What Does a Lounge Server Do?

Dan Cavallari

Restaurants and bars will often hire a lounge server or several servers to accommodate the needs of guests. In the lounge setting, servers will specifically answer questions about drink lists and in some cases food menus, and generally cater to the comfort needs of all guests. The lounge server is likely to bring drinks from the bar to the guests as well, and after the guests are finished, the server will bus the table and clear away all glasses, napkins, food, and more. One of the server's jobs is to continually monitor the lounge to ensure all customer needs are met, and attend to any needs as quickly as possible.

Lounge servers may answer questions about drink lists and food menus.
Lounge servers may answer questions about drink lists and food menus.

It is not necessary to obtain any specific level of education in order to become a lounge server, but some basic skills are required. The server will need to be able to do basic math, and he or she will also need to have exceptional communications skills. The lounge server needs to be friendly, courteous, and professional, even when guests are upset or angry. In some establishments, the server may also be required to have extensive knowledge about the menu, particularly as it relates to spirits. Guests may ask the server for recommendations on wine, mixed drinks, or even beers, so the server must have a working knowledge of the lounge's selection.

A lounge server needs to be articulate as well as responsive to diners' needs.
A lounge server needs to be articulate as well as responsive to diners' needs.

It is very likely that the lounge server will spend the majority of time during a shift on his or her feet. Trays of drinks and/or food can be heavy, so the server will need to be able to do some moderate to heavy lifting, which can be difficult in crowded lounge spaces. Once drinks are delivered or tables cleared, the lounge server will often need to use a point of sale system; such systems are often computerized, though some are manually operated using a cash register. Payments and tips will all be handled by a particular server who will need to keep track of the money until the end of his or her shift.

The best servers are often the ones that can anticipate the needs of guests before they arise. This often shows patrons that the server is paying attention and cares about the needs of guests; most servers work for tips, and the more attention the server gives a guest, the more likely that guest will be to tip well. This is not always the case, of course, but a good server will treat all customers with care and attention to improve his or her chances of getting a better tip.

A lounge server should be familiar with wine pouring and serving techniques.
A lounge server should be familiar with wine pouring and serving techniques.

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Discussion Comments


Of course, everyone should leave a good tip for a server who does a good job. But I don't like that some servers only pay attention to some customers when they feel that they are more likely to leave a good tip. I've had it happen to me several times. Once, because my friends and I are students, a lounge server assumed that we wouldn't leave a good tip. He brought our order and ignored us for the rest of the evening until it was time to pay. He was spending all of his time at the next table with people in suits.

I don't think that this is right. A lounge server should give equal attention to his customers. He or she should not serve them simply based on potential tips. I realize that some people are stingy with tips but there is nothing that can be done about that. I always leave a good tip because I know how hard servers work for their money. But I want to be treated well regardless.


@donasmrs-- I think that depends on the establishment and what they current need. Of course you should apply and you should ask the whether they can train you for this job. Some training is always involved regardless of how experienced the person is. Because the culture and needs of each establishment can be a little different. If the restaurant or lounge specifically want someone with experience, they will say so. For example, if you're already familiar with various alcoholic drinks, that's obviously a plus. Otherwise, I think they will be happy to train you for this job if they feel that you're capable of doing it.


When people apply to be a lounge server, do they have to go in knowing everything or are they trained on the job?

I've never worked as a server before but I'm sure I can do everything required from a lounge server. So can I apply for this job?

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