The basic role of a club waiter / waitresses is to take orders and to serve drinks to club guests.
Some high-end clubs and lounge bars use runners who deliver the drinks to the table.
Server is synonymous with waiter
As is the case with any field of work, you must be passionate and ambitious in order to advance and prevail in your work. Through time you can climb the hypothetical “job ladder”, eventually becoming headwaiter or even club manager.
Get to know all drinks and their respective prices
At any particular club you must know the entire assortment of drinks you can offer your guests. Before you begin working at a new place, take some time to familiarize yourself with the drinks and prices on the menu.
BOTTLE SERVICE AND TABLE RESERVATION
The term "bottle service" indicates that a guest is responsible for ordering a bottle. In some clubs this minimum is much greater than 1 or 2 bottles. In Ibiza, for instance, some clubs charge upwards of 10,000 Euros for bottle service. This doesn’t only get you drinks however, it includes a V.I.P. table reservation as well as the freedom to order as many bottles as you want, so long as you don’t exceed your bottle service charge, in which case you’ll pay for the difference. Often these bottle service charges are collected at the beginning of the evening. The club isn’t concerned with whether or not you’ll drink your money’s worth.
The first country to introduce the practice of bottle service was Japan, more specifically Tokyo in 1941. Following them was the Parisian nightclub ‘Les Bains Douches’ in 1988, which sold table reservations which included a complimentary bottle. Shortly after, clubs in New York and Las Vegas introduced the practice.
The most requested drinks with bottle service:
BOTTLE NAMES ACCORDING TO SIZE
Quarter (not illustrated)
Magnum (TV private detective, 1980's).
Jeroboam (Founder and first king of Israel, 931-910 BC).
Rehoboam, son of Solomon (King of Judah, 922-908 BC).
Methuselah (Biblical patriarch who lived to the age of 969).
Salmanazar (King of Assyria, 859-824 BC).
Balthazar (Regent of Babylon, son of Nabonide, 539BC).
Nebuchadnezzar (King of Babylon, 605-562 BC).
STANDARD BRANDS INCLUDED IN BOTTLE SERVICE
- Armand de Brignac
- Moet & Chandon
- Dom Perignon
- Veuve Clicquot
- Grey Goose
- Chivas Regal
- Johnny Walker Red Label
- Johnny Walker Black Label
- Jim Beam
- Jack Daniels
Floor Manager JOB description
- Full responsibility for the Head Waiter, waiters and runners
- Organize shifts for a Waiters
- Assign table areas to the waiters
- Dealing with unsatisfied guests
- Responsible for the smooth operation
POTENTIAL PROBLEMS AT WORK AND HOW TO HANDLE THEM
Guest complaints concerning their bill
One of the most frequent complaints you may encounter is that of an overly high tab, according to your guest’s calculation. You of course are not responsible for handling situations of this nature, as this is the job of supervisor or club manager. Most frequently in these situations the guest will request some sort of discount on the total amount. It is up to your superior to decide how they will deal with the complaining guest.
You should not drink on the job
Drinking among club staff is strictly prohibited.
You’ll notice that it can be very difficult to work in an environment where everyone around you is drinking and having a good time, while you have to remain fun and entertaining without the help of alcohol. For some people this can prove to be extremely difficult. You have got to be aware that you can lose your job if you are caught drinking at work. Naturally, if a guest asks you to toast with them it isn’t considered drinking. But it is up to you to keep yourself under control and to remain professional.
Issues with intoxicated guests
Every individual behaves differently under the influence of alcohol, therefore drinking affects people in very different ways. Some of us become fun and exciting, some become tired, others become emotional, then again others become angry and violent, etc. Any issue that you perceive could escalate into a physical altercation should be handled by club security. You should notify them immediately, and under no circumstance should you get physical with club guests, that’s the job of club security, and that’s what they’re paid for. The key is to have security intervene as soon as you notice that things could get out of control, directing them to where the problem is. Nightclub work is a team effort, and everyone should respect each other and their respective roles.
Personal problems and time off
As a member of a club’s staff, it’s part of your job description to leave any personal issues at the entrance or to take a day off. Don’t allow yourself to spread negative energy among the other staff or club guests. The main purpose of a nightclub is to promote positive energy and a good party atmosphere. If you feel tired or unprepared physically or psychologically to fulfill your duties on a particular evening, notify your manager. Discuss taking the night off or even a mini-vacation in order to rest and come back to work energized and ready for duty. It is after all graveyard-shift work and can prove to be extremely exhausting.
Behaving in accordance with your club’s rules
A waiter’s conduct should always be in line with club rules, or the section of the club in which he works. In V.I.P. sections, for instance, you must be completely professional and courteous. These are guests who spend the most money, and expect the best bottle service (pouring drinks, cleaning ashtrays, remaining responsive, and generally providing them with special experience). This is all in the interest of both you and the club. Satisfied V.I.P. guests generally tip well and become frequent guests.
Stay up-to-date with the international bar scene
Knowledge of drinks and cocktails is very important for a good waiter. This is something that is learned throughout one’s lifetime considering that there are constantly new and interesting brands and products hitting the global market. It’s not enough to know what drinks exits, but also how to serve each of them. What’s their ideal serving temperature, how they should be mixed, what glass they should be served in, etc… you can’t serve wine in a champagne flute, or vodka in a cognac snifter… that would be low-class and unprofessional.
An old-school hospitality degree isn’t necessary
A certificate in service and hospitality isn’t mandatory, but would certainly be very welcome, giving you an edge in certain situations. Hospitality training won’t prepare you for work at nightclubs, but you will definitely learn something about general conduct and drink service that could be of use in your line of work.
KNOWLEDGE OF DIFFERENT GLASSES
The numerous different glasses for various drinks can sometimes be overwhelming. You must learn the appropriate pairings of drinks and their respective glasses in order to avoid confusion and messiness at your guest’s tables.
Highball (good for soft drinks, cocktails and mixed drinks)
Lowball (good for whisky, vodka or gin)
WHAT DRINKS REQUIRE ICE?
You must know what drinks are served on the rocks, and which ones are served neat. For instance whiskey and vodka usually call for 2 cubes of ice, unless the guest specifies straight-up. Champagne and wine are always served neat. Beer is most often served in bottles, and cognac is often served with aromatic coffee beans.
Ice should be served from buckets using tongs, never with bare hands. Serving ice with your fingers could diminish your tips greatly, and at some clubs could get you fired.
DESTINATIONS WHERE THE HIGHEST GRATUITY IS EARNED & SALARY
Las Vegas, Monte Carlo, Monaco, Moscow, Dubai, Nice, Miami, New York, Los Angeles, London, Beijing, Tokyo, Singapore, Ibiza, Mykonos, Hong Kong, Paris
Salaries usually range from 500-1500 $/month.
Waiters make most of their money from tips. In the above listed locations, most clubs integrate mandatory gratuity into their bill, which could be up to 20%. Therefore if someone spends 5,000 $ in one night, you will have a guaranteed tip of 1,000 $. Good waiters in exclusive clubs can earn upwards of 15,000 $/month.
In clubs where gratuity isn’t included in the bill, the unwritten rules of tipping dictate that guests should leave at least 10% of the total tab as a tip.