Getting a job at a restaurant can be an exciting way to enter the foodservice industry. Whether you’re looking for your first job as a teenager, wanting some part-time work while going to school, or hoping to turn your passion for food into a full-time career, restaurant jobs provide a lot of opportunity.

But actually landing that restaurant gig takes some preparation and effort. Follow this comprehensive guide to learn the best strategies for getting hired at any restaurant, from quick-service chains to upscale dining establishments.

Research Potential Restaurants and Positions

When it comes to getting a job at a restaurant, conducting thorough research can greatly increase your chances of finding the right fit. Start by thinking about the types of restaurants that interest you.

Are you drawn to fine dining establishments known for their culinary excellence, or do you prefer cozy cafes with a laid-back atmosphere? By narrowing down your preferences, you can focus your efforts on finding opportunities that align with your interests.

Think about the types of restaurants that interest you

Consider what type of dining experience you would like to be a part of. Are you passionate about international cuisine, or do you have a particular interest in farm-to-table restaurants? Understanding your own preferences will help you target your research and find restaurants that align with your interests.

Look at job postings to find openings

Job postings can give you valuable insights into the current job market and the specific positions available. Websites such as and are great resources for finding restaurant job openings.

Take note of the requirements and qualifications for each position, as this will help you determine if you meet the necessary criteria.

Consider which positions match your skills and interests

Identify the skills and interests that you bring to the table. Are you a skilled bartender with a passion for mixology? Or do you excel at providing exceptional customer service? By considering your own strengths, you can focus your job search on positions that align with your abilities and interests.

Remember, finding a job that you enjoy and excel at will ultimately lead to a more fulfilling career in the restaurant industry.

Polish Your Resume

When applying for a job at a restaurant, having a well-polished resume is crucial. It is the first impression you make on potential employers, so it’s important to make it stand out. Here are some tips to help you polish your resume:

Format your resume clearly and professionally

Make sure your resume is easy to read and well-organized. Use a clean and professional font, and keep the formatting consistent throughout the document. Use headings and bullet points to make it easier for employers to scan through your qualifications.

Highlight any relevant foodservice experience

If you have any previous experience in the foodservice industry, be sure to highlight it on your resume. Include the name of the restaurant or establishment, your job title, and a brief description of your responsibilities.

This will show potential employers that you have a solid understanding of the industry and are familiar with the demands of working in a restaurant.

Include skills like teamwork, communication, and organization

In addition to your work experience, it’s important to include relevant skills on your resume. Working in a restaurant requires strong teamwork, communication, and organizational skills. Mention any experience you’ve had working in a team environment, as well as any customer service or organizational skills you possess.

This will help demonstrate to employers that you have the necessary skills to succeed in a restaurant setting.

For more tips on how to polish your resume, you can visit The Muse, a popular career advice website that provides valuable insights on resume writing.

Practice Interviewing

Prepare answers for common restaurant interview questions

When it comes to landing a job at a restaurant, preparation is key. One important aspect of preparing for an interview is familiarizing yourself with common restaurant interview questions. These questions may vary depending on the type of restaurant and position you’re applying for, but some examples include:

  • “Why do you want to work in the restaurant industry?”
  • “How would you handle a difficult customer?”
  • “Tell me about a time when you had to work as part of a team.”

By brainstorming and practicing your answers to these questions, you can feel more confident and prepared during the actual interview.

Be ready to describe your skills and experience

During a restaurant interview, it’s crucial to be able to effectively communicate your skills and experience to the interviewer. This is your chance to showcase why you are the best fit for the job. Make a list of your relevant skills, such as customer service, multitasking, or food handling, and think of specific examples from your past experiences that demonstrate these skills.

Being able to articulate your abilities and provide real-life examples will leave a lasting impression on the interviewer.

Practice expressing enthusiasm for the job

Restaurants often value employees who are enthusiastic about their work. When preparing for your interview, take the time to think about why you are excited about the opportunity to work in a restaurant.

Consider the unique aspects of the job that appeal to you, such as the fast-paced environment, the chance to interact with customers, or the opportunity to learn about different cuisines. By expressing genuine enthusiasm during your interview, you will show the interviewer that you are passionate about working in the restaurant industry.

For more tips on how to succeed in a restaurant interview, check out this article from Food & Wine. Remember, preparation and practice are key to landing your dream job in the restaurant industry.

Apply Strategically

When it comes to getting a job at a restaurant, applying strategically can greatly increase your chances of success. Here are some key steps to consider:

Submit applications online or in person

Many restaurants now offer the option to submit job applications online. This can be a convenient and efficient way to apply for multiple positions at different establishments. However, don’t underestimate the power of applying in person.

By visiting the restaurant and submitting your application in person, you can make a lasting impression on the hiring manager and demonstrate your enthusiasm for the position. It also gives you an opportunity to ask any questions you may have about the job or the restaurant itself.

Follow up after applying

After submitting your application, it’s important to follow up with the restaurant. This shows your continued interest in the position and can help you stand out from other applicants. Consider sending a polite email or making a phone call to inquire about the status of your application.

Be sure to thank the hiring manager for their time and reiterate your interest in the job. This proactive approach can leave a positive impression and increase your chances of getting an interview.

Leverage networking and connections

Networking can play a key role in landing a job at a restaurant. Reach out to friends, family, and acquaintances who may have connections in the industry. They may be able to provide valuable insights, recommend you to hiring managers, or even alert you to job openings before they are publicly advertised.

Additionally, consider joining professional organizations or attending industry events where you can expand your network and potentially meet influential people in the restaurant industry. Building these connections can open doors and help you secure a job at a restaurant.

Show Your Value During the Interview

Securing a job at a restaurant requires more than just submitting an impressive resume. It is during the interview where you have the opportunity to shine and demonstrate why you are the ideal candidate.

By effectively showcasing your skills, knowledge, and enthusiasm, you can significantly increase your chances of landing the job. Here are some valuable tips to help you leave a lasting impression during your interview.

Demonstrate your customer service skills

One of the most crucial aspects of working in a restaurant is providing exceptional customer service. During the interview, be sure to highlight your previous experience in customer-facing roles, such as retail or hospitality.

Emphasize your ability to handle difficult customers with grace and your talent for creating a positive and welcoming atmosphere. Remember, a smile and a friendly demeanor can go a long way in the restaurant industry.

Highlight your food/beverage knowledge if relevant

If you are applying for a position that involves food preparation or service, showcasing your knowledge of cuisine and beverages can be a significant advantage. Discuss any relevant training or certifications you have obtained, such as food safety or bartending courses.

Additionally, be prepared to talk about your favorite foods or drinks and demonstrate your enthusiasm for the industry. This will show potential employers that you are genuinely passionate about what you do.

Ask insightful questions about training and advancement

During the interview, it is essential to show that you are not only interested in the job at hand but also in your long-term growth within the company. Ask thoughtful questions about the training process and opportunities for advancement.

This demonstrates your dedication to personal and professional development and your commitment to becoming a valuable asset to the restaurant.

Remember, the interview is your chance to stand out from other candidates and prove that you are the best fit for the job. By demonstrating your customer service skills, highlighting your food and beverage knowledge, and asking insightful questions about training and advancement, you can leave a lasting impression on potential employers and increase your chances of getting hired.


With the right amount of preparation and persistence, you can land an exciting restaurant job. Identify the right opportunities for your interests and experience level. Put effort into tailoring resumes and practicing interviews.

During the hiring process, show off your motivation, work ethic and customer-focused attitude. With this comprehensive guide, you’ll be ready to get hired at the restaurant of your dreams.

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