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Working As a Cocktail Waitress

  • 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

  • $20,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Cocktail Waitress 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 Waitress

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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Average Length of Employment
Head Waitress 3.3 years
Bartender Server 2.8 years
Beverage Server 2.5 years
Cocktail Server 2.4 years
Restaurant Server 2.4 years
Waitstaff 2.2 years
Cocktail Waitress 2.0 years
Take Out Waitress 1.9 years
Server And Hostess 1.9 years
Server 1.9 years
Waitress 1.9 years
Host/Waiter 1.9 years
Waiter And Cashier 1.7 years
Barista/Waitress 1.4 years
Top Careers Before Cocktail Waitress
Server 16.5%
Cashier 11.4%
Waitress 8.9%
Hostess 7.7%
Bartender 6.3%
Internship 2.6%
Barista 2.0%
Manager 2.0%
Top Careers After Cocktail Waitress
Server 19.8%
Bartender 15.0%
Waitress 7.6%
Cashier 7.1%
Hostess 3.3%
Manager 2.2%
Internship 2.2%

Do you work as a Cocktail Waitress?

Top Skills for A Cocktail Waitress

  1. Customer Service
  2. Beverage Orders
  3. Drink Orders
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provided excellent customer service in a high volume restaurant environment by ensuring timely delivery of all food and beverage items.
  • Closed bar/Taking food and beverage orders/Serving food and mixed drinks/general cleaning.
  • Provided excellent customer service and served customers their desired drink orders.
  • Memorized menu items increasing accuracy of orders and faster delivery times for customers.
  • Communicated well and used strong interpersonal skills to establish positive relationships with guests and employees maximizing overall experience in restaurant setting.

Cocktail Waitress Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 12,289 Cocktail Waitress resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Cocktail Waitress Resume

View Resume Examples

Cocktail Waitress Demographics

Gender

Female

83.4%

Unknown

10.4%

Male

6.3%
Ethnicity

White

61.7%

Hispanic or Latino

18.2%

Black or African American

10.3%

Asian

5.8%

Unknown

4.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

66.0%

French

9.7%

Russian

3.7%

Italian

3.5%

Portuguese

3.0%

German

2.4%

Korean

1.5%

Arabic

1.5%

Japanese

1.3%

Mandarin

1.1%

Chinese

1.1%

Vietnamese

0.9%

Swedish

0.6%

Tagalog

0.6%

Serbian

0.6%

Polish

0.6%

Romanian

0.4%

Thai

0.4%

Hebrew

0.4%

Cantonese

0.4%
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Cocktail Waitress Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

10.5%

College of Southern Nevada

9.5%

University of Nevada - Las Vegas

7.1%

Arizona State University

5.9%

Texas State University

5.5%

University of Houston

5.3%

The Academy

4.9%

University of Central Florida

4.8%

University of North Texas

4.8%

Florida State University

4.3%

Texas Tech University

4.3%

Miami Dade College

4.1%

San Diego State University

4.0%

Kaplan University

3.9%

University of Colorado at Boulder

3.6%

Florida International University

3.6%

University of Arizona

3.6%

Valencia College

3.6%

Houston Community College

3.5%

Florida Atlantic University

3.5%
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Majors

Business

16.0%

Psychology

10.7%

Nursing

8.6%

Criminal Justice

6.0%

Communication

5.9%

Cosmetology

5.8%

Medical Assisting Services

5.5%

General Studies

5.0%

Health Care Administration

4.5%

Liberal Arts

3.8%

Marketing

3.8%

Hospitality Management

3.3%

Biology

3.2%

Accounting

3.0%

Management

2.6%

Education

2.5%

Sociology

2.5%

Fine Arts

2.4%

English

2.4%

Graphic Design

2.4%
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Degrees

Other

37.9%

Bachelors

35.2%

Associate

15.3%

Certificate

4.6%

Masters

3.3%

Diploma

1.8%

License

1.6%

Doctorate

0.3%
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What Is It Like To Work As A Cocktail Waitress

5.0

Cocktail waitress

October 18, 2019 on Zippia

What was your job title?

Cocktail Waitress.. Show More

What do you like the most about working as Cocktail Waitress?

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... Show More

What do you NOT like?

Nothing because this job cocktail service is nice and I'm comfortable to serve our costumer.. And I want this job because vases on my Japanese work experience.. Show More

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Updated May 19, 2020