A cocktail server is an individual who serves drinks in a restaurant or lounge type environment, going back and forth between the customers in the establishment and the bartender. It is often more challenging than a standard server job, because customers ordering drinks might move around, so the cocktail server will need to remember what they looked like and what they ordered. It is also necessary for cocktail servers to have extensive knowledge of the drinks the establishment serves, the varieties of alcohol, and how they can be modified at the customer's request. It is important for a server to be friendly and welcoming, but to follow any relevant laws as well, and not to serve liquor to anyone without checking ID.
One of the most important job duties of a cocktail server is to make sure the guests of the restaurant are having a good time. To that end, some of the most important skills include a friendly, polite, and professional demeanor, and a willingness to provide great customer service no matter what else is happening. It will likely be a busy, fairly stressful environment, so it is important to be able to remain calm, and meticulously keep track of various customers and drink orders while moving quickly.
Even though a cocktail server might not be the person who is directly preparing the drinks, he or she still needs to know how every drink on the menu is made, and what the ingredients are. Customers will likely ask questions about certain drinks or even ask for recommendations, and a cocktail server who can provide good information will get better tips. He or she should also be aware of what types and brands of alcohol are in stock. Before serving drinks, however, a server will have to check ID and make sure that the customer is of legal age, which varies in different countries.
There are some practical skills that are needed to be a cocktail server as well. The ability to write up a check, accurately count money, and to clear and set tables are all requirements of the job. If guests are angry or dissatisfied, the server might have to take steps to resolve the problem, or get management involved. In addition, the cocktail server and/or the bartender may need to cut someone off if they have had too much to drink, for their safety and the safety of others, so it is important not to be shy or easily intimidated.