and recent job experiences. Do not forget to add your email, phone number, and location in the resume.
Pro tip: Do not have a resume ready but want to apply to a job ASAP? Choose to write a cover letter over building a resume. 10% of candidates who got a response from the restaurant manager did not have a resume but had a solid cover letter!
How to write a cover letter?
If you search the internet say “server cover letter” you will find hundreds of tips, sample formats on how to write a winning cover letter. No matter what format, the style you pick, make sure your cover letter answers these four questions in one to three short paragraphs.
1. Who are you?
Provide a short introduction about yourself.
2. What do you bring to the table?
Highlight a bit about your experience. Speak about your prior work that is most relevant to the job you are applying to.
3. Why interested in “this” job?
Restaurant owners pride in their business and want to hire candidates who want to work with “them” especially. Tell them why you picked their job over others. Whatever you say, be honest. Proximity to your home location is a fair reason and so is say – the vibe of the café!
4. Why “you”?
Mention why you are the best for the position and why the restaurant manager should hire you over someone else. Make sure to personalize your answer – show how your personality aligns well with the restaurant.
Sample Cover Letter for Restaurant jobs
We create two sample restaurants cover letter templates (with filled out examples) which can increase your chances to get an interview call the next time you are looking for a restaurant job. Remember this is just a sample. Make it your own!
1. Cover Letter Template – for service industry applicants with minimal or NO PRIOR EXPERIENCE
This cover letter works for almost any candidate applying to the entry-level front of house jobs such as a server, barista, cashier, busser, and hosts. It’s short, sweet, and honest.
Dear <Restaurant name> team,
I am excited to apply for the <Name of the position>. Though I am an entry-level applicant in this industry, I am passionate about doing a good job and I’ve received multiple compliments from my previous managers for my <adjectives-to-describe-how-you-work>.
<Your-reason-for-why-this-job> and would love to join the team behind it. I believe I’ll make for an outstanding <Position> thanks to my <highlight-your-best-soft-skills-that-are-required-for-this-job>. I am excited to show you how my proactiveness and cheerful attitude can help provide a positive experience for your team. We can coordinate for an interview at your convenience.
Filled Out Cover Letter Template (EXAMPLE ONLY)
Dear Abracadbra team,
I am excited to apply for the Cashier. Though I am an entry-level applicant in this industry, I am passionate about doing a good job and I’ve received multiple compliments from my previous managers for my efficiency, proactiveness, and teamwork skills.
I enjoy visiting Abracadbra as a customer and would love to join the team behind it. I believe I’ll make for an outstanding Cashier thanks to my good energy and excellent communication skills. I am excited to show you how my proactiveness and cheerful attitude can help provide a positive experience for your team. We can coordinate for an interview at your convenience.
2. Cover Letter Template – for service industry applicants WITH PRIOR EXPERIENCE
This sample pretty much works well for any candidate who has prior restaurant experience.
Dear <Name of the restaurant> team,
I am applying for the job of <job-role> at your restaurant. I am sure that my skills as a <your-top-hard-skills>, experience, and <your-top-soft-skill> make me an ideal candidate for the position.
I have been working in the industry for over <number-of-years-working-in-restaurants> years. One of these jobs was in <Job you’d like to highlight>, a well-known place in <Location of that job>, where I worked for XX years. I began working there as a <your prior job role> and earned the trust of the managers and kitchen staff to help in other areas.
<Your-reason-for-why-this-job>. I would love to be a part of <Restaurant Name> team. I am confident that my experience and skills makes me the valuable, and the dependable team member you are looking for. I have attached my resume look forward to having an interview. Thank you very much for your time and consideration.
Filled Out Cover Letter Template (EXAMPLE ONLY)
Now let’s say you have experience as a prep cook, and dishwasher. You are applying for line cook role at a family run restaurant near you. Here is how your cover letter could look like using the above template.
Dear Abracadabra team,
I am applying for the job of a line cook at your restaurant. I am sure that my skills as a prep cook and dishwasher, and my go-get-it-done attitude make me an ideal candidate for the position.
I have been working in the industry for over 4 years. One of these jobs was in Canlis, a well-known place in Seattle, WA, where I worked for 2 years. I began working there as a dishwasher and earned the trust of the managers and kitchen staff to help in other areas.
Th idea of working in a close-knit, family-like environment is attractive to me. I would love to be a part of Abracadbra team. I am confident that my experience and skills make me a valuable, skilled, and dependable team member you are looking for. I have attached my resume look forward to having an interview. Thank you very much for your time and consideration.
Where to hire a restaurant resume writer?
We understand that creating a good resume and cover letter takes time and can often become a boring exercise. Let’s be honest. Not everyone has the time to sell themselves on a piece of paper. They are busy doing actual work!!
So let us help you! Click the red button below and fill in your contact information. Our highly specialized team of resume writers will reach out to you and create a shiny new resume!
You came this far reading the blog so let me reward you 🙂 Use the COUPON CODE “86YESTERDAY” while filling the form below to get an additional discount for your resume & cover letter! Yay!!
(Offer valid only till Jan 31st, 2021)
Hope these restaurant cover letter samples help you get your next restaurant job! Good Luck with your job hunting!!
I am an avid reader (non-fiction) and writer. My morning routine has 1 hour of reading time – keeps me alive and sane! My two favorite books from the food industry are “Kitchen Confidential” by Anthony Bourdain and “On Food And Cooking” by Harold McGee.
I can cook eggs. Don’t expect anything beyond that 🙂