Job Tips for a Cocktail Waitress


A job as a cocktail waitress can be a quick way to earn cash. However, a professional cocktail waitress makes her job look easy. The best cocktail waitress multitasks well, and moves swiftly for her customers. The work is usually fast-paced; a cool head and quick hands are the best tools for this job.

Prepare for Your Shift

  • Make sure you have enough napkins, clean rags, glasses and drink trays, order pads and pens on hand. Check your bar stock. Once the crowds hit, you need to move quickly. Time spent searching for supplies is time wasted. Know your drinks; if you're new to the business, take some time at the beginning of each shift to learn the names of one or two drinks, and what they contain. Make sure to eat well and rest well, so that you don't come to work exhausted and/or hungry. A cocktail waitress is constantly moving, so you need to be in good shape to do your job well.

Practice Good Grooming Habits

  • Keep long hair pulled back and off of your face. If you hair is short, style it so that you don't have to keep touching it, i.e., brushing it out of your eyes. Wear light makeup; too much makeup is unprofessional. Keep your uniform and shoes clean. If you don't have a uniform, wear appropriate clothes that allow you to move freely and won't trip you up. Keep your hands and fingernails neat and clean. People will notice them as you hand them their drink.

Be Professional

  • Keep a smile on your face. In this business, your tips are directly connected to your service and attitude. Anticipate your customer's needs. They should never be waiting a long time for their cocktail waitress to come back and refill their drinks.

    Keep calm in crowds. You may need to work your way through loud crowds, with a full drink tray balanced in one hand. Keep you other hand out to steady yourself, but never push the customers. Tap people gently on the shoulder if you need them to move.

    Be friendly, but firm. If a customer is inappropriate with their comments or actions, stay professional with yours. It's a fine balance between not offending the customer, and keeping your boundaries. Gentle humor can go a long way to diffuse a potentially awkward situation. If a customer does cross the line, and your safety is in jeopardy, alert whoever is in charge.

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  • Photo Credit serving drinks image by John Keith from
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