12 Shocking Realities Of Being A Cocktail Waitress, As Told By A Former Cocktail Waitress

Cocktail waitresses are truly the unsung heroes of the weekend. Sure, there is praise for the DJ who crushed it, the Uber driver who pulled over when you needed to vomit and, of course, the bouncer who thought you looked good enough to get into the club in the first place. On Sundays, there is praise for pizza and Netflix. Let's all not forget about the cocktail waitresses, delivering bottles of liquor with flaming sparklers attached, carrying heavy drink trays, and all the while, just trying not to sweat too much so they still look cute in their uniforms.

Let me tell you, as someone who was a cocktail waitress all through my college education, these women deserve all the praise in the world. Some people may unknowingly think that being a cocktail waitress is really just dressing up in a slutty uniform, serving overpriced bottles and beverages, and making an obscene amount of money since they don’t really do “work”. While some of those things may be part of the gig, those people couldn’t be more wrong. Being a cocktail waitress is much harder than it looks. The job is very physically demanding and filled with landmines, like sleazy guys and drunk girls. On top of that, you are the group's pilot for the evening, making sure that they have the time of their life.

The job is honestly a whole world that people don’t know about. Sure, you may go out to clubs very frequently, but the perspective of someone enjoying the night out is much different from the perspective of a cocktail waitress.

So, since I’ve seen some crazy things, I’m here to let you in on the world of cocktail waitresses - from the drugs, to the drunk girls, to the celebrities.

9 You Get Used To Being Touched… Everywhere


Small of the back, inner thigh, ass? Yes, complete strangers have touched me in all of those areas because they wanted to buy a bottle of liquor from me that was marked up about 5000%.

I really didn’t encourage this type of physical touching, but unfortunately when you need to hear your customer at a loud club, you have to lean in close enough, which puts the waitress’ body close enough for the ever so casual lower back rub.

The customer is always right – that’s the saying, right? I couldn’t really slap the guy’s hand and reprimand him. We were put into these little costumes to entice these guys to begin with so for the most part. As a cocktail waitress, you’re supposed to be attractive, fun and flirty, so a little hand-on-body action should be fine, even though it can be totally uncomfortable.

8 You Know Every Popular Song


7 You Have The Same Conversations Over And Over And Over


As a cocktail waitress (or anyone working in customer service actually) a lot of the chit chat you encounter over and over is similar to your basic first date chit chat. Well, basic first date taking place in a loud club chit chat.

6 Tabs Can Run Higher Than Your Yearly Salary


Since you’ve learned that people are willing to drop a pretty penny on bottle service, it shouldn’t surprise you to learn that some people can’t afford bottle service, but that doesn’t stop them from getting it.

There are many different situations that can arise. Someone may not be able to afford bottle service but will still want to look cool so they order it anyway. In other cases, it may be a group of people all ordering different bottles without realizing that their friends are also ordering a shit ton of drinks. There are other factors, too, like forgetting about tax. Whatever the case may be, I have been in several situations of dropping off a tab at the end of the night to a customer who disputes it. Suddenly, they will claim to not have ordered certain bottles or will say anything they can to not fork up the money. I've actually witnessed people calling their friends (presumably with more money) to come pay their tab.

5 You Could Carry An Elephant On A Drink Tray

4 You’re Allowed (And Sometimes Encouraged) To Drink On The Job

3 You’re Not Fazed By Much


After all the things I've seen while being a cocktail server, I'm not fazed by much. I've served celebrities and high profile guests, and even got to watch some of them be too drunk to walk out of the club. Seeing famous people in this state is a nice reminder that celebrities are really just people. Though, I might still get starstruck if I was to see, like, Brad Pitt, but he's Brad Pitt.

2 You’re Lucky To Get Home From Work Before Sunrise


1 Sundays Are For Rest


This reality should come as no surprise following the last one. After being physically and mentally exhausted, and finally crashing into bed at 5 a.m., it is only natural to, well, sleep in a bit. Yes, the night before, I may have been wearing a little black costume and prancing around with sparklers attached to bottles of liquor, but on Sundays, I would rest.


After graduating college and getting a “real job", I suddenly missed the loud music, heavy trays, and navigating a large, drunk crowd. While having regular work hours, vacation time and sick days were amazing parks, there is a sad, underwhelming feeling when I would get a paycheck for two weeks’ worth of work and it amounted to what I could have made on one Saturday night.


This may not be the case with every single club, as girls (especially cocktail waitresses) can be cutthroat at times, but some of my coworkers became my best friends, and why wouldn’t they? We were war buddies after all. Every Saturday night, we’d enter into the crazy world of being a cocktail server and we were really the only ones who understood it.

My fellow cocktail waitresses were the ones I complained to about a bad tip or the dude at table 21 who kept touching me. They were the ones with whom I celebrated a good tip. They were the only ones who understood the difficulties and the benefits of being a cocktail server. After spending years of Saturday nights together, we may have missed the opportunity to go out with our friends but, among the sparklers and loud music, we found new friendships within each other.

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12 Shocking Realities Of Being A Cocktail Waitress, As Told By A Former Cocktail Waitress