Bartender Overview

Are you a night owl? Love to talk to strangers? If so, you should become a bartender!

The best bartenders don’t just know how to stir up a mean drink, they know how to give their customers the perfect bar ambiance. Fun conversation, great music selection, and positive vibes all contribute to a customer's ideal drinking experience. Once you master the skill-set allowing you to create this environment, you’ll be rolling in tips.

As a bartender, you also have the luxury of choosing amongst jobs in a variety of settings ranging from bars and restaurants to nightclubs and hotels.

Responsibilities

Bartenders manage the bar which requires them to:

  • Ensure the bar is safe. Checking IDs and cutting people off are not the most fun parts of the job, but they are important.
  • Maintain a steady flow of drinks at the bar. This requires keeping an eye on inventory.
  • Making the drinks. This is the fun part! You’ll be responsible for knowing how to create an extensive list of popular drink selections.
  • Work with a smile. The vibe you set could make or break the bar.

Skills

With so many responsibilities to consider, you’ll need to brush up these skills to excel as a bartender:

  • Patience. This is super important when dealing with drunk people!
  • Cleanliness. You will need to clean glasses, equipment, and countertops to keep up to health-code standards.
  • Organization. Maintaining the right amount of drinks behind the bar is hard when the night starts rolling. Keep a close eye on supply levels!
  • Counting. Drink orders are going to be flying at you. Keeping everyone’s tab straight is a skill that you’ll develop with experience.
  • Creativity. Remember, bartending is a fun job. Make it more fun by being creative. Create innovative drink menus, playlists, displays, and recipes. Your customers will love you for it, which will get you better tips! 

Experience

A thorough knowledge of every drink in the world isn't necessary to become a bartender. Many employers are willing to hire inexperienced bartenders and train them. If you're someone who is looking to work in an upscale environment, however, you'll likely need more experience. If you're interested in a position like this, consider getting credentials from a bartending, vocational or technical school to stand out from the crowd.

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