Beginners Guide: Learn How to Start Your Bartender Career

Welcome to your entry to a career on bartending. Bartending is a well-known and fun work for those who love to socialize while making and mixing the best drinks. Being a bartender in the past was a profession of necessity for most people who use it as a secondary job, sideline or transition work. Today it is now a profession of choice though some still use it as a secondary job.

An overview of bartender jobs

Bartending as a job can be fun, but it also bestows responsibilities on its practitioners.  Bartender jobs are not just to about mixing and make drinks for customers. A bartender also opens and serves beer and other drinks that do not need to be combined. They are also taking orders from the wait staff or customers of the establishment that they are working.

What is a bartender training and what are the requirements to be a bartender?

A bartender training is not necessary to become a bartender However if you want to learn more about liquors and bar glassware as well hone your skills in garnishing and bartending techniques, then training is needed. Bartender training in some cases is necessary since some establishments, state, county or city requires a bartender who is certified and has a bartending license. The training can also teach you how to behave appropriately in different kinds of establishments. Refer to the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) board to pick the best and good bartending school.

The other alternative is to be a barback (for men) or a cocktail waitress (for women) at a nightclub or bar. These establishments have their bartenders who can train and teach you to be a bartender. After that, you can work your way up to become a bartender yourself.

The age requirement for bartending differs from state to state. These states require you to be of a legal drinking age that is mostly at 21 years old. For more specific info check the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Commission’s information board.

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Other requirements to be a bartender are the following:

» Must be sociable and have a great personality that can connect with people.
» Good math skills to count money and give out the changes quickly.
» A good memory is needed to memorize the various mixed drinks that are ordered by a customer.
» Must have intimate knowledge of beers, liquors, wines and cocktails
» Can work with other fellow bartenders (if the bar needs more than one) and help them serve with customers
» Must be able to work under pressure and deal with the stress of bartending.
» Must possess good grooming.

Stating what type of bartender you are in a Bartender Jobs Description

When applying for a bartending in an establishment they might ask what kind of bartender you are. There are three different of bartenders and knowing what type you are will help you get the job. Some establishment needs a specific type, so this can be significant for you to know.

Show bartenders – They are the type that are found working in nightclubs and large restaurants. The city of Las Vegas and some resorts employ these types. A show bartender is more like a showman tossing, flipping and even setting drinks on fire.

Average bartenders – They are the usual type of bartender found employed in bars and restaurants. They are expected to serve the guests their food and make drinks for quickly.

Educated bartenders – They are the one is a bit more classy compared to the two mentioned above. They are the type that works in specialty shops and high-end restaurants serving food with drinks that can cost $100 at a minimum. They also possess a vast and extensive knowledge of drinks like bourbons, wines, whiskeys, and scotches.

Read also: + Get Your Bartender License Fast and Easy!  + What is the Best Bartender Job Description?

Regardless of what type of bartender you are, employers will still expect you to do these things:

  • Create and mix drink recipes for customers.
  • Collecting the money from customers whom you just have served drinks and food.
  • Make attractive displays on the bar by arranging glasses and bottles.
  • Checking and verifying a customer to see if the customer meets the age requirements to buy alcoholic drinks.
  • You must be capable of dealing with customers who are obnoxious and loud. You are expected to ask them to leave and remove them by force if they do not comply.
  • Cleaning the equipment, glasses, and utensils is one of your duties. You are also expected to do the same to tables, bars and work areas.
  • Balancing cash receipts
  • Preparing appetizers for customers.
  • Limit the problems and liabilities that is the result of a customer’s excessive drinking. Ordering a taxi or persuading the customer to stop drinking are just a few some examples.
  • Requisitioning or ordering supplies and planning the bar’s menu.
  • Supervising the other bartenders and the bar staff.
    Serve the customers dutifully and with enthusiasm.

Just remember to put specific details in your bartender jobs description when looking for employment.

Why do you need to get a Bartending License?

Most bartenders don’t have a bartending license, (the lack it, however, does not detract their effectiveness), but there are still good reasons to get one. There are some establishments, state, counties or city that requires a bartender to have one so having a license can save you some time and effort when trying to get a bartending job. Check the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Commission’s information board for the best bartending school to enroll. A bonus to attending a bartending school is that you get to enhance your skills and learn more about your bartending job.

Recommended Tools for Bartenders:

Mixing drinks and opening bottles require tools that a bartender must use. Bars usual provided their bartenders the needed tools and equipment, but sometimes they don’t provide everything. At best the bartender tools you’ll be getting are basic. Before you start working as a bartender try to get the tools and equipment you need. Here a list of those tools:

  • Corkscrew (wine key)
  • Boston shaker
  • Can opener
  • Hawthorne Strainer
  • Funnel
  • Bar spoon
  • Pour spouts
  • Muddler
  • Citrus zester
  • Fruit press
  • Mesh tea strainer
  • Knife
  • Bottle opener
  • Ice scoop

Some of these tools are available from any store, but I recommend buying from stores that specifically provides bartending equipment and tools.

What is flair bartending?

Flair Bartending is a combination of entertainer and server. A bartender who does this type of bartending juggles mixers, ice and bottles as well toying around with flammable liquors. The bartender also does the occasional magic tricks. This kind of showmanship tends to attract the attention of customers resulting in more tips and regulars who will order more drinks. The can also get land the practitioner a bartending work in more glamorous clubs along with a higher pay. Some establishments in New York, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles have flair bartenders working for them.
Note that while this can be fun and bring in bigger tips or payment for drinks you must be skilled to do all the juggling. You could end up with broken glasses and bottles along with the potential of causing an out-of-control fire due to those flammable drinks.

How much do bartenders make from customers tips and their salary?

The question “how much do bartenders make” depends on how good the tips are and the wage that their employers give.
The amount of money from tips varies depending on how good the bartender is. A skilled bartender with a good people personality can attract more customers and bring in more cash paid for drinks. Note that the tips received from customers’ compromise half of their income that includes their wages. This alone gives lots of motivation for bartenders to improve their job.
Money from wages also varies. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the best-paid bartender earns $32,780 while the worst-paid ones earn $16,400. The hourly wages that can be at an average $10.46 also affect the income bartenders make.