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Restaurant Cover Letter Example

The restaurant business is not for the faint of heart, but you love. Show off your passion and skill in a restaurant resume that resonances. Simply input your information and get started in your hunt for your 2022 dream job.
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Restaurant Cover Letter Example
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Restaurant jobs have traditionally been some of the most plentiful and popular entry-level positions with many of these opportunities leading to full-time careers. In fact, 1 in 3 Americans had their first work experience in a restaurant according to the National Restaurant Association. However, times change and you may need some help winning a job if the competition is fierce or the number of jobs is low. This is what a restaurant cover letter is for - giving you that competitive advantage over other candidates with similar qualifications.

Whether you already have experience as a restaurant manager, cook, server or dishwasher or you’re planning to break into the industry for the first time, it pays to understand what restaurants are looking for in the best applicants.

Food service jobs can be demanding, requiring long hours of physical work, but they can also pay off big in many ways. A large earning potential, new skills, teamwork and satisfied customers are just some of the many benefits of working in restaurants.

So how do you land a great position instead of just a mediocre one? With Resume.io’s collection of writing tips, free templates and sample sentences specifically for restaurants, you’ll be able to craft a cover letter that sets you apart and helps you score an interview – even with no experience.

This restaurant cover letter example along with our editable cover letter sample will:

  • Give an overview of the writing process and explain the purpose of a cover letter
  • Use free examples, samples and templates to walk you through cover letter structure
  • Detail how to get your first job in the restaurant industry with no experience
  • Highlight the most important skills that impress employers and make you stand out!

In order to craft the perfect cover letter, it’s a good idea to make sure your resume is in great shape first. Luckily, we’ve got tons of resources for that. Check out Resume.io’s collection of hospitality and catering resume examples , plus our resume templates and this general resume writing guide . Now you’re ready to create a cover letter that takes your application to the next level.

Free restaurant cover letter sample and purpose

Primary purpose

If this is your first time writing a cover letter, then it’s important to have a sense of what you plan to accomplish. In fact, you may not even be familiar with what a cover letter actually is. Even if you have already written a cover letter before, you may have only seen it as the means to an end. If done with care, a cover letter can be the secret weapon that lands you the restaurant job of your dreams. This restaurant cover letter example will show you how.

First, the basics. A cover letter is a one page document (about 200 to 400 words) that accompanies your cover letter and allows you to expand on your most important work experiences, skills and achievements. If you don’t have any experience in a restaurant, your cover letter can help you make a great impression and convince a hiring manager to take a chance on you – more on that in the next section.

Because a cover letter is more free-form than a resume, it gives you the chance to make a personal connection with the restaurant manager and direct their attention towards all the reasons why you’d make a great addition to their resume.

Great resume writing is an important first step, but you’ll also need clean formatting to create a professional presentation. Make sure to use appropriate font styles and sizes and keep a balance of white space to text so as not to fatigue the reader. You can find specific formatting recommendations in our overall guide on cover letters .

Expert tip

What if the restaurant job description DOESN’T require a cover letter?

Restaurant hiring can often be an informal affair. You might even know the manager who will be reading your cover letter or have worked for them in the past. Sometimes, when applications are submitted in person or by email, it can be hard to tell if a hiring manager is interested in a cover letter.

However, unless an application specifically asks you NOT to submit a one, writing a thoughtful cover letter can only help your chances of landing the position. Make sure to adapt your tone and writing to your relationship with the employer. For example, if you know the restaurant owner well, then it makes more sense to address them by their first name instead of their last.

Secondary purpose

There’s a lot of people who work in the restaurant industry, but fewer who are passionate about food and cooking. Restaurant managers understand that dishwasher might not be your ultimate career goal, but they’d still rather hire someone who is invested in their work and wants to see the business succeed. 

A cover letter is the best place to show your motivation, work ethic and commitment to customer satisfaction. Even without experience in the food service industry, you can use your cover letter to focus on transferable skills and personality traits like positivity, teamwork, efficiency and accuracy.

The best cover letters can actually put you ahead of other candidates with years of experience. A cook or server who plans to rest on their previous experience without explaining why they’re a good fit for that particular restaurant can suddenly find themselves competing with an applicant who has never worked as a server before but conveys teachability and a passion for the restaurant brand.

Expert tip

The final touches

We hope that this section has conveyed the importance of writing a cover letter. However, there is one final step you’ll need to take to make sure your cover letter has the maximum impact: tailoring it for the particular position and restaurant you apply to. 

Tailoring your cover letter means customizing it with the right skills, examples and achievements to explain why you’re not just interested in any server position, but specifically one with the restaurant you’re applying to. There are many people who can take orders and deliver food, so why should this restaurant manager take a chance on you?

Your interest in the type of cuisine, experience in similar restaurants or love of this restaurant itself can all be good starting points for tailoring your letter. Just make sure to focus on what you bring to the business side of things as well. As a customer, it’s all about what the restaurant can do for you. As a potential employee, it’s what you can do for them.

The cover letter example below will give you a starting point for your own application.

Adaptable cover letter example

Dear Mrs. Hitchins,

Because you run an establishment with four direct competitors within five minutes’ walk, I understand that you need a Restaurant Manager with the ability to provide an efficient and enjoyable front-of-house dining experience as well as ensure that culinary standards are impeccable.

Three generations of my family have been involved with Italian cuisine. I had served as manager at my cousin’s establishment until his decision to sell the business; now I want to move to a more established chain. The possibility of eventually moving up to Regional Manager is intriguing and I believe that I have much to offer your customers.

I completed my bachelor’s degree in Hospitality and Hotel Management from the University of Colorado and spent two years after graduation in Rome under the tutelage of my uncle (who runs a five-star bistro there). My eight years of experience since have been in two family-run restaurants that have regularly won industry awards.

I gave maximum attention to everything that impacts the diner experience: fostering relationships with regular diners, supervising server training, handling customer complaints and even waiting tables when we were short staffed and will continue to do so. Managers in an Italian restaurant should be visible and involved. I achieved an increase in customer satisfaction rating from 85% to 98% at my previous position. We increased spend per customer by 28% by upscaling the menu and improved profits by focusing on our cost base and reducing waste, while still paying the best staff salaries in the market.

My proactive nature and deep knowledge of Italian cuisine allows me to get involved in the kitchen and I strive to have to closest possible relationships with my chefs to source the best possible ingredients and lead the way in providing a delicious menu. With 36% repeat customers and an active social media presence, I left the business in great shape for its sale.

I would be fascinated to understand how I might be able to do similar things for Via Verona – both as a manager and potentially later on a regional basis.

Sincerely,

Gerri Smith

Copied!

Best format for a restaurant manager cover letter

The restaurant industry encompasses many different job titles and workplaces with a few core commonalities. Luckily, whether you’re a server, cook, bartender, dishwasher or another employee, the cover letter structure remains largely unchanged between positions. In this section, we’ll walk you through all the requirements for a complete cover letter that makes a great impression.

Here are the key components:

  • The cover letter header
  • The greeting
  • The introduction
  • The letter body
  • The conclusion
  • The signature.

You can find even more useful tips on each of these sections, plus helpful sample sentences in this overall guide on cover letters .

Cover letter header

Your cover letter header is like the sign on the front of the restaurant – it tells a hiring manager who you are and the personal style you bring to the table. The first job of your header is to keep your personal data at the manager’s fingertips. The second goal is to create visual appeal and a professional presentation. The easiest way to do this is by choosing a cover letter template that aligns with the restaurant’s style and branding. This is one of the only places you’ll be able to add color to an otherwise plain document so it’s worth reflecting on what your branding says about you as a candidate.

The goal of this section: Keep your name and contact information front and center, create attractive formatting that catches a hiring manager’s attention

Expert tip

Align document styles!

Just like a restaurant keeps consistent branding from it’s signage to menus to business cards, a polished and professional candidate should keep a similar look and feel between their application materials. The quickest way to do this is by aligning the document styles of your cover letter and resume.

A resume template and matching cover letter template can make this step a breeze. Resume.io offers dozens of templates perfect for a variety of restaurant types. Within our builder tools, you can even customize the colors and styles to make them more appropriate for the restaurant where you plan to apply.

Cover letter greeting

Just like the hostesses greeting can make or break a customer’s dining experience, your cover letter greeting plays a big role in setting the tone for the rest of your letter. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be too complicated. First reflect on your relationship with the employer. Do you know them on a first name basis or is this your first contact with the manager. Then pick a greeting followed by the correct salutation and name. “Dear” can work well for formal situations but you can also use “Hi” or “Hello” for more casual letters.

The goal of this section: Create a cover letter greeting that’s friendly and personal based on your relationship with the employer and the formality of the workplace

Expert tip

The importance of names and addressed greetings

Servers know the importance of making a personal connection through names. That’s why they introduce themselves to each table at the beginning of every meal. In fact, it’s been scientifically proven that humans have a positive neurological response upon hearing their own names. 

In most restaurant environments, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find the name of the hiring manager or restaurant owner. You can even call and ask who you should address your cover letter to. However, large chains and fast food restaurants may hire from a central office. In that case, it’s nearly impossible to find a hiring manager’s name let alone the one who will be reading your letter.

But don’t worry, you still have options. If at all possible, try to avoid the impersonal “To Whom It May Concern” and instead opt for the restaurant name followed by a collective noun like “Team” or even “Family” for restaurants with heartfelt branding.

Cover letter introduction

Since restaurant managers often have limited time to read cover letters and filter applicants, they often decide what type of employee you’d make just by reading your opening paragraph. Therefore, it’s important to spend some time thinking about an attention-grabbing, professional introduction that addresses the restaurant’s needs right from the start. An anecdote about a time you offered exceptional customer service, a relevant statistic or a personal statement can all make for interesting introductions.

The goal of this section: Create interest right from the start with an example, statistic or statement that appeals to the restaurant manager’s needs and encourages them to keep reading into the body of your cover letter

Adaptable cover letter greeting and introduction example

Dear Mrs. Hitchins,

Because you run an establishment with four direct competitors within five minutes’ walk, I understand that you need a Restaurant Manager with the ability to provide an efficient and enjoyable front-of-house dining experience as well as ensure that culinary standards are impeccable.

Copied!

Cover letter middle part (body)

Your cover letter body finally gives you the space to go into detail about your goals, accomplishments and purpose for applying to the restaurant. You can make this section more manageable by using the STAR method to give examples of your previous work. First, briefly describe a Situation and the Task required of you, then explain your Action and the positive Result it caused. Make sure to keep each example brief and clearly related to the skills needed for your potential position. You can also use numbers, facts and percentages to add weight to your achievements and illustrate your impact.

In a second body paragraph, you can discuss your motivations and interest for applying to the restaurant, as well as potential contributions you hope to make.

The goal of this section: Give examples of relevant skills by using the STAR method, explain your interest in the restaurant and your potential contributions

Adaptable cover letter body example

Three generations of my family have been involved with Italian cuisine. I had served as manager at my cousin’s establishment until his decision to sell the business; now I want to move to a more established chain. The possibility of eventually moving up to Regional Manager is intriguing and I believe that I have much to offer your customers.

I completed my bachelor’s degree in Hospitality and Hotel Management from the University of Colorado and spent two years after graduation in Rome under the tutelage of my uncle (who runs a five-star bistro there). My eight years of experience since have been in two family-run restaurants that have regularly won industry awards.

I gave maximum attention to everything that impacts the diner experience: fostering relationships with regular diners, supervising server training, handling customer complaints and even waiting tables when we were short staffed and will continue to do so. Managers in an Italian restaurant should be visible and involved. I achieved an increase in customer satisfaction rating from 85% to 98% at my previous position. We increased spend per customer by 28% by upscaling the menu and improved profits by focusing on our cost base and reducing waste, while still paying the best staff salaries in the market.

Copied!

How to close a restaurant cover letter

You’ve finally arrived at the conclusion of your cover letter. This simple section is all about leaving a hiring manager with a positive impression and interested in learning more. The easiest way to do that is through a Call to Action. This sentence expresses your enthusiasm for the position and encourages a hiring manager to contact you. Space permitting, you may even choose to leave your contact details in this section again.

Then sign off using a professional and appropriate signature. “Thank you,” “Sincerely” and “Best regards” can all make for friendly and polite closings.

The goal of this section: Add friendly and polite finishing touches to your cover letter by creating a Call to Action that encourages a hiring manager to get in touch

Cover letter example text for the conclusion

I would be fascinated to understand how I might be able to do similar things for Via Verona – both as a manager and potentially later on a regional basis.

Sincerely,

Gerri Smith

Copied!

How to write a cover letter for a restaurant job with no experience

Whether you’ve worked in a restaurant before or this is your first job experience, there are a few key qualities that can make your cover letter stand out.

  • Efficiency: Restaurants need efficient and accurate service to survive. Examples of times when you cooked quickly and with few mistakes or when you expertly managed the service on a packed Saturday night can show why you’d make a valuable asset to your potential employer.
  • Customer service: Too many unhappy customers can spell the end of the restaurant. How do you go above and beyond to make every guest feel welcome and cared for? This might seem obvious if you work in a service role but the kitchen staff can also go out of their way by preparing special meals or coming out to check on the meal.
  • Attention to detail: Whether it’s food allergies, menu substitutions or special customer needs, restaurant staff who can elevate the dining experience by paying attention to the little things are always in demand.
  • Teamwork: A restaurant is a well-orchestrated symphony. Every member has a role to play and no one part could function without the other. Make sure to show off your friendly and professional demeanor through your cover letter writing. A restaurant manager will appreciate your ability to work with others.

From servers and hostesses to dishwashers and busboys, a single restaurant can offer a myriad of entry-level opportunities and great first work experiences. These jobs can teach a variety of general skills like teamwork, attention to detail and customer service along with more specific ones like food service and cooking. And since restaurants are open in the evenings and on the weekends, they offer plenty of part time positions for students or those looking for second jobs.

But how do you land a job in a restaurant if you’ve never worked in one before?

The first step while on the job search is understanding the restaurant's needs. Start with the job posting, the website and social media. What details do they offer about the ideal candidate? Is it a high-end restaurant where professionalism and attention to detail are key? Or does the family-style diner need speed and a big smile? Since the restaurant you’re applying to probably isn’t far from home, it may be worth visiting to get a better feel for their service style. How is the food? How do the staff already working there behave with customers and each other? 

Once you’ve done a little research, think about the qualities and skills you already possess that would allow you to fit in.

Here are some sample traits that don’t require previous work in a restaurant:

  • self determination
  • organization
  • teachability
  • communication
  • ability to follow directions
  • efficiency
  • accuracy
  • a great memory
  • professionalism
  • positivity
Expert tip

Submitting your application

Restaurants are much more approachable than other workplaces. Unless you’re applying to a fast food restaurant with central hiring, the manager who reads your application will most likely work in the location to which you apply. Therefore, creating a human connection is one of the most important things you can do to stick out in the manager’s mind.

Unless asked to submit online or by email, try dropping off your application during a slow period (usually mid-afternoon) where you have the best chance of shaking the hiring manager’s hand and introducing yourself. Then, wait several days to a week and follow up in person or by phone. A friendly smile, a little extra initiative and a great cover letter are often all you need to seal the deal on your first restaurant job.

Common mistakes in an application letter for a restaurant job

  • Generic cover letters: Every cover letter that you write should explain why you’re interested in working for that particular restaurant. A general manager won’t be interested in hiring someone who doesn’t share a passion for the restaurant. Make sure to tailor your letter with your most relevant experience and skills.
  • Irrelevant experience: High school students and entry-level job seekers without restaurant experience often resort to talking about hobbies and clubs instead. This likely won’t impress an assistant manager. Instead, focus on personality traits and transferable skills that make you a good candidate – things like attention to detail, a positive attitude and teachability.
  • Typos and grammar mistakes: Poor communication instantly makes you look sloppy and unprofessional. Luckily, these mistakes are easy to avoid. Make sure to use spell check or have a friend proofread your application before you submit it.
  • Poor formatting: Good design shouldn’t be an afterthought. Professional font choices and a good balance of white space to text can instantly make your cover letter stand out. A cover letter builder and templates can help make the formatting process easier.

Key takeaways

  1. A great cover letter can quickly take your application to the next level. Make sure to include one in your application to maximize your chances of landing the restaurant job.
  2. It’s essential that you show the restaurant management why you want to work in their restaurant and what skills you bring to the table. Make sure to customize your cover letter for each position you apply to.
  3. Cover letters have a handy structure that allows you to include all the necessary information in just one page. Make sure yours checks all the boxes before you submit.
  4. Restaurant jobs make great entry level positions as long as you focus on the right personality traits and do a little research about the restaurant’s needs.
  5. Don’t let poor formatting ruin all your great writing. A cover letter template and builder can put you on the path to success.

You can craft an amazing cover letter in minutes using the resume.io toolset: no more writer’s block and only recruiter-approved designs and examples. Increase your chances of employment with the best online cover letter maker on the web.

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