How Do I Become a Cocktail Waitress?

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  • Written By: Amber Eberle
  • Edited By: Michelle Arevalo
  • Last Modified Date: 16 September 2019
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A cocktail waitress is a woman who serves beverages, and sometimes food, to customers of a restaurant, bar, nightclub, or casino. If you want to become a cocktail waitress you will need basic math skills, as well as the ability to work on your feet for many hours during a shift. Cocktail waitresses need to know how to multi-task, and customer service is essential. Many establishments that employ cocktail waitresses require that these workers have experience as a food server, as well as a solid knowledge of different types of alcoholic drinks.

The food and beverage industry is unique in many ways, and a job in this field requires skills that are different from those one acquires in an office or other work environment. One of the best ways for you to become a cocktail waitress is to start out by gaining experience as a food server. Spending some time in this capacity in a restaurant or similar place should allow you to learn, and get used to, the fast pace that is required in any high-volume restaurant, bar, nightclub, or casino.


Customer service is a very important part of being a cocktail waitress. If you want to transition to this job without first working as a food server, you may wish to get some experience in a position that allows you to learn excellent customer service skills. Working in a retail shop or as a telephone call center representative can help you build the skill set that is needed to become a cocktail waitress.

While such a waitress may be responsible for serving some food to customers, the majority of the job responsibility includes serving beverages that typically contain liquor. To become a cocktail waitress, a comprehensive knowledge of alcoholic beverages is therefore important. Someone working in this job must know the most common types of drinks ordered, to ensure that each customer receives what they want. Knowing about cocktails, and the ingredients they contain, can also help you up-sell your customers, which most establishments require, so they can make more money.

To successfully become a cocktail waitress, make sure you have the basic skills required for the job. Advanced math skills are not needed, but you must be able to compute numbers quickly if a customer has a question about the price of a drink, or the total cost of the bill. In this position you will also likely be required to be on your feet for long periods of time, so, if you are unable to work many hours without sitting down, being a cocktail waitress may not be the best job choice.


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