Most Important Keywords for the Restaurant Industry

For Candidates


By our guest blogger, CareerTuners


Is your resume getting noticed? Recruiters and employers in the restaurant industry rely heavily on Application Tracking System (ATS) software to analyze resumes and shortlist applicants. One critical way to optimize your resume for ATS is to add keywords.

Keywords are nouns or noun phrases that ATS algorithms “catch.” They help indicate to employers that the candidate has skills that match the job requirements. Common keywords include job titles, terms, tools, technologies, degrees, licenses, certifications, training, patents, publications, and locations.

There are two types of keywords. Hard keywords are those that can be quantified or that someone can take a test for, for example, the names of marketing analytics programs. They are the most important with respect to ranking in ATS. In contrast, soft keywords are abstract skills that are hard to test for, but are critical to succeeding at your job, e.g., strong interpersonal skills.

Below are some important keywords for restaurant management positions, in bold.

Feel free to copy and paste these terms to your resume if they match your skill set.

However, merely mentioning these keywords in your resume is not enough. You must also write powerful accomplishments that highlight these skills. After each keyword are the most critical questions you should ask yourself before incorporating it into your resume:


Day-to-Day Restaurant Operations Management

  • P&L Management: What steps did you take to reduce vendor costs? How did you make bookkeeping processes more efficient? How did you deal with increase in minimum wage and rising labor shortage?
  • Restaurant Operations: How did you keep track of inventory and eliminate theft? How did you amplify operational efficiency? What steps did you take to maintain good food quality standards?
  • Human Resource Management: What steps did you take to decrease high turnover? What measures did you take to eliminate workplace harassment? How did you ensure consistent FLSA compliance?
  • Supply Chain Management: What steps did you take to simplify the supply chain and make it cost-effective?
  • Technology Solutions: Did you introduce automation and robotics solutions, such as AI-fitted drive-thru operations and robot-enabled kitchens?


Restaurant Staff Development

  • Employee Engagement: What problems did you address by introducing regular employee training? Which employee recognition programs and rewards did you introduce?
  • Employee Development: How did you improve the employee onboarding and training process? What steps did you take to monitor and mitigate poor employee performance?
  • Schedule Development: What tools did you use to create cost-effective schedules?


Food & Beverage Management

  • Food Safety: What challenges did you address in reducing cross-contamination?
  • Food Sustainability: How did you move the restaurant towards zero energy and food waste? Did you introduce products with minimal or sustainable packaging? Did you increase sourcing of local and organic ingredients?
  • Regulatory Compliance: What steps did you take to improve regulatory compliance in food preparation processes?
  • Kitchen Operations: How did you ensure efficient and safe kitchen operations?
  • Menu Planning & Pricing: How did you align the menu with the latest food trends? What steps did you take to create cost-effective menus?


Business Development & Analytics

  • Marketing: What steps did you take to elevate the restaurant brand through digital and social media marketing programs? How did you increase brand presence in a high-growth, highly competitive landscape?
  • Market Analytics: How did you use market intelligence and competitor data to drive market share gain?
  • Data Analytics: How did you improve marketing efforts as a result of categorizing and analyzing sales data?
  • Customer Retention: Did you offer any special discounts or incentives to recurring customers? What was the impact? What customer services strategies did you leverage to increase retention?


In addition to these, consider carefully going over the job listing you are interested in for keywords. Which ones are you familiar with? Weave these keywords into your resume.

By asking yourself these questions, you will be able to uncover accomplishments that highlight your strategic leadership skills. This will not only optimize your resume for ATS-compatibility but also set you apart from other applicants.


Click here to view all industry articles created by CareerTuners.


At CareerTuners, we help ambitious professionals land their dream jobs by providing professional, Applicant-Tracking-System-compatible resume writing services. Some of our other services include cover letter writing, LinkedIn profile development, interview coaching, and resume distribution. To check out our free resources and blog, please visit

Bristol Associates, Inc. is an executive search firm with over 50 years of excellence in recruiting nationwide. Bristol specializes in recruiting for the Casino Gaming; Facilities and Concessions; Food and Beverage Manufacturing; Hospital and Healthcare; Hotels and Resorts; Nonprofit; Restaurant; and Travel, Tourism, and Attractions industries.

If you’re interested in working with Bristol Associates, click here if you’re an employer or here if you’re a candidate.

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter here

Get The Newsletter

Receive Exclusive Career Opportunities, Hiring Best Practices, and More Straight to Your Inbox