Job Description for a Cocktail Waitress

by Steve McDonnell

It takes a friendly disposition, outgoing personality, knowledge of different kinds of cocktails, and an organized and efficient method of serving customers to be a good cocktail waitress. To serve alcohol, you must be over 21 years of age, and have basic math skills to handle money and make change. Good personal hygiene and looks are important, as some bars require cocktail waitresses to wear specific types of clothing or a designated uniform.

Taking Orders

As cocktail waitress, you welcome and greet customers. You introduce yourself and inform them about drink specials. While taking drink orders, you may answer questions or suggest cocktails to patrons. While a good memory is useful, many cocktail waitresses write down drink orders to ensure they're accurate. Taking notes also ensures you deliver the right drink to the right person at each table. You'll often take drink orders from multiple tables at the same time, so keeping a tally of the number of drinks is important when it comes to the bill.

Serving Drinks

When you submit drink orders and enter them into the cash register system, make sure the bartender knows about special customer requests. When the drinks are ready, compare them to your orders to ensure they match. Bring the drinks to the table, serving the right drink to the right person. Before you attend to the next group of patrons, find out if anyone you're serving has another request.

Monitoring Customers

As a cocktail waitress, you keep an eye on your customers to provide proper service. Watch for signals and notice when they need more drinks. Periodically ask patrons if they're satisfied, remove empty glasses and take additional orders. You may also need to monitor for age identification and make sure customers are not drinking too heavily. Keeping tables clean and dry, and maintaining a neat service area are also important responsibilities. When customers leave a table, remove their glasses, wipe and clean the area, and prepare it for the next group. You may also need to replenish small snack food bowls.

Handling Payment

When customers are ready to pay, you bring the check. If they ask you to split the check, you may need to refer to your notes and prepare a separate bill for each person. For a credit card payment, you collect the card, swipe it through the credit card machine and accurately enter the amount of the charge. You deliver a copy of the bill, the credit card slips to sign and a pen to the customer. For cash payments, you bring the correct change back to the table. Before everybody leaves, you thank them for coming and encourage them to return.

About the Author

Steve McDonnell's experience running businesses and launching companies complements his technical expertise in information, technology and human resources. He earned a degree in computer science from Dartmouth College, served on the WorldatWork editorial board, blogged for the Spotfire Business Intelligence blog and has published books and book chapters for International Human Resource Information Management and Westlaw.

Photo Credits

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