12 Bartender Duties and Responsibilities That You Need To Know

Bartending jobs always sounded like a romantic career to pursue. They would prepare drinks, show off their mixing skills and even listen to your problems for a while. But do you know the responsibilities and duties that come with being a bartender? Have you ever looked at a bartender job description?

A bartender does more than just prepare and serve your favorite drink at a watering hole. They also become your healers, unofficial psychologist, and master of ceremonies. Bartenders are exceptionally talented folks. They have excellent communication skills and are paid well because of their talent. It is one of the jobs in the service industry where you can earn a liveable income even with just a high school diploma.

There is a certain charm about working in a bar. So, it is understandable why many are interested in taking up bartending jobs. However, you have to understand that a bartender’s job description does not encompass all the expectations set for these people.

While you don’t need a college degree to get an excellent bartending post, you have to learn skills. It will help if you have a certificate from a bartending school. You may also practice and learn the essential bartender job description through online courses.

Here are some of the top requirements under the bartender job description template:

1. Great Customer Service

The primary duty of the bartender is their social duty. They are the ones responsible for providing excellent customer service at the bar. How will they do that? They must be flexible with their customer’s requests and have an automatic response when asked about recommendations.

2. Flexibility

Bars have a menu presented to customers when they are ready to order. However, some customers will need something tweaked or changed to their liking. A great bartender will be happy to oblige and create a concoction to satisfy the customer’s request. Some call this action “going above and beyond” the regular duties. But in reality, the service profession calls for flexibility. Thus, always do what you can with the resources available to provide an excellent customer experience all the time.

3. Making Recommendations

People can have many questions, especially if it’s their first time visiting a bar. Should they try this or that? Bartenders will help push them over their phase of indecision. There is a mile of difference between showing the winter cocktail on the menu and the bartender expertly recommending it. It gives customers a reason to try it out.

When a bartender learns more about hospitality, they can make great recommendations. It helps the business make a typical bar experience into an unforgettable one. These suggestions also help upsell drinks and gain some extra tips for the night.

4. Making and Serving Drinks

Mixing, combining, and creating drinks from alcoholic and non-alcoholic ingredients is one of the primary duties of the bartender. They have to know all the classic cocktails. More so, they should also know all the essential ingredients to experiment and create original drinks. Additionally, they should how to pour a beer and pour a glass of wine or champagne.

5. Knowing the Classic Cocktails

If you are applying for a bartending job, you should know all the classic cocktails. It is a topic often included in the interview questions. Ideally, applicants should be familiar with the most popular cocktail list. Likewise, it is an advantage if you know how to mix these drinks. It is one of the most basic requirements in a bartender job description sample. If you know the 30 most popular cocktails, you’ll be able to serve drinks that come your way.

6. Creating Signature Cocktails

Bartender mixing

Bartender applicants should also be familiar with the major liquor families. They will be able to create signature cocktails based on this knowledge. In addition, they need to know which liquours, juices and mixers go well together. It is a skill that makes them exceptional mixologist. Thus, this is one of the crucial roles that is included in most bartender job description templates.

Having this knowledge and skills in mixology, bartenders can create signature drinks and cocktails. In addition, they will be able to provide guests with beverages that are not on the menu. In some cases, bartenders develop drinks that generate profits when they become a hit with the customers.

7. Filling Up Orders for Drinks

Apart from serving customers who walk up to the bar, servers will also ring for drink orders. A bartender will fill in drink orders and put them at the service bar. It is a small area on the side of the bar where the servers ring in the orders, then pick them up after the bartender prepares and serves them. Finally, the server will bring the drinks to the tables in the dining area or the cocktail table in the bar.

8. Organizing and Cleaning the Bar

Managers are responsible for creating a bar cleaning list. However, the organizing and cleaning fall under the bartender job description. Bartenders are the ones to organize and tidy up the workstation. It is the way of life for a bartender. Apart from memorizing the wine inventory, they also stock up on cleaning supplies and do the cleaning. If the bar is not organized, it can be a chaotic environment for the bartender when their shift starts. Bartenders need to be efficient in cleaning and managing the bar to ensure health and hygiene purposes.

Bar cleaning tasks are not only done before opening or after closing. Bartenders may also rearrange and clean throughout the shift. In addition, they clear up while interacting with guests and while preparing cocktails.

9. Payment Processing

A balanced cash drawer is vital at the end of the working hours, and the bar is no exemption. But compared with other retail environments, bars are more hectic. Thus, a bartender needs to keep accurate tabs and close payments immediately. Therefore, having excellent attention to detail is a skill that needs to be highlighted in a bartender job description. And payment processing is one of the most important in a bartender job description.

10. Inventory Management

Managing a bar inventory and keeping a well-stocked bar is primarily a job for the bar manager. However, the bartender’s expertise will always be a tremendous advantage for managers. Bartenders help keep up with the beverage program and inventory. It includes liquors, juices, mixers, and other supplies such as glassware, napkins, ingredients, and more.

At the minimal level, a bartender takes part in counting the bar inventory. They comb through bottles of alcohol and note this on a spreadsheet. In some cases, they take over the inventory management entirely because they have a hand in menu construction and create signature cocktails.

11. Menu Engineering

A bar menu is an essential tool for bartenders and the establishment. With menu engineering, the most profitable drink becomes the most popular one. Thus, the menu should have the perfect layout. It is a job for bartenders to guide customers where to look first. Bartenders are highly qualified to help engineer menus for the bar because they know the most profitable and popular alcoholic beverages. They are also the ones to create signature cocktails and make high-profile drinks that will sell.

12. Placing Food Orders

Inevitably, customers will also ask about the food that the establishment serves. So, bartenders must have the same suggestiveness and flexibility when it comes to the food menu. If the bar offers food and beverage, bartenders will eventually be the ones to place orders, and they have the opportunity to increase profits.


These and more make up the list of duties and responsibilities of bartenders. Amazingly, bartenders can do these tasks simultaneously, and it is a skill that most of them have. They have excellent communication skills, have a depth of knowledge of cocktails, alcohol and beverages. Unofficially, bartending jobs call for multitaskers because this is not an easy job. Some people might cringe upon seeing the weight of the duties and responsibilities of the bartender. But others also see it as a fun and lucrative career that does not call for a college diploma.