Different Types of Beverage Service

Professional beverage service requires years of practice, experience and knowledge. Here in today’s Food & Beverage Service tutorial, we will discuss about different types of beverage services that we see in hotel & restaurants. Although the basic method is quite similar but there are some differences. Do read this tutorial with utmost attention.

For more Food & Beverage Service related tutorials and SOP see our Professional Waiter & Waitress Training Manual with 101 SOP

Different Types of Beverage Services

Counter service

types of beverage serviceUnder the counter service, the bartender is responsible for taking and preparing drink for guests. Counter service allows the bartender to take the order and prepare the drink in front of the guest and the guest most likely seated or standing at the bar counter for consuming the drink.

Tray service

Among all beverage services, tray service is one of the simplest forms of beverage service. To serve the drink, the assigned server usually carries the ready drink by using the tray from the bar to the guest table. However the server also serves the drink directly to the guests if it is a stand-up cocktail reception where there are no tables. Under the tray service, if the waiter is supposed to serve gin tonic then the tonic is poured in and mixed with the gin and a slice of lemon added to the drink before serving to the guests.

Velvet Service

Velvet Service is also termed as ‘club service’ and regarded as the highest possible form of beverage service. Velvet service is usually occurred in some particular sectors which are as follows:

  • Fine dining restaurants
  • Hotel lounges
  • Clubs

Under this beverage service, the following procedures are to be followed while serving a drink like gin tonic using velvet service:

  • The waiter/waitress picks up the portioned spirit in a glass with the lemon slice, the preferred mixer in a decanter or handy bottle and a stirrer from the bar to serve the guest.
  • The service staff then approaches with the drink to the guest table and serves the guest following necessary standards.
  • The drink coaster is to be placed on the table.
  • The waiter/waitress will determine from the guest how much tonic they would like to have with the gin and then pours the required tonic and stir the mixture properly.
  • The service staff may leave the stirrer at the table on a coaster depending on the requirements.

Bottle Sales Service

Bottle sales services are commonly served in the following sectors:

  • Discotheques
  • Night-clubs
  • Lounges
  • Pubs

The service nature and procedures for serving drink of Bottle Sales Service is quite similar to Velvet Service, except the spirits in question are sold by the bottles. Under bottle sales service, the server serves the ice using an ice bucket with tongs so that the guests take ice by themselves. However the waiter/waitress will be available or present near the guest table to serve the first and subsequent round of drinks or the guests may choose to serve drinks by themselves after the first round of drinks are served by the service staffs.

In case of bottle sales service the following procedures are to be followed:

  • The pricing list of bottle sales comprises the prices of bottles or volume of mixers and soft drinks.
  • The guest will be charged for every subsequent order of mixers or soft drinks accordingly.
  • To identify each bottle individually, each bottle is attached with a tag or numbered sticker. These tags or stickers contain the names and signatures of the guest who purchased the bottle. By doing this, the time span in which the bottle is consumed after each time it is used could be identified since most bars or clubs would require the time span.
  • The remaining volume of spirit after each time it is used is specified on the stickers or a line is drawn to avoid any mismanagement.

The guest or the buyer is given a card after purchasing a bottle of spirit so that the bar can identify them as the holder of the purchased Bottle of spirit and to hold the bottle for the buyers. The card can permit the guest to become members of the club or disco and to get entry without even following the queue exists at the entrance. However, the card will only be valid if there is spirit in the bottle from a previous visit.


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