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Become A Beverage Server

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Working As A Beverage Server

  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • Getting Information
  • Selling or Influencing Others
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Deal with People

  • Outdoors/walking/standing

  • $17,343

    Average Salary

What Does A Beverage Server Do

Waiters and waitresses take orders and serve food and beverages to customers in dining establishments.

Duties

Waiters and waitresses typically do the following:

  • Greet customers, present menus, and explain daily specials to customers
  • Answer questions related to menu
  • Take food and beverage orders from customers
  • Relay food and beverage orders to the kitchen staff
  • Prepare drinks and food garnishes
  • Carry trays of food or drinks from the kitchen to the dining tables
  • Remove dirty dishes and glasses, and clean tables after customers finish meals
  • Prepare itemized checks and take payments from customers
  • Set up dining areas, refill condiments, and stock service areas

Waiters and waitresses, also called servers, are responsible for ensuring that customers have a satisfying dining experience. The specific duties of servers vary with the establishment in which they work.

In casual-dining restaurants that offer simple menu items, such as salads, soups, and sandwiches, servers provide fast, efficient, and courteous service. In fine-dining restaurants, where more complicated meals are prepared and are often served over several courses, waiters and waitresses emphasize personal, attentive treatment at a more leisurely pace. For example, they may suggest a beverage choice such as a wine recommendation with certain foods.

Waiters and waitresses may meet with managers and chefs before each shift to discuss the menu or specials, review ingredients for potential food allergies, or talk about any food safety concerns. They also discuss coordination between the kitchen and the dining room and review any customer service issues from the previous day or shift.

In establishments where alcohol is served, waiters and waitresses verify the age of customers and ensure that they meet legal requirements for the purchase of alcohol.

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How To Become A Beverage Server

Most waiter and waitress jobs are entry level, and workers learn through short-term on-the-job training. No formal education or previous work experience is required to enter the occupation.

Most states require workers who serve alcoholic beverages to be at least 18 years of age, but some states require servers to be older. Waiters and waitresses who serve alcohol must be familiar with state and local laws concerning the sale of alcoholic beverages.

Education

No formal education is required to become a waiter or waitress.

Training

Most waiters and waitresses learn their skills through short-term on-the-job-training, usually lasting a few weeks. Trainees typically work with an experienced waiter or waitress, who teaches them basic serving techniques.

Some full-service restaurants provide new employees with some form of classroom training that alternates with periods of on-the-job work experience. These training programs communicate the operating philosophy of the restaurant, help new servers establish a rapport with other staff, teach serving techniques, and instill a desire to work as a team. They also discuss customer service situations and the proper ways to handle unpleasant circumstances or unruly customers.

Training for waiters and waitresses in establishments that serve alcohol typically involves learning state and local laws concerning the sale of alcoholic beverages. Some states, counties, and cities mandate the training, which typically lasts a few hours and can be taken online or in-house.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Waiters and waitresses must listen carefully to customers’ specific requests, ask questions, and relay the information to the kitchen staff, so that orders are prepared to the customers’ satisfaction.

Customer-service skills. Waiters and waitresses spend most of their work time serving customers. They should be friendly and polite and be able to develop a rapport with customers.

Detail oriented. Waiters and waitresses must record customers’ orders accurately. They need be able to recall the details of each order and match the food or drink orders to the correct customers.

Interpersonal skills. Waiters and waitresses should be courteous, tactful, and attentive as they deal with customers in all circumstances to resolve any issues that arise.

Physical stamina. Waiters and waitresses spend hours on their feet carrying heavy trays, dishes, and drinks.

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Beverage Server jobs

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Average Length of Employment
Lead Server 3.0 years
Head Server 2.9 years
Bartender Server 2.7 years
Bartender 2.6 years
Waitress/Bartender 2.6 years
Fine Dining Server 2.4 years
Restaurant Server 2.3 years
Food Server 2.2 years
Cocktail Server 2.2 years
Banquet Server 2.1 years
Caterer/Server 2.0 years
Beverage Server 2.0 years
Server And Hostess 1.9 years
Room Server 1.9 years
Server 1.8 years
Cocktail Waitress 1.7 years
Dining Car Server 1.7 years
Counter Server 1.6 years
Dishwasher/Server 1.5 years
Server/Barista 1.3 years
Server Assistant 1.3 years
Top Employers Before
Cashier 15.2%
Server 10.7%
Hostess 6.3%
Waitress 4.5%
Bartender 3.6%
Internship 3.4%
Secretary 1.9%
Top Employers After
Server 13.9%
Cashier 13.5%
Bartender 7.0%
Waitress 3.8%
Internship 3.1%
Hostess 2.4%
Supervisor 2.3%

Beverage Server Demographics

Gender

Female

85.4%

Male

12.6%

Unknown

2.0%
Ethnicity

White

79.9%

Hispanic or Latino

11.6%

Asian

6.7%

Unknown

1.3%

Black or African American

0.5%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

72.4%

Chinese

3.4%

Vietnamese

3.4%

German

3.4%

French

3.4%

Greek

3.4%

Tagalog

3.4%

Hmong

3.4%

Italian

3.4%
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Beverage Server Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

13.1%

University of Nevada - Las Vegas

7.6%

University of Southern Mississippi

6.9%

Mohawk Valley Community College

6.9%

McNeese State University

6.2%

Sierra College

5.5%

College of Southern Nevada

5.5%

Alcorn State University

4.8%

Delgado Community College

4.8%

Santa Rosa Junior College

4.8%

Bossier Parish Community College

4.1%

Coahoma Community College

4.1%

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College

3.4%

Atlantic Cape Community College

3.4%

Carl Albert State College

3.4%

Kaplan University

3.4%

University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh

3.4%

Michigan State University

2.8%

University of Rhode Island

2.8%

Hinds Community College

2.8%
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Majors

Business

19.0%

Criminal Justice

8.9%

Nursing

7.5%

Psychology

6.6%

Health Care Administration

5.1%

Marketing

5.1%

Medical Assisting Services

4.9%

Communication

4.7%

General Studies

4.3%

Cosmetology

4.1%

Accounting

3.8%

Liberal Arts

3.6%

Dental Assisting

3.2%

Elementary Education

3.0%

Education

2.8%

Graphic Design

2.8%

Public Relations

2.8%

Nursing Assistants

2.6%

Hospitality Management

2.6%

Biology

2.4%
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Degrees

Other

37.0%

Bachelors

31.7%

Associate

17.9%

Certificate

6.0%

Masters

3.9%

Diploma

1.7%

License

1.4%

Doctorate

0.4%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills for A Beverage Server

OutstandingCustomerServiceNon-AlcoholicBeveragesDrinkOrdersCasinoFloorBeverageOrdersBeverageCartCasinoGuestsGuestServicePOSCustomerServiceSkillsCleanServiceAreasServesPositiveAttitudeSpecialEventsQualityServiceGuestSatisfactionMenuItemsFoodOrdersCommunicationSkillsHighVolume

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Top Beverage Server Skills

  1. Outstanding Customer Service
  2. Non-Alcoholic Beverages
  3. Drink Orders
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Used outstanding customer service skills to ensure an ultimate experience for each guest.
  • Served alcoholic / non-alcoholic beverages to guests engaged in gaming activities at casino.
  • Take and deliver drink orders to patrons while they game.
  • Performed all duties of beverage server on casino floor and showroom
  • Take beverage orders from guests; enter the orders in our order/sale system, which relays orders to the bar.

Top Beverage Server Employers

Beverage Server Videos

Food and Beverage Server - emerit Training and Certification

Careers in Tourism - Food & Beverage Server - by ChooseTourism.ca

Server (fine dining), Career Video from drkit.org

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