Great service is essential to running a successful restaurant, which is why you need to become a pro at restaurant staffing and learn how to craft a solid server job description.
In this guide to writing a restaurant server job description, we’ll cover:
- A basic overview of the server role
- A restaurant server job description sample
- A few key tips for hiring a star lineup of servers
What is a Restaurant Server?
Restaurant servers (also known as waiters and waitresses) are the front of house staff in your restaurant. Their main responsibilities include taking food orders from guests and delivering orders to the kitchen, bringing customers their meals, and delivering checks when guests are finished eating. However, as anyone in the industry knows, the restaurant job description for a server goes far beyond those core duties.
Hiring the right service staff gives your restaurant the opportunity to make a positive first impression on your guests. A friendly server who is knowledgeable about your menu, as well as calm and organized in their approach, has the power to delight your customers and turn them into loyal regulars. In contrast, a server with a prickly or frantic demeanor who’s prone to making mistakes can leave a bad taste in your guests’ mouths.
In addition to charming your customers, restaurant service staff should also be team players and take on other server responsibilities as needed. These tasks might include seating guests (unless you have a host to take care of this), clearing plates from tables, taking pickup and delivery orders, rolling cutlery and cleaning wine glasses when your restaurant is quiet, and other various duties. Keep in mind that a fine dining server job description will vary from a family restaurant server job description.
Streamline the hiring process with our printable restaurant job application template.
Server Job Description Sample
Now that you’re familiar with the basics of the server role, let’s dig into a sample job description for a server. Feel free to tweak and use this food server job description for your own restaurant!
Our busy family restaurant is looking for a friendly and experienced server to provide excellent service to our guests. As a member of our team, your main responsibilities will include taking food orders from guests, serving meals, and collecting payment.
Successful candidates will have a passion for customer service and previous experience in the restaurant industry. If you perform well under pressure in a fast-paced environment, and you enjoy working with other front and back of house staff to deliver high-quality guest experiences, we’d love to hear from you.
- Greeting guests and seating them at clean tables as per our seating chart
- Bringing waters and menus to your tables shortly after arrival
- Taking food and drink orders, and making suggestions if requested
- Communicating food and drink orders to the kitchen and bar
- Bringing drinks and food to your tables
- Checking in on your guests to confirm that they’re happy with their orders and dealing with any issues as needed
- Collecting plates when your guests are finished eating
- Offering dessert and/or the check once your tables are cleared
- Collecting payment from guests
- Helping your team members out as needed by seating other servers’ tables and running their food if your section is not full
- Cleaning and organizing the restaurant as needed by rolling cutlery and polishing wine glasses if your section is not full
- Conducting all responsibilities in a prompt, friendly, and organized manner
Server Requirements and Qualifications
- Experience working in a fast-paced restaurant environment
- Strong customer service skills and a passion for interacting with people
- Ability to perform duties under pressure with a friendly and patient attitude
- Strong time management skills, with a prompt and organized approach to your work
- Ability to work well with kitchen, host, and bussing staff in a high-energy setting
- Familiarity with general cash handling procedures and POS systems
- Ability to provide a clean, safe environment for guests
- Honesty, integrity, and a self-motivated attitude
- High school diploma preferred
Keep servers on task with this free, ready-to-print server sidework checklist.
Tips for Hiring Restaurant Servers
Now that we’ve gone over a standard food server job description, it’s time to cover a few tips to help you hire your best servers yet. Considering that 63% of job seekers will turn down an offer because of a poor hiring experience, it pays to get every step of the applicant journey right.
What to Include in Your Server Job Description
Each employer’s job description for a server will be slightly different depending on the type of restaurant you operate. However, one thing remains the same: while the candidates you choose to interview should know how to be a good server, you also need to do your part to set them up for success. So, be sure to write a job posting that’s as clear and descriptive as possible, and include information like:
- The kind of restaurant you operate (fine dining, tapas, pub, etc.)
- The number of shifts and hours per week you’re looking to fill
- Whether you need someone to cover days, evenings, weekdays, weekends, etc.
- Whether you require previous serving experience or a specific level of education
- The hard and soft skills successful applicants need – for example, bartending experience is a hard skill and a positive attitude is a soft skill
- Any benefits or perks that you offer (think free or discounted meals)
What to Look for in a Restaurant Server Resume
It’s no secret that the restaurant industry is currently facing a labor shortage. To make matters worse, every vacancy you have on your team costs your restaurant an average of $500 per day.
However, don’t let desperation cause you to hire the wrong candidates. If you hire a server who is a poor fit for your team, you’ll be reposting that server job description almost immediately.Here are a few key points to look for on a server’s resume to help ensure a good match:
- Previous experience: What kind of restaurants have they worked in? How many? For how long?
- Do they have the required certifications to work in your restaurant?
- Did they include any information that alludes to their soft skills, like the ability to work under pressure?
You now have a basic overview of the restaurant server role, and a server job description sample that you can make your very own. We’ve also offered several tips for hiring an all-star lineup of servers. Your next step is to create a new hire checklist so your new team members will have all the tools they need to succeed at your restaurant.