Cocktail Server Job Description Sample

By | May 29, 2024
Cocktail Server Job Description
Cocktail Servers ensure customers are satisfied with drinks served.

This post provides detailed information on cocktail server job description and career, including the key duties, tasks, and responsibilities they commonly perform.

it also provides ideas on how to become a cocktail server, as well as the major requirements that you may be expected to fulfill to be hired for the role.

What Does a Cocktail Server Do?

Cocktail servers work in nightclubs and bars by serving alcoholic beverages to customers.

The cocktail server job description entails taking complete inventory of the bar cum work areas.

It also involves greeting and welcoming customers, introducing self and informing customers about special drinks.

Cocktail waitresses as they are also called clean the work areas during the shift in order to maintain an organized workspace, replenish garnishments and supplies.

They clean the workstations at the end of their shift and prepare for the next shift.

Servers need to be familiar with different types of alcoholic beverages and are to organize different orders.

The cocktail server role requires individuals to walk and stand for long periods, as well as carry heavy trays of drinks, which can be physically hectic.

To be a great cocktail server one needs to be caring and efficient in their job, and genuinely want to serve, and continue to learn so they can keep growing in their career. These were the success tips shared by Mary Ellen Nichologianis, a Boston cocktail server who recently won the prestigious Forbes Travel Guide Employee of the Year Award.

Cocktail servers usually start their shifts before the doors of the nightclubs are open to the public.

They usually work with bar staff in order to ensure that drink mixes, work areas are stocked with glasses.

Their role in the bar also includes taking drink orders, and may also suggest cocktails to patrons or answer questions relating to drinks.

While a good memory is needed, many servers write down drink orders to ensure accuracy.

Writing out orders also ensures you serve the right drink to the right person at each table.

Most times, you take drink orders from different tables at the same time, so keeping a note of the number of drinks taken is important when it comes to the bill.

As a cocktail server, you would keep an eye on your customers to provide them with proper service.

You will need to watch for signals in case they need more drinks.

You might also need to remove empty glasses and take additional orders, as well as ask customers if they’re satisfied.

You may, as the case may be, need to take note for age identification and be sure that customers are not drinking too much.

Other important responsibilities of the cocktail server role include maintaining a neat service area and keeping tables clean and dry.

They also remove glasses, wipe and clean the area when customers leave a table, and prepare it for the next group of people.

Cocktail Server Job Description Sample/Example/Template

Here is a job description sample for the cocktail server role.

It highlights major duties, tasks, and responsibilities of people who work as cocktail servers at night clubs and bars:

  • Greet guests in a friendly, positive manner and make them feel at home.
  • Exhibit selling techniques cum proper knowledge, and service delivery of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Utilize silent service approach and maintain a clean environment.
  • Itemize bills correctly and secure payment as required.
  • Bid guests farewell by using guest’s name when known, and inviting them to come back.
  • Replace inserts, clean menu covers, and maintain professional appearance of the area.
  • Answer telephones in service areas.
  • Direct calls where necessary.
  • Maintain clean environment.
  • Maintain high level of professionalism that will attract guests to want to return to the property.
  • Respond appropriately to guest needs and do so with a sense of urgency.
  • Performs other job related responsibilities when assigned.

Cocktail Server Job Description for Resume

Writing a resume for the post of cocktail server: the job description example displayed above can provide good information to prepare the employment history section of a resume to seek the position.

Cocktail Server Requirements: Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities for a Successful Career

Applicants vying for the job of cocktail server will need to have developed the following qualities to be considered for employment by most employers or hiring managers:

  • Good working knowledge of different Point of Sales systems (POS).
  • Good working knowledge of spirits, wine, and related beverage item.
  • Excellent customer service skills.
  • Must be able to mentor a team and lead.
  • Must possess good professional appearance.
  • Must be able to work different shifts, which may include holidays and weekends.
  • Must have High School Diploma or equivalent.

Cocktail Server Employment

According to Zippia, there are currently 1,489,845 cocktail servers in employment in the United States with 1,296,165 women and 193,680.

The States that employ the highest cocktail servers in the U.S. include:

  • Florida, 3,141
  • California, 2,819
  • Texas, 2,659
  • Illinois, 1,314
  • Georgia, 1,269

Also, the highest employing industries for cocktail servers include: hospitality (1,102,485) and media (74,492).

Cocktail Server Salary

The average yearly salary for cocktail servers in the United States is $26,178, according to Zippia.

The States that pay the highest salaries to cocktail servers include Washington and District of Columbia which pays $35,490 and $34,728 per annum respectively.

Cocktail Server Career Opportunities

There are many career paths possible for a cocktail server, some of these include:

  1. Bartender

A bartender is someone who is responsible for making drinks.

Cocktail servers typically do not prepare the drinks, but they may also perform other tasks, such as stocking the bar, preparing garnishes and glasses, and acting as a waitress or busperson to other staff in the bar.

A professional bartender must know how to prepare alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails with knowledge of drink recipes.

2. Food and Beverage Server

A food and beverage server is someone who brings food and drinks to customers’ tables in a restaurant.

Cocktail servers may serve customers at the bar, and they also deliver to individual tables.

They also keep the bar area neat and clean.

3. Bartender Supervisor

A bartender supervisor is someone who is responsible for creating and implementing beverage policies in hospitality establishments.

Supervisors must ensure that the establishment’s standards of quality are met and that procedure manuals are followed properly.

4. Tasting Room Supervisor

A tasting room supervisor is usually the head bartender and is often in charge of the beverages department.

They are responsible for supervising employees and managing the inventory, sales, brewer’s recipes, and promotional activities.

5. Beverage Manager

A beverage manager is also known as a bar manager. Managers are responsible for larger aspects of running a bar or restaurant.

They oversee staff members, have purchasing duties, and may act as an information source to customers.

6. Event Specialist

An event specialist is someone who plans and coordinates events such as weddings, opening ceremonies, graduation parties, etc.

They are responsible for the selection of menus and decorations.

They mostly work as a consultant to hotels or event management firms.

Cocktail server career
To be successful in their career, cocktail servers must be able to correctly mix alcoholic beverages in the right proportion.

7. Food and Beverage Manager

Food and beverage managers are responsible for managing restaurants and other food-service establishments.

They hire, train, educate and coordinate with staff to ensure that their guests get high-quality food within a limited budget.

8. Food and Beverage Director of Operations

A food and beverage director of operations is responsible for overseeing all kinds of food preparation and service in a cafeteria.

They are also in charge of accounting, purchasing, purchasing contracts, reporting, workers compensation, etc.

9. Server Supervisor

Supervisors have the responsibility of supervising servers. They make sure that servers are performing assigned tasks in an efficient manner, and they record waiters’ work hours in a log book or computer.

Server supervisors also act as liaisons between restaurant staff and customers.

10. Hotel Manager

Hotel managers are responsible for managing all aspects of a hotel’s operation.

They ensure that a hotel’s sales goals are met, financial results are generated, and guest satisfaction is ensured.

Challenges faced by Cocktail Server on the Job

Here are some of the challenges a cocktail server may face on the job:

  • Disappearing customers before paying

It is a common occurrence at the bar for some customers to want to leave without paying, so cocktail servers must be vigilant to ensure everyone pays for their drinks before leaving.

  • Not memorizing all drinks recipes

Many people prefer to order the same cocktail over and over again.

Cocktail servers tend not to talk to other customers while they are serving other customers; instead they focus on reading each drink menu due to their limited knowledge of drink recipes.

They need more training in order to memorize what drinks have what ingredients.

  • Too much alcohol mixture in drinks

Some people add more alcohol than what is required to their drinks.

Cocktail servers are not always trained by bartenders to know the amount of alcohol that should be added to a drink.

They need more training in order to mix the right amount of alcohol for every drink.

  • Chatty customers holding up the queue

Cocktail servers are often asked to talk to guests for long conversations. Sometimes, customers hold up the line by talking in front of the server.

Cocktail servers need more training about how to deal with chatty guests in order for them to serve their guests optimally.

How to Become a Cocktail Server

If you are interested in becoming a cocktail server, here are the steps you can take:

  1. High school diploma or equivalent

As a minimum requirement, you should have a high school diploma or GED.

2. Training

You will be trained to memorize the drinks that are available in the menu and what ingredients are used for making each drink recipe as a part of your training course on becoming a cocktail server.

You should also learn how to mix each drink recipe properly by practicing it.

It is advised to take courses from accredited institutions that provide training on cocktail server skills and hospitality services in order to improve your knowledge on cocktail mixing and serving skills better.

3. Accreditation

You should be accredited and a certified cocktail server by the Chamber of Commerce in order to work in the state.

4. Job Interview

It is necessary to have an interview with the hotel or restaurant manager in order to get hired as a cocktail server or bartender.

You will have to undergo a background check, drug test and medical examination before they hire you.

5. Server Handbooks

Some hotels and restaurants provide servers with a copy of the entire cocktail and bar menu in order to help them to memorize all drinks’ recipes.

It is also mandatory for you to memorize the cocktail serving and bartending skills as part of your training course on becoming a cocktail server.

Major Benefits of a Cocktail Server Career

As a matter of fact, the most attractive benefits of a cocktail server careers are:

  1. Long-term career opportunity

Many people have a stable job being a cocktail serves and they can stay with the same employer for their entire working lives.

2. Flexible work schedule

Cocktail servers get to work day and night, on weekends and public holidays.

They can choose to work in different bars or restaurants during their shift, that also depends on their interests and preference.

3. Easy learning curve

Cocktail servers are only required to memorize the drinks’ recipes and how to mix each drink recipe properly.

This is a much easier task than for bartenders who have to learn how to make hundreds of drinks.

4. Job security

There will always be a job in the service industry. People will always drink alcoholic beverages.

Even when the economy is bad and people don’t have the means to buy expensive drinks, they won’t stop drinking.

5. Good wages

The good thing about being a cocktail server is that they get paid on a monthly basis. They won’t be paid every day or hourly.

6. Better work-life balance

Cocktail servers can work when they want to, on their own terms.

They don’t have to be at their employer’s office for long hours of work or follow orders from superiors.

They can go home after finishing their shift and spend time with their family or social network.

7. Income potential

Cocktail servers have the potential to earn as much as a bartender.

They can always be promoted to a bartender position in a hotel or restaurant, which will give them better opportunities for career advancement.


In spite of all its pros, cocktail servers must be aware that this job is not for everyone.

In addition to knowing the recipes, cocktail servers must possess excellent social skills and a friendly personality.

Most importantly, they should be able to take criticism and abuse while remaining polite and professional at the same time.

Cocktail Server Resources

We have provided useful resources to help improve your knowledge of the hospitality industry and develop your cocktail server career:

Professional Organizations

National Restaurant Association The National Restaurant Association is over 100 years old and is the world's largest foodservice trade association, proving representation and advocacy on behalf of the restaurant industry. American Hotel & Lodging Association The American Hotel & Lodging Association is a leading voice and supporter of the American hospitality industry. Food and Beverage Association of America The Food and Beverage Association of America encourages and promotes continuing education, career growth, and friendly relation among its members. It also provides scholarships in industry fields.

Useful Blogs

The Waiter's Academy The Waiter's Academy provides free training to industry professionals to improve on their knowledge, skills, and income. OpenTable OpenTable's restaurant blog provides lots of valuable content for restaurant professionals. Modern Restaurant Management This blog provides restaurant management news, expert advice, and industry trends.

Valuable Books

Food and Beverage Service: A Handbook for Hospitality and Tourism Services This book covers various techniquesin food and beverage service Strategic Questions in Food and Beverage Management Discover various critical reviews of issues in food and beverage management Food and Beverage Service This book is for individuals working towards professional qualifications in food and beverage service, as well as trainers and practitioners.