Bartender’s Job: Duties and Responsibilities of a Professional Bartender

Bartender duties are not just about mixing drinks, making cocktails and serving them to guest. In most establishments, a bartender is often relegated to other duties besides the usual ones that a bartender does. Most practitioners go to a good bartending to develop their existing skills and learn new skills is order to be more versatile in bartending. Though such schooling is optional, it will help you get the job when applying to an establishment that needs their bartenders to be more flexible in their duties.

So what are these other duties that you are expected to do when you become a bartender? Here below are some duties that you might be doing. Note that you might not do everything written below in the current establishment. Knowing ahead what your duties are can help you when employ yourself in another establishment

  1. Make your customers feel at home – Greet them in a pleasant and friendly manner. You’d be surprised how being friendly positively affects your customers, and some will appreciate you for it.
  2. Make your customers happy – A happy customer is paying customer and if said customer is happy then that customer might just return again since he or she finds your services in bartending very satisfactory. However, remember to keep your customers happy within the boundaries set by the establishment’s owner.
  3. Give them a good show – This is for those are doing flair bartending as their job. This action requires showmanship from your part. Be sure that you know how to do this right before signing up for it.
  4. Bar cleaning – Be sure to keep the bar clean. It can be a real turn-off for customers to see a dirty bar.  The drinking glasses, your equipment for bartending and the utensils are the things that you must regularly clean. Also, try straightening the chairs and stools afterwards.
  5. Helping or filling in for your co-workers – Sometimes when a bar has too many customers that can’t be handled alone by your fellow bartender you are expected to help him or her (and vice-versa). If the establishment serves meals, you can fill in as waiter should the need arise. Same also goes for cleaning up.
  6. Supervising the bar – The bar staff and the other bartenders need guidance and instructions when carrying out their duties. If you are the one in charge, you are expected to point them in the right direction.
  7. Handling the bar’s supplies – Be sure to keep track of the supplies if they need restocking. You have to do the requisitioning and ordering of ingredients when the supplies are running out.
  8. Age and requirement checking – In some states there is an age requirement for drinking. You as a bartender need to remember you don’t serve to the young or customer age is below 18 years old.
  9. Monetary duties – You’re duties is  to complete the transaction of the drinks by getting the money from a customer. You have to give the exact and correct change for their drinks, and you have to attend to the cash receipts to balance them.
  10. Customer control – A customer’s excessive drinking can lead to situations that might generate liabilities and problems for the establishment. As a bartender, your job is to limit it. Your duties also include dealing forcefully with customers who are becoming unruly and out-of-control due to drunkenness.

Bartender Duties and Responsibilities

These are most of the bartender duties that that you will be doing.

See Also: + How much bartender salary? + Basic Steps to Create Job Description

Bartender Guidelines: Always Remember the Do’s and Dont’s

Every workplace has its set of guidelines, and the place that you are working in is no exception. Be sure to learn the various bartender guidelines in the establishment that you are employed.


 Work priority – To put it in other words, “first things first”. Some examples are serving the customers comes first before washing the glasses or cleaning the bar, ready the drinks for a waitress with food orders first before getting beer and opening it to a regular, etc. Learning what duties must be prioritized makes the work a bit easy and smooth.

 Organizing the “Mise en Place” – “Mise en Place is a French phrase for how you arranged the tools and ingredients. Make sure that both your tools and ingredients are in the right place to avoid confusion and speed up the serving of customers.

 Friendly talk – Being a bartender requires you to be social, and it would help if you talk and listen to customers who want to speak or at least say a polite hello and goodbye.

 Hygiene – Avoid touching your face, hair or parts of your body (it can be a turn-off). Also wash your hands. Hygiene includes bar cleaning.

 Dress in a proper manner – Bartenders usually has uniforms or dress codes to follow. In high-end, classy establishment this is mandatory. Cultivate good grooming as well.

 Dress in a proper manner – Bartenders usually has uniforms or dress codes to follow. In high-end, classy establishment this is mandatory. Cultivate good grooming as well.

 Cash handling – Show your customers and your employer that you are paying attention to the cash by having neat money.

 Know your drinks – Be knowledgeable about the various cocktails, beer, wine and spirits.

 Control the atmosphere of the establishment – Air conditioner not cold enough? Is the music too loud? Are the tables cleaned properly? Make sure that your customers are comfy with their settings.


→ Act as if you own the place – If your employer has rules concerning serving size, no comp drinks, etc. don’t circumvent or ignore it. Take good care of the barware and be honest as well conscientious about the money.

→ Drinking on the job – You are a bartender, and your job is to serve drinks not drink along with customers. Drink on your own free time not during work.

→ Goofing off – You do remember you are working as a bartender right? You have a break time so use that to goof off to your heart’s content.

→ Complaining about the tip – Accept the fact that some tips are miserly to say the least. Just that remember tips are not everything.

→ Sleep with your customers – Trust me when I say that many things can wrong with this.

When in doubt about what to do in certain situations during bartending ask your employer for guidance.

Top 10 Drinks that Bartender always need to Remember

Be sure to know what drinks to serve by learning the bartender drink guide. Here are some drinks to remember:

  1. Alabama Slammer
  2. Amaretto Sour
  3. B-52
  4. Brandy Alexander
  5. Bloody Mary
  6. Black Russian
  7. Blue Hawaiian
  8. Buttery Nipple
  9. Cape Codder
  10. Cosmopolitan