12 Beverage Server Skills: Definition and Examples
By ResumeCat Editorial Team
Updated June 7, 2023
In the food and beverage industry, there are 12 key skills that every server needs to know. These skills range from taking orders and handling payments, to more technical skills like wine and food pairing. By definition, a server is someone who works in the food and beverage industry and is responsible for taking orders, serving food and drinks, and handling payments. In order to be a successful server, it is important to have strong communication and customer service skills. Additionally, servers need to be able to multitask and have a strong attention to detail. Here are 12 essential skills that every server needs to know, along with their definitions.
Beverage Server Skills
- Customer service
- Serving food and drinks
- Taking orders
- Handling payments
- Keeping the bar area clean and tidy
- Stocking supplies
- Preparing cocktails
- Opening and closing duties
- Knowledge of wine and beer
- Able to work in a fast-paced environment
- Team player
- Flexible schedule
The ability to provide excellent customer service is essential for any beverage server. This skill involves being able to interact with customers in a friendly and professional manner, as well as being able to resolve any issues that may arise. Excellent customer service skills are necessary in order to ensure that customers have a positive experience and are likely to return in the future.
Serving food and drinks
This skill is important for beverage servers because it allows them to efficiently and effectively serve food and drinks to customers. This skill is important because it helps to ensure that customers are satisfied with their experience and that they receive the food and drink items that they ordered in a timely manner.
The ability to take orders from customers is a key skill for any beverage server. This involves being able to understand the customer's order, inputting the order into the point of sale system, and then relaying the order to the barista or bartender. This skill is important because it ensures that the customer's order is taken correctly and that the drink is made correctly.
Handling payments is an important skill for beverage servers because they need to be able to take payments from customers and process them correctly. This includes taking cash, credit cards, and checks. They also need to be able to provide change if necessary.
Keeping the bar area clean and tidy
A clean and tidy bar area is important for keeping customers happy and coming back. It also helps to prevent accidents.
Stocking supplies is an important skill for beverage servers because they need to make sure that the bar is fully stocked with all the necessary supplies before each shift. This includes stocking glasses, liquor, mixers, and garnishes. If the bar runs out of any of these items during a shift, it can cause delays in service and upset customers.
A beverage server needs to be able to prepare cocktails in order to serve them to guests. This skill is necessary in order to make sure that the cocktails are made correctly and taste good.
Opening and closing duties
Opening and closing duties are the tasks that must be completed before and after a shift in a food service establishment. They may include setting up the dining room, preparing the cash register, and cleaning up after the customers have left. This skill is important because it helps to ensure that the restaurant is ready for business and that customers will have a positive experience.
Knowledge of wine and beer
The ability to knowledgeably recommend and serve wine and beer is an important skill for any beverage server. Customers will often look to their server for guidance on what to order, and it is important to be able to make recommendations that will suit the customer's taste. In addition, it is important to be able to serve the drinks correctly, as this can impact the overall dining experience.
Able to work in a fast-paced environment
The ability to work in a fast-paced environment is a skill that is needed for beverage servers. This is because they need to be able to keep up with the demands of the customers and make sure that they are getting their drinks in a timely manner.
A team player is someone who can work well with others in a group setting. This is important for a beverage server because they will be working with other servers and bartenders to make sure that the guests are taken care of.
The ability to work a flexible schedule is an important skill for beverage servers, as they may be required to work early mornings, late nights, and weekends. This skill allows them to be adaptable to their employer's needs and ensures that they are able to work when needed.
How to improve beverage server skills
In the United States, there are over 1.6 million people employed as servers in restaurants and other foodservice establishments. Beverage servers make up a large portion of this workforce and play a vital role in providing guests with an enjoyable dining experience.
While some beverage servers are natural born salespeople with an innate ability to upsell guests on drinks, others may need a little help in honing their skills. Whether you’re a new server or an experienced pro, there are always ways to improve your beverage server skills.
Here are 10 tips on how to improve your beverage server skills:
1. Make a great first impression
The first step to being a great beverage server is making a great first impression on your guests. Greet them with a smile as soon as they sit down at your table and introduce yourself. Be sure to make eye contact and use their name throughout the interaction. This will help build rapport and make them feel more comfortable ordering from you.
2. Know your menu inside and out
As a beverage server, you should have a thorough understanding of the drinks menu. This includes knowing what’s in each drink, how it’s made, and any special ingredients that make it unique. This knowledge will come in handy when answering questions from guests or making recommendations.
3. Upsell whenever possible
One of the most important parts of being a beverage server is upselling guests on drinks. This can be done by suggesting higher-priced items, recommending pairings with food, or offering special promotions. Remember, the more expensive the drink, the bigger the commission for you!
4. Learn how to read people
A big part of being a successful beverage server is learning how to read people. This means being able to quickly assess what type of person they are and what they might be looking for in a drink. Are they adventurous? Do they like sweeter drinks? What’s their budget? Asking these types of questions will help you make better recommendations and close more sales.
5. Be knowledgeable about wine
Wine is one of the most popular items on any restaurant menu, so it’s important for servers to be knowledgeable about it. This includes knowing how to properly open and pour wine, as well as understanding the different types of wines and what foods they pair well with. Guests will often look to servers for guidance when ordering wine, so it’s important that you know what you’re talking about!
6. Promote happy hour specials
Happy hour is one of the best times to boost sales as a beverage server. Many restaurants offer discounts on drinks during this time, so be sure to promote any specials to your guests. This is also a great opportunity to upsell by suggesting appetizers or other menu items that pair well with alcohol.
7. Take advantage of slow times
Slow times at work can be frustrating, but they can also be used as an opportunity to improve your skills as a server. Use this time to study the menu, practice your sales techniques, or chat with other servers about their best tips and tricks. The more prepared you are for busy times, the better equipped you’ll be to handle them!
How to highlight beverage server skills
As a beverage server, you will be responsible for providing excellent customer service to guests while taking and fulfilling drink orders. To highlight your skills in this role, be sure to emphasize your ability to provide prompt and courteous service, as well as your knowledge of various types of drinks and how to prepare them. Additionally, it is helpful to be able to upsell guests on higher-priced items and suggest drink pairings with food items.
On a resume
As a Beverage Server, you will be responsible for providing outstanding customer service to guests while taking and serving food and beverage orders. To highlight your skills as a Beverage Server on your resume, be sure to include any relevant customer service experience, as well as any hospitality experience you may have. You should also highlight any special skills or training you have in serving food and beverages, such as wine knowledge or mixology skills.
In a cover letter
In your cover letter, highlight your skills as a Beverage Server. Include your experience in the hospitality industry, as well as your ability to provide excellent customer service. Emphasize your ability to work well under pressure and multitask, as well as your knowledge of various types of beverages. Be sure to mention your availability to work flexible hours, including weekends and holidays.
During an interview
You will want to highlight your skills as a Beverage Server during your interview. You should be sure to mention your experience in the industry, your ability to handle customer service, and your knowledge of various types of beverages. You should also be sure to mention your ability to upsell and cross-sell products, as well as your ability to handle money and transactions.