September 12

Tips For Writing a Standout Server Job Description


A Guide on Writing a Server Job Description To Stand Out From the Crowd

Every restaurant wants its employee roster stacked with A-team-level servers.

Those super-servers with precog-seeming superpowers, who always know when customers need a beverage refill, or when the kitchen needs a food runner, and — dare I say it — always finish their side work.

These restaurant unicorns do exist, but you’ll never snag one if you don’t know how to attract them to your business.

In this article, we’ll go over how to write the perfect server job description because it’s the first step to increasing your applicant pool and finding those kick-ass servers.

Let’s dive in.

Don’t Over Think The Job Title

Okay, this is obvious, but we have to cover it.

Clearly state that you are looking for a server in the job title.

Don’t be tempted to use the outdated terms “waitress” or “waiter.”

It tells high-caliber servers that your restaurant might be a little out of touch and behind with the times — and, therefore, maybe not a great place to work.

The job title “server” is also gender-neutral, ensuring that your job listing stays inclusive to everyone who might be a good fit for your restaurant.

Craft a Concise Server Job Description

A great server job description gives a broad explanation of the position, what your restaurant is all about, and what exactly you are looking for in an employee.

Start by introducing the role and providing a brief description of your restaurant’s cuisine, vibe, and mentality.

For example:

“Restaurant XYZ is looking for a server at its Made Up Neighborhood location in SE Fake City. We offer a fun take on French-inspired carnival food with a strong emphasis on seasonality and quality.

We need a fun, fast-paced server who can embody the meaning of hospitality—not just give it lip service. As the face of our dining room, you’ll be critical in crafting the dining experience for our guests, and we need a server who can give that same experience consistently with every service.”

Right away, you get a vibe of what it would be like working for XYZ. Sure, they have a bizarre style of food, but they take it seriously.

This restaurant’s energy might not be every server’s cup of tea, but the idea is that you’re attracting the type of server that wants to work at a place like XYZ.

Avoid writing a vague server job description, like:

“Server needed at breakfast diner. Breakfast experience is a plus. Off by 3:00 p.m. most days.
Must be friendly, warm, and kind to guests.”

Servers of quality see this as a red flag and will not apply.

It doesn’t share any substantial information about the restaurant and gives off the vibe that they don’t care who walks through the door.

Don’t be afraid to put your restaurant’s personality in the job description — it’ll catch the eye of servers who will be a good fit for your team.

Describe Key Responsibilities

Tell potential applicants what is expected of the role should they apply and get hired.

The best way to share this information is with bullet points.

Servers searching for new jobs will look at A LOT of job posts, and making your description easy to read goes a long way toward catching their attention.

Your list of responsibilities will look something like this:

Servers Responsibilities

  • Greet and present menus to guests
  • Manage and maintain your section
  • Help run food to tables
  • Up-sell when appropriate
  • Pre-bus and bus tables
  • Complete shift side work
  • Memorize food and drink menus

You get the idea.

Be detailed, but don’t go overboard.

A list of responsibilities gives servers a better understanding of what their day-to-day shifts will look like.

Make your list accurate and thorough so servers aren’t surprised by anything that might deter them during a working interview.

Include Qualifications & Certifications

Next, you’ll want your server job description to include the qualifications a server needs to be eligible for the position.

Again, you’ll want to use bullet points when making your list.

People typically scan lists and text before doing a deeper read. The more they pick up in their first scan, the better.

Don’t leave anything off your list that is critical to someone getting hired.

For example, if you’re a bar that requires employees to be at least 21 years of age, state it in your requirements.

Your list should look something like this:

Requirements, Qualifications & Certifications

  • Two years experience in service is mandatory
  • Must be 21 years or older to apply
  • Must be alcohol certified
  • Ability to lift at least 50lbs
  • Ability to remain calm and focused in high-pressure work environments
  • Ability to stand and walk for extended periods
  • Posses an up-to-date food handlers card

There are many more examples I can put up here, but you’ll want to list anything that applies to your restaurant and is necessary for a person getting hired.

Details Make the Difference

At this point, your potential hires will have a pretty good understanding of what the job will look like but still need to learn the ins and outs of what could be a deciding factor for them.

These are the details that shape the overall experience of working in your restaurant.

I’m talking about:

Tips/Tipshare: Do servers keep their tips, or is it a pooled house? Give a short breakdown of how tips are distributed.

Atmosphere: Describe what service is like. Is it a relaxing vibe with guests staying longer, or is it a turn-and-burn joint with high energy and loud music?

Volume: Share what a typical weekday and weekend looks like in terms of customer volume and covers.

Shift Schedules: Some servers like flexibility, while others want a rigid schedule. Also include your hours and services(brunch, lunch, dinner) and if you rotate shifts.

Dress Code: Describe your dress code. If servers have to buy specific shoes, pants, aprons, and shirts, you should give them a heads-up so they can budget for it.

Painting a picture with details helps servers visualize what it would be like to work with you. If they like what they see, they’ll apply.

Don’t Forget the Perks and Benefits

Show potential applicants that working with you isn’t just about the day-to-day hustle; it’s about enjoying the perks that come with it.

Demonstrate how you show your staff you care about them by sharing what servers can look forward to.

  • Competitive pay
  • Employee discounts
  • Family meal
  • PTO
  • Health benefits
  • Flexible scheduling
  • Growth opportunities
  • Recognition programs
  • Inclusive work environment
  • Employee assistance programs

Mention anything and everything that looks like the icing on the cake to pull in top-notch servers.

Application Instructions

Lastly, tell potential candidates how to apply for the job, whether through a job site like Poached, on your website, by email, or by walking in with a resume.

Make the process clear so they know exactly what to do.

Writing a standout server job description is the first step to making better hires. The next is publishing it where servers actually look for work!

Poached is the nation’s top employment site focused on the hospitality industry. With over 1,000,000 registered service industry professionals explicitly looking for hospitality work, you can ensure your jobs are promoted to skilled candidates. If you’re ready to post your standout server job description, then check out Poached today.

About the author

Wade Nelson

Wade Nelson is a Portland, OR native who currently resides in sunny Los Angeles. As a 25-year veteran of the service industry, Wade has worked nearly every position in the house. When Wade isn’t writing content for your favorite blogs and websites, he’s either slinging drinks at Grand Central Market in DTLA or hanging with his fiance and beagle.


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