Bartending is an extremely competitive field. Who wouldn't want to mix up drinks all day in the company of locals? If you're looking to become a bartender, there are three things you got to know. 

Matthew, a bartender at Comal in Berkeley, CA | Photo Credit: SFGate

Master these and you'll be all set to apply to bartending jobs in your local community today.

1. Get Experience

In the bartending industry, experience is everything! Erik Sadauskas, the owner of Heart and Dagger Saloon in Oakland, recommends you skip bartender school and learn on-the-job instead. 

Get a job as a busboy/girl, barback, or a cocktail waiter/waitress. This way, you’ll gain industry experience without paying high bartender school tuition!

2. Practice Your Conversation Skills

Maureen Gibe, a bartender at The Good Hop in Oakland, says the ability to hold a conversation is the most important quality of a bartender. Maureen cherishes the conversations she has with customers. She isn't always familiar with the subject but holds conversation by asking great questions. "Let share something new with you," Maureen notes. 

As a prospective bartender, make sure that future employers know that you're friendly. If you're interviewing for a bartending job, chat up the locals!

3. Do Your Research

Make sure you research bars before applying! If you’re planning to work at a beer bar or wine bar, there is a lot you'll need to know. For example, what are the main beer or wine styles the bar carries? Which local breweries and wineries are on their lists?

Maureen says “don’t come in expecting everyone else will train you.” While management will teach you the bar's general logistics, you will typically "have to bring your passion, knowledge, hustle, and personality to the table.”


Overall, be confident, be conversational, and know that Localwise has your back!

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