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Become A Cocktail Server

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Working As A Cocktail 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

  • $17,430

    Average Salary

What Does A Cocktail 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 Cocktail 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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Cocktail Server Jobs

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Cocktail Server Demographics

Gender

Female

85.7%

Male

12.4%

Unknown

1.9%
Ethnicity

White

78.1%

Hispanic or Latino

13.8%

Asian

6.3%

Unknown

1.3%

Black or African American

0.5%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

60.2%

French

9.5%

Italian

4.5%

Japanese

3.6%

Portuguese

3.2%

German

3.2%

Russian

2.7%

Arabic

2.3%

Tagalog

1.4%

Chinese

1.4%

Amharic

1.4%

Swedish

0.9%

Lithuanian

0.9%

Romanian

0.9%

Ukrainian

0.9%

Greek

0.9%

Polish

0.9%

Turkish

0.5%

Cherokee

0.5%

Mandarin

0.5%
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Cocktail Server Education

Schools

University of Nevada - Las Vegas

16.7%

College of Southern Nevada

9.6%

Arizona State University

7.3%

University of Phoenix

7.3%

San Diego State University

5.3%

University of Central Florida

4.8%

University of Nevada - Reno

4.0%

University of Arizona

4.0%

University of North Texas

3.8%

Atlantic Cape Community College

3.8%

Valencia College

3.5%

Texas State University

3.5%

Orange Coast College

3.5%

Northern Virginia Community College

3.5%

San Francisco State University

3.3%

Temple University

3.3%

Metropolitan State University of Denver

3.3%

Fullerton College

3.3%

Tulsa Community College

3.0%

University of Hawaii at Manoa

3.0%
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Majors

Business

19.8%

Psychology

10.2%

Communication

7.7%

Nursing

6.9%

Health Care Administration

5.9%

Criminal Justice

5.0%

General Studies

4.5%

Liberal Arts

4.4%

Hospitality Management

4.1%

Medical Assisting Services

3.8%

Marketing

3.5%

Kinesiology

3.2%

Biology

3.1%

Accounting

3.1%

Cosmetology

2.9%

Sociology

2.9%

Fine Arts

2.7%

English

2.3%

Management

2.2%

Culinary Arts

2.0%
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Degrees

Bachelors

38.7%

Other

35.8%

Associate

13.8%

Certificate

4.8%

Masters

4.4%

Diploma

1.4%

License

0.9%

Doctorate

0.2%
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How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Cocktail Server?

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Top Skills for A Cocktail Server

CustomerServiceSkillsDrinkOrdersNon-AlcoholicBeveragesHighVolumeEnvironmentPOSMenuItemsBeverageOrdersVIPBottleServiceFoodOrdersCasinoFloorMicrosGuestServiceSpecialEventsEnsureGuestSatisfactionCommunicationSkillsCocktailServiceSalesGoalsBeverageServicePositiveAttitude

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  1. Customer Service Skills
  2. Drink Orders
  3. Non-Alcoholic Beverages
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Utilized customer service skills, beer & wine knowledge in a high volume upscale lounge in the hotel lobby.
  • Receive drink orders from guests and waiters, Efficiently mix ingredients to prepare cocktails according to drink recipes.
  • Serve cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages to customers.
  • Delivered outstanding customer service during preparation and delivery of drinks while working effectively in an extremely high volume environment.
  • Communicated clearly and positively with co-workers and management.

How Would You Rate Working As a Cocktail Server?

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Top Cocktail Server Employers

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