10 Resume Tips for Restaurant Managers

a Pencil Holder with Pencils and Pens with Resume Document on Desk
// By Kyle Thacker // , Jul 22, 2019

Topics: Restaurant Management

If you're a restaurant manager looking for bigger opportunities, or a non-management level restaurant employee looking to take the next step in your career, then you can't overlook how important a resume is. Building a resume for a restaurant management position should focus on achievements and an ability to lead a team of employees. 


Let's dive into 10 resume tips for restaurant managers.



1. Don't Focus on Basic Job duties


A resume shouldn't just show a potential employer why you're qualified, but why you're more qualified than the other candidates looking to take that position from you. 


Listing the most basic job expectations like "Responsible for opening and closing restaurant" or "Responsible for scheduling employees" won't help you stand out. 


Sure it's important to show that you're competent and qualified to handle the responsibilities of managing a restaurant, but those baseline qualifications can be shared in other places on a resume that won't take up the limited and precious space listed under job description sections.


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Instead, focus on....


2. List Quantifiable and Interesting Achievements 


You should be able to quantify your achievements in a previous job to showcase how you can help the business you now are applying to work for. 


Quantifying experience for a restaurant manager but be something along the lines of "Reduced overall liquor cost by 5%."  This is a great way to show that you're a serious employee who is skilled and competent and will be an asset to your new employer.


Notice how this is different from a bar manager saying "Oversaw beverage program, inventory, and purchasing." Those are necessary skill sets, but by quantifying your impact on the job, you showcase those skills while also providing the benefits you brought your job.


If you're a server or bartender looking to enter a management career, you can showcase other interesting achievements like "Created cocktails for cocktail menus that generated the highest sales in cocktail program."


This is a great way to show that not only are you a competent bartender but you also have a focus and interest in the business side of a bar program, as well as having achieved something unique that other candidates may not have.


3. Use Active Language 


When listing accomplishments and qualifications on a resume, it's important to use strong language that conveys action. Using action words can also help trim down the number of words used on your resume, making it easier to read and more impactful.


Using words like "accomplished" "founded"  "created" are will position you as someone who takes action and gets results.


It will also highlight unique achievements that go above and beyond standard expectations. 


An active voice is much more impactful than the passive voice, putting you in the driver's seat of the improvements to your business that were made in your last position.



4. Provide a skills section


Separate from your work history and past accomplishments, a skill section is the perfect place to list familiarity and competency with some of the more standard skill set needed to manage a restaurant. 


Depending on how you format your resume, which we'll discuss more later, a skill section will simple be a list of skills, technology proficiencies, and other relevant information that you want to 


The skills section is a great place to highlight practical skills that you've acquired during your career. 


Things like proficiency with technology like point of sale systems,  inventory management platforms, hospitality courses, excel, or even associated skills like social media, web development, or anything that will be helpful for operating a restaurant. 


5. Clear formatting is key


One thing that gets overlook too often with resumes is the formatting and design. 


First, we'll start with formatting. 


Formatting is so important because your resume is meant to communicate important information that will stand out to your potential employer. The way a resume is organized will dictate how easy or difficult it is to understand and digest the information shared on the page.


Be sure to be consistent when formatting your resume. Use a professional and easy to read font. Use bold fonts, italics, and different font sizes to separate headers, sub-headers, and other text. 


Keep employment history details to one or two lines. 


Here's an example of how a previous job should be listed on a resume


Yvvonne's Shoreline Bistro, Chicago, IL

Bar Manager



- Decreased liquor pour costs by 5%

- Led team of 10 bartenders, reduce labor costs by 3%

- Maintained inventory and purchasing for over 740 product SKUs


6. Don't ignore design


You might not be applying for a graphic design job, but an eye catching design can help you stand out from other job applicants.


You also don't have to be a graphic designer to create a compelling design for your resume. Simple things like font style, font colors, bold and italic texts, white space, and color blocks for section headings or dividing lines will all help to create an engaging design. 


One helpful way to approach design your resume is through the hierarchy of design. This is a way to approach the visual arrangement of elements in a document. 


The important feature of a resume is communicating important information. You'll want your design choices to highlight the most important information on your resume.


An added benefit of strong design is that it will show potential employers that you've put effort into your resume that will reflect a strong work ethic.


7. Targeted resumes


If you want the job then you need to show that you have relevant experience that qualifies you for the job. 


For job candidates who have more experience it can be very beneficial to create target resumes for the positions you're applying for.


What's a targeted resume? It's a resume that is put together for a specific job opportunity. Most job seekers put together a single resume and blast that out to any and every job they apply for.


A targeted resume is more more tactical. If you have a lot of job experience, some experiences will be more relevant than others. Select the most relevant jobs, accomplishments, or extracurricular achievements to the job you want so you promote yourself as a better fit.


It's also helpful to strategically choose the verbage or words used on your resume. If the job posting you're responding to has unique or specific words to describe the candidate they're looking for, then you can use the same words in your resume to connect with the job poster. 


8. Modern technology skills


One of the biggest changes in the restaurant industry has been the growth of new tech products aimed at improving operations for restaurants.


Whether it's a mobile point-of-sale system, an inventory management app, or scheduling tool, it's important to list proficiency with new technology on your resume.


The skills section we mentioned is a great place to highlight the new technology you're familiar with. 


9. Highlight long tenured positions


The restaurant industry has high levels of employee turnover. That's true too for restaurant management positions. 


Highlight the positions you've held for the longest time to indicate you're a loyal worker who won't just quite at the first sign of difficulties.


Restaurant operators will want to higher candidates who exhibit loyalty because hiring new employees is costly and time consuming. 


10. Proofread your resume!


No resume good would be complete without a call to proofread your resume! Spelling errors, omitted words, switching between tenses, all these things will look sloppy on a resume.


You want to present the best version of yourself to a potential employer. This means no typos! 


Take a few passes over your resume once you feel it's completed. Even better, give it to a couple friends to proofread. Another set of eyes is great to catch mistakes you've overlooked.


Having someone else proofread your resume will also help you make sure that the information is clear and tells the story of who you are as a worker.


If you know anyone who has had to hire candidates or review resumes for their job then this is an ideal person to proofread for you. 






Kyle Thacker

About the author, Kyle Thacker

Kyle is the Marketing Director for Backbar. Before helping Backbar connect with the restaurant industry, he managed multiple bars in Chicago, with a love of whiskey and cocktails.

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