A Guide To Server Job Descriptions | What to Include?

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August 24, 2022
Restaurant waiter serving water to an old couple sitting on a glass table

The time has come for restaurant managers to focus on their server job description in such a competitive job market. As positions, especially in the restaurant industry, are becoming increasingly difficult to fill, optimizing the server job description can help manage expectations and streamline the hiring process.

If you've been tasked with developing the job postings for servers in your restaurant, you've come to the right place. 

This article will detail the 10 things you need to include in a server job description to ensure you are targeting, filtering, and hiring the right employees for your business.

In this article we will cover the following on server job descriptions

  1. Why do I need a server job description?
  2. What should I include in a server job description?
  3. What are some other server job descriptions I should consider?
  4. What to look for when hiring a server?
  5. What should you ask when hiring a server?
  6. What are some server interview questions to ask?
  7. How can I streamline my server hiring process?

Let's get started.

Why do I need a server job description? 

The server job description acts as a conscious effort to define their role, responsibilities, and success criteria which, in turn, positively impacts a team by improving communication, allowing fewer tasks to slip through the cracks, and providing a motivational edge.

Customize your job posting and hiring criteria using an applicant tracking system for restaurants. 

What should I include in a server job description?

A server job description should always include the roles and responsibilities of the position, including taking orders, answering menu questions, selling food and beverages, taking payment, communicating orders with the kitchen, seating customers, and helping with customer service and cleaning.

Be sure to include these 10 things in your server job descriptions:

  1. Culture and experience
  2. SOPs and requirements of the day-to-day job
  3. Certification requirements
  4. Technology to learn
  5. Communication skills
  6. Training and knowledge expectations
  7. Previous experience requirements
  8. Logistical information
  9. The interview process
  10. Next steps and how to connect
server using pos

1 - Culture and expectations

It is crucial to include company ethos and brand in your server job description to ensure you are attracting the right type of people, at the right place in their life, who are looking for what you have to offer.

There are some questions you can address to help define your company culture to any prospective servers interested in applying:

  • What are some compelling aspects of your culture worth highlighting?
  • How does your company look against its competition?
  • What specific values of your company do you expect to find in employees?
  • How is your company perceived in the market?

2 - SOPs and requirements of the day-to-day job

The role of a server is often multifaceted, which is why it's important to include the daily tasks so applicants can get a glimpse into what to expect. Some of the requirements may include things like:

  • Providing food and beverage recommendations
  • Taking orders
  • Communicating orders with kitchen staff
  • Delivering meals to table
  • Issuing and completing payments
  • Completing side duties

3 - Certification requirements

While many might believe working as a server doesn't require any certification requirements, but that is not always the case. For example, many regions have a minimum age for serving alcohol, ranging from 18 to 21 years old. 

Other certification requirements may be required, based on your region, and include ones such as:

  • Certified Professional - Food Safety (CP-FS)
  • Food Safety Manager Certification
  • Certified Food Manager
  • ServSafe

4 - Technology to learn 

Also be sure to include any details about technology they will need to learn while working as a server in your restaurant.
These things might include:

  • POS system
  • Employee scheduling app
  • Running payments

5 - Communication skills 

Because a server is a customer facing position, communication skills are critical. In addition to speaking with customers, servers are required to interact with internal staff, including hostesses, bussers, bartenders, kitchen staff, and management.

Being attentive to the needs of customers is pivotal to being a great server in any restaurant. To understand exactly what people want, they must have excellent listening skills and be detail-oriented. To deliver the best service possible, they also need to ask the appropriate questions.

6 - Training and knowledge expectations

The amount of training will vary restaurant to restaurant, which is why the server job description should clearly state the training requirements. Laying out the expectations of the hiring process will help enable servers to gain a better grasp of how hands on the management team will be.

Additionally, prior knowledge expectations should be included. For example, basic wine knowledge and pairings could be a requirement for servers.

7 - Previous experience requirements

In addition to previous knowledge, the server job description should include any previous work experience, if needed. If they are interviewing as a server, maybe they should have been a host before or served before or bussed before. Prior restaurant experience requirements should be laid out clearly for applicants.

8 - Logistical information

Logistical information is also imperative to include in the server job description. This information includes things such as when your servers are expected to be at the restaurant and when. Include the operating hours of the restaurant, shift hours, and any other pertinent information  you can think of.

9 - The interview process

The interview process for a server can vary, so it's important to describe this in the job description. While some restaurants may only require a single round of interviews, fine dining restaurants, for example, may differ. Regardless of what your interview process is, make sure you include the details in the server job description.

10 - Next steps and how to connect 

Once a server has applied, they should know what the next steps should be. This information should be included in the job description as well as how to connect with the hiring team.

server teamwork

What are some other server job descriptions I should consider?

Keep in mind that there are different types of server jobs, each of which should have its own unique description, and the more specific you can detail the server job description, the less time you will have to spend narrowing down your options of qualified candidates.

Some other server job descriptions you might want to customize your job posting for could be the following:

Server bartender job description 

A server bartender works in the front of the house, presenting food and drinks, taking orders, serving customers, and removing dinnerware from the table in a timely manner. A bartender server job description should include fulfilling drink orders for the restaurant while serving guests seated at and around the bar.

Fine dining server job description

Fine dining servers work closely with chefs and other kitchen staff to ensure that each course is prepared properly and delivered in a timely fashion. The server job description for fine dining should include making food and beverage suggestions and pairings based on personal preferences and tastes. 

Catering server job description 

The catering server job description should include that the position is responsible for effectively assisting food and beverage services while aiding in the overall event logistics. This position requires servers to be accommodating to all guests, not just their dedicated section, while circulating the room.

Hostess job description 

As guests enter a restaurant, the hostess greets them, takes their reservation, and shows them to their table or puts them on a waiting list. The hostess will vary from the server job description because they are more involved in the first and last impressions of the restaurant.

Banquet server job description 

The banquet server job description should include being responsible for serving food and beverages to guests at catering events or other venues. Their duties include greeting a guest,  taking their order, bringing them the correct drinks and dishes, and refilling their beverages as needed.

Servers assistant job description 

A server assistant is also known as a busser and helps to clear, clean, and reset tables. The server job description for an assistant should also include refilling beverages, polishing silverware, and responding to guest requests on behalf of the server.

Cocktail server job description 

The cocktail server job description should include basic server responsibilities as well as a passion and general knowledge of wines, beer, and cocktails. Cocktail servers interact with guests through order taking, making recommendations, food and beverage serving, and bill processing.

Lead server job description 

A lead server is expected to possess exceptional service skills, including several years of experience as a server. The lead server job description should include that the position reports directly to the food and beverage leadership team and is responsible for leading team members to be effective and efficient.

What to look for when hiring a server?

If you're looking to develop a great restaurant that delivers an exceptional customer experience - knowing what to look for in your servers is critical. Especially since they should be able to remain calm under pressure, care about people, act quickly, and work well on a team.

What should you ask when hiring a server? 

The questions you ask a server during the interview process should blend competency-based and behavioral questions, all of which maintain a focused and productive interview that will help reveal which candidates will excel in your restaurant environment.

servers hanging out

What are some server interview questions to ask?

Because the role of a server is often multifaceted, it's important to ask a wide variety of question types, including skill-based, persona-based, etc., allowing you to truly be able to grasp who the candidate is as an individual as well as how they will perform in your restaurant. 

Here are some of the most effective server interview questions you can ask to help you hire the best person for the job.

Ask these 11 server interview questions when hiring:

  • Why do you want to work in the restaurant industry?
  • What does being a "team player" mean to you?
  • What is your experience with POS systems and accepting payments?
  • Tell me about a time you dealt with a difficult customer?
  • Why did you decide to apply here vs. other restaurants?
  • Do you have a serving it right/FOODSAFE certificate?
  • What does the word hospitality mean to you?
  • How would you defuse a situation with an unhappy customer?
  • What hours are you available to work?
  • What made you decide to leave your last job?
  • What are your long term career goals?

How can I streamline my server hiring process? 

You can streamline your server hiring process with Push, which now offers HR management software, providing you with customizable interview tracking templates, so you can now begin tracking your applicants' interview responses, putting you one step closer to hiring the right fit, sooner. 

The new age of HCM software

Effortlessly manage all your employee information in one place. No more manual spreadsheet tracking, filing, or paperwork. Push restaurant HR software offers everything you need for your workforce management, including seamless integration allowing you to hire and onboard new employees.

Documenting the Hiring Journey

With the Push Onboarding and Hiring solution you can instantly gain access to employee work performance at your fingertips. View your employee's journey, including everything from upcoming milestones, promotions, and pay raises.

Self-Serve Onboarding

With Push, you can enjoy paperless, self-serve onboarding for new employees. Say goodbye to onboarding headaches as you implement consistent onboarding experiences and eliminate paperwork.

Identify Trending Patterns

With real-time dynamic employee data you can analyze employee turnover ratios across multiple locations. Spot opportunities for improvement as you compare locations side by side.

We hope this guide helped you understand how to create server job descriptions that will help you lock in the best talent! 

How can I succeed when writing server job descriptions?

In such a competitive hiring market, restaurant managers have to be mindful of the candidates they are bringing into their restaurant. So, if it's your responsibility to create the job postings for servers in your restaurant, these are the 10 things you need to include. Target, filter, and hire the right employees for your business by perfecting your server job description.

If you have that locked in you are all set!  If you need help managing your hiring process, we have your back! For more about hiring, check this restaurant hiring guide!

Now that you have successfully hired a great team of servers, keep them! With our free retention checklists.

Server retention checklists

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August 2022


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