How to Write a Server Cover Letter (With Example)

Learn to write an effective server cover letter with clear, step-by-step guidance and examples. This guide provides practical tips to make a strong impression on potential employers and enhance your job application success.

Writing a good cover letter is a key step when looking for a server job. A cover letter is a short letter that goes with your resume when you apply for a job. It helps you make a good first impression on the person who might hire you.

For server jobs, a cover letter is very important. It lets you show why you would be great at the job. You can talk about your skills in customer service, your knowledge of food and drinks, and your ability to work well in a busy place like a restaurant.

A strong cover letter can make you stand out from other people who want the same job. It gives you a chance to talk about things that might not be on your resume. For example, you can share a story about a time when you gave really good service to a customer.

When you write your cover letter, think about what the restaurant is looking for in a server. Read the job description carefully. Then, explain how your skills and experience match what they want. This shows that you understand the job and that you're a good fit for it.

Remember, your cover letter should be short and to the point. Usually, it should be about one page long. In the next parts of this article, we'll look at how to write a great cover letter for a server job. We'll also give you an example to help you get started.

Server Cover Letter Example

Gary Castro
(533) 689-7691
Mia Shelton
Hiring Manager

Dear Ms. Shelton,

I am writing to express my strong interest in the Server position at Applebee's. With my passion for hospitality and commitment to delivering exceptional customer experiences, I am confident that I would be a valuable addition to your team.

As someone who thrives in fast-paced environments and enjoys interacting with people from all walks of life, I believe I am well-suited for the role of a Server at Applebee's. My natural ability to multitask, coupled with my friendly demeanor and attention to detail, would allow me to excel in this position.

While I may not have included extensive details about my background in this initial correspondence, I can assure you that I am a quick learner and highly adaptable. I am eager to bring my enthusiasm, strong work ethic, and team-oriented approach to Applebee's renowned dining atmosphere.

I am particularly drawn to Applebee's reputation for fostering a welcoming environment for both guests and staff. Your commitment to providing a neighborhood feel while offering a diverse menu is something I greatly admire and would be proud to represent.

I am excited about the opportunity to contribute to Applebee's continued success and would welcome the chance to discuss how my skills and personality align with your team's needs. I am available at your convenience for an interview and look forward to the possibility of joining the Applebee's family.

Thank you for considering my application. I am eager to bring my energy and dedication to your establishment and help create memorable dining experiences for your guests.


Gary Castro

How to Write & Format a Cover Letter Header

The header of your server cover letter is the first thing a hiring manager sees, making it a crucial element in creating a positive first impression. A well-crafted header sets a professional tone and provides essential contact information. Here's how to create an effective cover letter header for a server position:

Include Your Contact Information

Start with your full name, followed by your address, phone number, and email address. Ensure your email address is professional and appropriate for job applications.

Add the Date

Include the current date to give your letter a timely feel and help the employer keep track of when it was received.

Employer's Information

List the name of the hiring manager or recruiter if known. If you don't have a specific name, use a general title like "Hiring Manager" or "Restaurant Manager." Include the company name and address.

Use a Professional Greeting

Begin with a formal salutation such as "Dear [Hiring Manager's Name]" or "Dear Hiring Manager" if the name is unknown.

By following these guidelines, you'll create a polished and informative header that sets the stage for a compelling cover letter. Remember to keep the formatting consistent with the rest of your application materials for a cohesive, professional look.

Gary Castro
(533) 689-7691
Mia Shelton
Hiring Manager

Greeting Your Potential Employer

After crafting a professional header, the next crucial element of your server cover letter is the greeting. This section sets the tone for your letter and creates a first impression on the hiring manager.

Use a Professional Salutation

Begin your cover letter with a formal salutation. "Dear" is the most common and widely accepted greeting for a cover letter. Avoid casual openings like "Hello" or "Hi" unless you're certain the company culture is very informal.

Address the Hiring Manager by Name

Whenever possible, address the letter to a specific person. This personal touch shows you've done your research and are genuinely interested in the position. If the job posting doesn't include a name, try to find it by:

  • Checking the company's website
  • Calling the company to ask
  • Searching professional networking sites

When You Can't Find a Name

If you're unable to find a specific name, use a general but professional greeting such as:

  • "Dear Hiring Manager"
  • "Dear [Restaurant Name] Team"
  • "Dear Server Hiring Committee"

Avoid outdated salutations like "To Whom It May Concern" or "Dear Sir/Madam" as they can come across as impersonal and generic.

By crafting a thoughtful greeting, you'll set a positive tone for the rest of your cover letter and demonstrate your attention to detail – a crucial skill for any server position.

Introducing Yourself in a Cover Letter

The introduction of your server cover letter is crucial as it sets the tone for the rest of your application. This opening paragraph should grab the hiring manager's attention and make them want to read more about you. It's your chance to make a strong first impression and highlight why you're an excellent candidate for the server position.

Introduce Yourself and State Your Purpose

Begin by stating your name and the specific position you're applying for. Mention where you found the job listing to provide context for your application.

Highlight Your Relevant Experience

Briefly mention your most relevant experience or skills that make you a strong candidate for the server role. This could include previous serving experience, customer service skills, or knowledge of food and beverage.

Show Enthusiasm for the Position

Express your genuine interest in the role and the establishment. Demonstrate that you've done your research by mentioning something specific about the restaurant or company that appeals to you.

Hook the Reader

End your introduction with a statement that encourages the hiring manager to continue reading. This could be a brief preview of your most impressive qualifications or a hint at what you can bring to the role.

Remember to keep your introduction concise and engaging, aiming for about 3-4 sentences in total. Your goal is to pique the reader's interest and make them eager to learn more about your qualifications in the body of the letter.

Strong Example

Dear Hiring Manager,

As a passionate and experienced server with over 5 years in the hospitality industry, I was thrilled to see your opening for a Server position at The Rustic Vine restaurant. Your establishment's reputation for exceptional farm-to-table cuisine and commitment to providing a memorable dining experience aligns perfectly with my own dedication to culinary excellence and top-notch customer service. I am excited about the opportunity to bring my skills in menu knowledge, wine pairing, and creating a warm, welcoming atmosphere to your esteemed team.

Why is this a strong example?

This is a strong cover letter introduction for several reasons. First, it immediately establishes the candidate's relevant experience and passion for the role. The opening sentence grabs attention by mentioning specific qualifications (5 years of experience) and enthusiasm for the position. Secondly, it demonstrates research and genuine interest in the company by mentioning The Rustic Vine's reputation and specialties. This shows the applicant has taken the time to understand the restaurant's unique selling points. Thirdly, it clearly states how the candidate's skills align with the restaurant's values, mentioning specific abilities like menu knowledge and wine pairing. Finally, the introduction expresses enthusiasm for joining the team, which conveys a positive attitude and eagerness to contribute. Overall, this introduction is concise, tailored to the specific job and company, and effectively highlights the candidate's qualifications and fit for the role.

Weak Example

Hello, I am writing to apply for the Server position at your restaurant. I have some experience working in food service and I think I would be good at this job. I need a job to pay my bills and I saw your ad online. Please consider me for this position.

Why is this a weak example?

This is a weak cover letter introduction for several reasons. First, it lacks enthusiasm and fails to grab the reader's attention. The opening is generic and doesn't demonstrate any specific knowledge about the restaurant or position. The candidate mentions having 'some experience' without providing any details, which doesn't effectively showcase their qualifications. The statement about needing a job to pay bills is unprofessional and doesn't add value to the application. Finally, the closing request is passive and doesn't convey confidence. A strong introduction should be more tailored to the specific restaurant, highlight relevant skills and experiences, and demonstrate genuine interest in the position beyond just needing employment.

Writing the Body of Your Cover Letter

The body of your server cover letter is where you'll showcase your relevant skills, experience, and passion for the hospitality industry. This section should convince the hiring manager that you're the ideal candidate for the server position.

Highlight Relevant Skills

Focus on skills that are crucial for a server, such as:

  • Customer service expertise
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment
  • Knowledge of food and beverage service
  • Team collaboration
  • Attention to detail

Showcase Your Experience

Provide specific examples of your accomplishments as a server or in related roles. Use quantifiable achievements when possible, such as:

  • Consistently maintaining a 95% customer satisfaction rating
  • Upselling menu items, resulting in a 10% increase in average check size

Demonstrate Industry Knowledge

Show your understanding of the restaurant industry and the specific establishment you're applying to. Mention any specialized training or certifications you have, such as:

  • Food safety certification
  • Alcohol service training
  • Knowledge of specific cuisines or service styles

Express Your Enthusiasm

Convey your passion for the hospitality industry and your eagerness to contribute to the restaurant's success. Explain why you're interested in this particular position and how your skills align with the restaurant's values and goals.

Tailor Your Letter

Customize your cover letter to the specific restaurant and position. Research the establishment and incorporate relevant details that show you've done your homework and are genuinely interested in joining their team.

Strong Example

As a dedicated server with over five years of experience in fine dining establishments, I am excited to bring my passion for exceptional customer service and extensive knowledge of food and beverage to your esteemed restaurant. Throughout my career, I have consistently received praise for my ability to create memorable dining experiences, efficiently manage high-volume shifts, and work seamlessly with both front and back-of-house teams.

In my current role at The Grand Bistro, I have honed my skills in wine pairing, tableside service, and handling special dietary requests with grace and professionalism. I am well-versed in POS systems and have a track record of increasing sales through effective upselling techniques. Moreover, I pride myself on my ability to remain calm under pressure and resolve guest concerns promptly and courteously.

I am particularly drawn to your restaurant's commitment to locally-sourced ingredients and innovative culinary techniques. I believe my enthusiasm for gastronomy and my ability to eloquently describe menu items would make me a valuable asset to your team. I am eager to contribute to your restaurant's reputation for excellence and help create unforgettable dining experiences for your guests.

Why is this a strong example?

This is a strong example for several reasons. First, it immediately highlights relevant experience and key skills specific to the server position. The candidate demonstrates their understanding of the role by mentioning important aspects such as customer service, food and beverage knowledge, and the ability to handle high-volume shifts. The example also provides concrete achievements and skills, such as wine pairing and upselling techniques, which add credibility to the candidate's claims. Additionally, the letter shows enthusiasm for the specific restaurant by mentioning its commitment to local ingredients and innovative techniques, demonstrating that the candidate has done their research and is genuinely interested in the position. Finally, the writing is professional, concise, and effectively communicates the candidate's value proposition, making it a compelling read for potential employers.

Weak Example

I am writing to apply for the Server position at your restaurant. I have some experience working in food service and I think I would be good at this job. I am a hard worker and I like talking to people. I can work any shift you need me to and I'm available to start right away. Please consider me for this position.

Why is this a weak example?

This is a weak example for several reasons. First, it lacks specificity and fails to highlight any unique qualifications or experiences that make the applicant stand out. The language is vague ('some experience') and doesn't provide concrete examples of skills or achievements. Second, it doesn't demonstrate knowledge about the specific restaurant or position, missing an opportunity to show genuine interest and research. Third, the tone is somewhat casual and doesn't convey professionalism. Lastly, it fails to address how the applicant's skills would benefit the employer, focusing instead on what the job can do for them. A stronger cover letter would provide specific examples of relevant experience, showcase knowledge of the restaurant, and explain how the applicant's skills would contribute to the establishment's success.

How to Close Your Cover Letter

The closing of your server cover letter is your final opportunity to leave a lasting impression on the hiring manager. It should reinforce your enthusiasm for the position and prompt the reader to take action.

To craft an effective closing, start by expressing gratitude for the reader's time and consideration. Then, reiterate your interest in the server position and your confidence in your ability to contribute to the restaurant's success. Finally, include a call to action that encourages the hiring manager to contact you for an interview.

Key elements of a strong cover letter closing

  1. Thank the reader
  2. Reaffirm your interest in the position
  3. Express confidence in your abilities
  4. Include a call to action
  5. Use a professional sign-off

Professional sign-offs to consider

  • Sincerely
  • Best regards
  • Thank you for your consideration
  • Respectfully yours

Remember to proofread your entire cover letter, paying special attention to the closing paragraph. Ensure that your contact information is accurate and easily visible. By following these guidelines, you'll create a compelling cover letter closing that reinforces your qualifications and increases your chances of securing an interview for the server position.

Strong Example

Thank you for considering my application. I am excited about the opportunity to contribute to [Company Name]'s reputation for excellence in customer service and innovative dining experiences. I look forward to the possibility of discussing how my skills and experience align with your team's needs. Please feel free to contact me at your convenience to arrange an interview.

Why is this a strong example?

This is a strong closing for a Server cover letter because it effectively accomplishes several important goals. First, it expresses gratitude for the reader's consideration, which is a polite and professional way to end the letter. Second, it reiterates enthusiasm for the specific company and position, mentioning key aspects of the job (customer service and innovative dining experiences) that demonstrate the applicant's understanding of the role. Third, it confidently expresses interest in moving forward in the hiring process by mentioning an interview. Finally, it provides a clear call-to-action for the employer to contact the applicant. The tone is professional yet warm, and it leaves a positive final impression while keeping the door open for further communication.

Weak Example

I hope you'll give me a chance to work at your restaurant. I really need this job and promise I'll work super hard. Please call me anytime, day or night, if you want to interview me. Thanks for your time!

Why is this a weak example?

This closing is weak for several reasons. First, it comes across as desperate and unprofessional, which can be off-putting to potential employers. The phrase 'I really need this job' suggests the applicant is more concerned about their own needs than what they can offer the restaurant. The promise to 'work super hard' is vague and doesn't highlight any specific skills or qualities. Additionally, offering to be available 'anytime, day or night' for an interview may seem overeager and unrealistic. A strong closing should be confident, professional, and express genuine interest in the position while also respecting the employer's time and process. This example fails to leave a positive lasting impression and doesn't effectively summarize why the applicant would be a good fit for the server position.

Cover Letter FAQs for Server


What is the ideal format and length for a server cover letter?


A server cover letter should be concise, typically one page long (250-400 words). Use a professional business letter format with your contact information, date, employer's address, a formal salutation, 3-4 paragraphs of content, a closing, and your signature. Keep paragraphs short and focused, highlighting your relevant skills and experience.


What key information should I include in a server cover letter?


Include your relevant experience in food service, customer service skills, knowledge of food and beverage items, ability to work in a fast-paced environment, and any certifications (e.g., food handling, alcohol service). Also, mention your availability, teamwork abilities, and enthusiasm for the specific restaurant or establishment.


How can I make my server cover letter stand out?


To make your cover letter stand out, tailor it to the specific restaurant or establishment, mentioning why you want to work there. Use concrete examples of your achievements in previous roles, such as increasing customer satisfaction or upselling. Demonstrate knowledge of the restaurant's menu, concept, or reputation to show genuine interest.


Should I mention my lack of experience in a server cover letter?


If you lack direct server experience, focus on transferable skills from other jobs or activities that are relevant to serving, such as customer service, multitasking, or working under pressure. Emphasize your willingness to learn and your enthusiasm for the role. You can also mention any relevant volunteer work or school activities.


How should I address the cover letter if I don't know the hiring manager's name?


If you don't know the hiring manager's name, use a general salutation such as 'Dear Hiring Manager' or 'Dear [Restaurant Name] Team'. Avoid outdated phrases like 'To Whom It May Concern'. If possible, research the company to find the appropriate person's name or call the establishment to ask for the hiring manager's name.


What common mistakes should I avoid in a server cover letter?


Avoid generic, one-size-fits-all cover letters. Don't simply repeat your resume; instead, expand on your most relevant experiences. Proofread carefully to eliminate spelling and grammar errors. Don't focus solely on what the job can do for you; emphasize what you can bring to the role. Lastly, avoid using overly casual language or slang; maintain a professional tone throughout.