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Food Service Skills

Food service resumes should highlight a combination of technical and soft skills that demonstrate your ability to excel in the industry. Here are some essential food service resume skills:

  1. Customer Service: Exceptional customer service skills are paramount in the food service industry. Showcase your ability to create a positive dining experience for customers.
  2. Communication: Effective communication is key, whether it's taking orders, explaining menu items, or working with team members.
  3. Teamwork: Emphasize your capacity to collaborate with kitchen staff, servers, and management to ensure seamless service.
  4. Food Safety: Mention your knowledge of food safety regulations and your commitment to maintaining a clean and hygienic environment.
  5. Menu Knowledge: If you have experience with menu items, wine pairings, or dietary restrictions, make sure to include this.
  6. Attention to Detail: Highlight your ability to get orders right, pay attention to customer requests, and ensure food quality.
  7. Stress Management: Show that you can handle the fast-paced and sometimes high-stress environment of a restaurant.
  8. Time Management: Display your capacity to prioritize tasks, manage multiple tables, and ensure orders are served promptly.
  9. Problem-Solving: Explain how you've resolved customer complaints or handled unexpected issues in a professional manner.
  10. Adaptability: Demonstrate your ability to adapt to changing circumstances, such as accommodating special requests or handling a rush.
  11. Cash Handling: If you've worked as a cashier or handled payments, mention your experience in accurately processing transactions.
  12. Up-Selling: If applicable, include your ability to recommend additional menu items or beverages to enhance the customer's experience and increase sales.
  13. Cultural Sensitivity: In diverse settings, emphasize your ability to respect and cater to various cultural preferences and dietary needs.
  14. Training and Mentorship: If you've trained new staff members, mention your role in onboarding and mentoring.
  15. POS Systems: Familiarity with point-of-sale (POS) systems is often a plus in food service.

How to add food service skills to a resume

Image for part: How to add food service skills to a resume

Including your food service skills on your resume is crucial to demonstrate your qualifications for positions within the industry. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to accomplish this effectively;

Create a Skills Section

  1. Initiate by establishing a dedicated "Skills" section on your resume, placing it near the top or in the middle, depending on your preferred format.
  2. Clearly label this section, using headings such as "Food Service Skills" or "Restaurant Skills."

Choose Relevant Skills

  1. Begin by carefully examining the job description of the position you're applying for. Identify the specific skills and qualifications as per the job specification 
  2. From your skillset, cherry-pick food service skills that closely align with the requirements outlined in the job posting.

Enumerate Technical and Soft Skills

  1. In your list of skills, strike a balance between technical (hard) and soft skills. Technical skills may encompass knowledge of food safety, menu preparation, or proficiency with POS (Point of Sale) systems. 
  2. Soft skills might include customer service, teamwork, and effective communication. Ensure that the skills you include are authentic and can be substantiated during an interview.

Add Action-Oriented Language

When describing your skills, employ action verbs that vividly convey your competence. For instance, rather than saying "knowledgeable about food protection," say "proficient in adhering to food hygiene laws and procedures."

Arrange Skills by Priority

Organize your skills in descending order of relevance to the job you're targeting. Place the most vital and in-demand skills at the top of your list.

Quantify Where Possible

Whenever feasible, augment your skills with quantifiable accomplishments or specifics. For instance, you can mention achievements like "Serving an average of 50 customers per shift" or "Reducing customer complaints by 20% through enhanced communication."

Tailor Skills to Each Application

Customize your skills section for each job application. It entails tweaking the skills you highlight to align with the specific prerequisites of the position.

Avoid Overloading

xercise discretion when selecting the skills to include. Aim for a succinct list comprising your most robust and pertinent skills. An exhaustive list can dilute your impact.

Substantiate with Relevant Experience

Whenever possible, bolster your skills by providing concrete examples of how you've applied them in your work history. Utilize the bullet points beneath each job to vividly illustrate your skills in action.

Incorporate Educational and Certification Achievements

If you've acquired pertinent certifications or training, integrate them into your education or certifications section. For instance, if you hold a food handler's certificate, highlight it there.


Prior to finalizing your resume, meticulously review your skills section to ensure it's free of typos or inaccuracies. Mistakes can compromise your professional image.

Maintain Honesty: Maintain utmost honesty about your skills. Exaggerating or misrepresenting your abilities can lead to complications if you're hired and cannot perform as expected.

Remember, the primary purpose of your resume is to effectively convey how your skills qualify you as an excellent fit for the specific food service role you're pursuing. By customizing your skills section to match the employer's needs, you enhance your prospects of capturing their attention and securing an interview.

Do's and don't of adding food service skills to a resume

  1. Prioritize Relevance: Give priority to skills directly applicable to the food service position you're seeking. Concentrate on culinary abilities, customer service, and food safety.
  2. Employ Action Verbs: When delineating your skills, utilize strong action verbs to convey your proficiency. For instance, rather than stating "knowledge of food safety," express "effective implementation of food safety protocols."
  3. Quantify Achievements: Whenever feasible, incorporate measurable accomplishments or specifics within your skill descriptions. Mention quantifiable figures such as "prepared over 200 meals daily" or "achieved a 95% satisfaction rate in resolving customer complaints."
  4. Customize for Each Job: Tailor your skills section to match the requirements of each specific job application. Analyze the job description and underscore skills aligned with the job's specific demands.
  5. Include Soft Skills: Don't restrict your focus to technical abilities alone; encompass soft skills like communication, teamwork, and adaptability. These attributes hold substantial value in food service roles.
  6. Highlight Leadership: If you've assumed leadership roles, accentuate your leadership skills. Provide instances where you've overseen teams or taken charge of pivotal responsibilities.
  7. Showcase Food Safety: Emphasize your grasp of food safety practices and any relevant certifications, such as ServSafe.
  8. Language Proficiency: If multilingualism is pertinent to the job, such as working in a culturally diverse restaurant, highlight your language proficiency.
  9. Use Keywords: Integrate keywords from the job description to enhance your resume's compatibility with applicant tracking systems (ATS).
  1. Exaggerate: Refrain from overstating your skills. Maintain accuracy to avoid potential issues upon employment.
  2. Overload with Skills: Avoid an excessive listing of skills. Concentrate on showcasing your most pertinent and robust qualifications. An overwhelming list can diminish impact.
  3. Vagueness: Be specific when elaborating on your skills. Avoid ambiguous statements like "adept at cooking" without providing context.
  4. Irrelevant Skills: Exclude skills unrelated to the job you're applying for. For example, omitting graphic design skills when seeking a line cook position.
  5. Neglect Soft Skills: Acknowledge the significance of soft skills like communication and customer service in the food service industry. Don't disregard them in favor of technical skills alone.
  6. Misspellings and Typos: Ensure your skills section remains free of spelling errors or typos, which can reflect poorly on your attention to detail.
  7. Generic Statements: Steer clear of generic declarations like "excellent communication skills." Instead, furnish concrete instances or accomplishments that illustrate these skills.
  8. Including Outdated Skills: Exclude skills that no longer align with your career objectives to maintain relevance.
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