Have you ever felt attracted to the glamorous life of bartenders showcased in movies and TV shows?? I sure have. I used to watch Barney and his friends spend the most part of their lives in a bar, after all. But that’s just about sitcoms, right?
Jokes aside! Trust me when I tell you that bartending is quite an interesting profession. You get to be all creative with your craft. The scope of improvement is basically endless. And if you succeed at impressing your customers, you are going to get some generous tips as well. ?
So, basically, what I am trying to say is that bartending is not only a hella cool job, but it might even pay you much more than you would expect.
Why don’t we find out more about this amazing career option? ?
Who is a Bartender?
Sometimes referred to as a barkeeper, mixologist, alcohol server, or bar chef, a bartender is a person who prepares and serves alcoholic and occasionally non-alcoholic drinks at bar counters. ??
Bartenders are employed at various licensed establishments, including bars, restaurants, hotels, and casinos. They are expected to take care of a range of tasks, from serving food to managing inventory to offering excellent customer service.
Responsibilities of a Bartender
A bartender’s job is not limited to mixing and pouring drinks. Surprised?
Well, you should know that a bartender is also expected to take food orders, process payments, keep the bar clean, and do a bunch of other tasks. ?
So, let’s get you familiar with some of those tasks before you start working on your bartending resume! ⤵️
The most fundamental skill that you should excel at as a bartender is making drinks. ? Pretty simple, right?
Bartenders must be well-familiar with classic cocktails. They should also be well-versed with basic ingredients so that they can experiment with them to create original drinks. It is equally essential for bartenders to know how to pour beer like a pro.
Have you seen bartenders get creative with their pouring techniques? That’s how you add a unique element to stand out. ?
While it’s quite convenient to stick to the menu, there are a lot of people out there who prefer their drinks a certain specific way. And a good bartender is more than willing to make those adjustments. ?
It is required for bartenders to be resourceful by utilizing whatever ingredients are available at hand to deliver a satisfying experience to their customers. Moreover, they can also help customers overcome uncertainty by providing genuine recommendations.
Inventory management and stocking are technically supposed to be handled by bar managers. However, they sometimes tend to rely on bartender expertise.
Bartenders count inventory, track levels, and use the data to place orders, control costs, decide menus, adapt recipes, etc.
While inventory management software simplifies the process, some bartenders handle it completely. Such a collaboration of skill sets results in a well-managed beverage program and efficient supply of alcohol mix and bar supplies. ?
By analyzing their bar’s inventory and calculating the pour cost of each drink, bartenders can excel at menu engineering and maximize profitability. ?
Bartenders are well-acquainted with aspects of profitability and popularity of various drinks along with the way guests interact with menus. They can utilize this familiarity to create signature cocktails and craft some high-profit drinks.
Another crucial responsibility of bartenders is to maintain a balanced cash drawer like any other retail business?. However, the environment in bars is generally more fast-paced and chaotic than other retail setups.
Ensuring accurate tabs, swiftly closing out payments, and having a balanced drawer can be quite challenging in the hustle-bustle of a bar. So, be prepared accordingly!??
How much can a Bartender earn?
As per a 2022 analysis by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean hourly wage for bartenders was $ 16.58, while the mean annual wage was $34,490. ?
Bartenders earned anywhere between $9.18 to $27.51 per hour and between $19100 to $57,220 per year. ?
The highest levels of employment for bartenders were found in restaurants and other eating places. On the other hand, the highest concentration of employment for bartenders was found in drinking places serving alcoholic beverages. Interestingly, bartenders got paid the most in performing art companies ?.
Can you guess the state that got bartenders the most money? It was New York, followed by Arizona and the District of Columbia.
How to Become a Bartender (Tips)
By now, you must have become familiar with the basics of a bartender’s job. But how do you go about getting one for yourself? ? Let me help you with that.
Know the job
As glamorous as it looks in movies and TV shows, you must observe the job in reality first. ?
A bartender has to take care of multiple tasks like taking orders, pouring drinks, socializing with guests, cleaning the bar, verifying IDs, monitoring customer intoxication levels, etc.
So basically, a bartender starts by setting up the bar and takes care of the pre-service, service, and finally, the after-service. Also, be prepared for a shift ranging anywhere between 7-11 hours.?
Set your goals clear
Before you set foot into the world of bartending, take some time to do your research. Figure out the kind of bar you want to work at, the hours you would devote to bartending, the goals you want to achieve in terms of income or position, etc. ?
You can check out the websites or social media handles of these bars and gather insights even from comments and reviews left by visitors. There is also no harm in engaging with them on social media yourself.
Once you have shortlisted a few bars you would like to work at, start working on building a confident resume ?.
Even if you are not an experienced bartender, utilize certain tools and templates to craft an effective resume. Keep in mind the bar you are applying for and make sure their requirements are addressed in the resume.
It is always helpful to personally visit the bars you would like to work at as a guest first. Observe the work culture at these places. You can have casual conversations with the bartenders working at these places ?. Try not to be investigative, though. You can ask them about their favorite bars and visit them next!
Learning the basics
Before reaching out to bars with your resume, make sure you have your fundamentals clear ?. Try to master the 50 classic cocktails at home first. Use virtual lessons to learn the art of pouring drinks. Familiarize yourself with the knowledge of spirits.
If you find it difficult to learn these basic skills by yourself, reach out to an experienced bartender and ask them for some mentorship ?? even if you have to pay for the sessions.
Tips to improve your Bartending Career
If you are already a bartender enjoying the world of cocktails, let me ask you if you have thought about taking your career a step further. ?
Bartending has massive scope for improvement, and you’d probably agree with me on that. How cool would it be to go beyond the skills that you’ve already mastered? ?
Communication with customers
Socializing with customers is crucial for bartenders ?. Customers with various backgrounds and personalities come to bars. If you want to make, them visit your bar often or tip you generously, try to build a connection with them.
Listen to them sincerely and try to be attentive to their custom requests or other relevant details ?. The key is to make the customer feel stress-free and comfortable.
Research and practice
Bartending is a profession that has enough room for improvement and experimentation. You can continuously enhance your abilities by utilizing instructional videos online ? or by learning from experienced bartenders.
It is equally relevant to build an in-depth understanding of ingredients along with regular practice. You can rely on feedback from friends to refine your creations while also conducting timely brand research ?.
Cocktail preparation and mixology training
Professional bartenders need to conduct marketing analysis every now and then to stay updated on trendy drinks, seasonal stars, and beverage popularity ??.
Besides, bartenders must devote significant effort toward developing unique recipes and improving pouring efficiency through free pouring. Joining a mixology class is a great option as well.
You can learn about professional equipment, ingredient balancing, drinks chemistry, and various preparation techniques like blending, shaking, and stirring.
Sharpening your memory
Having a strong memory is essential for bartenders to work efficiently ?. Bars are usually bustling, and memorizing the recipes for popular drinks on the menu enables quick and prompt customer service. To master this skill, you require practice.
Your ability to recall drink orders also depends on your memory of popular beverage names and specific ingredients. So don’t forget to have them by heart ?!
Additionally, remembering regular customers and addressing them by their name is a key to customer satisfaction ensuring repeat business.
Top Bartending Courses in the United States
Now that we have discussed the responsibilities of a bartender and tips to become a good one, why don’t we find out some courses that might be helpful in building a successful bartending career?
Take your bartending skills to the next level with the globally recognized Advanced Bartending Course in just ten days of intensive learning. ?
Expert instructors will help you hone your abilities and knowledge. You will uncover the secrets of molecular mixology and cocktail presentation while getting lifelong access to job opportunities.
Through their EBS MatchStaff, get ready to attend seminars about spirits, ice-carving sessions, advanced garnishing, crafting syrups and foams, and much more.
The 4-week International Bartender Course consists of four key modules- bar practice, master class, flair, and free pour.
When you complete the course, you will be well-equipped with the skills and confidence to work in any bar worldwide, regardless of your starting experience level. With over 7000 students opting for this course annually, it is the most sought-after bartender course in the world.
A Bar Above offers a mixology certification program to teach bartending enthusiasts about advanced drink mixing techniques to make them stand out.
You learn about the fundamentals of ingredients through HD videos to build a deep knowledge of balance and flavor. This program gets you some hardcore training, membership to a community of bartenders, and expert mentorship.
The best part is that all students get lifetime access, so they can come back anytime they want to refresh their memory. ?
If you want to learn things that go beyond just memorizing drink recipes, then this course is for you.
You will learn about the history and production of alcohol along with state-specific alcohol serving laws, health and safety regulations, and maintaining a clean and compliant bar.
Of course, you will also get to know about different drink types, glassware, garnish, and cutting techniques while practicing to achieve flawless pouring.
Lynette Marrero, the recognized James Beard honoree, along with Ryan Chetiyawardana, the founder of the world’s best bar Dandelyan, will together guide you through the art of making cocktails.
Join them on the journey to learn about developing your palate, building a home bar, and mastering the art of mixing balanced drinks for various occasions ?.
This course is suitable for anyone interested in mixing world-class cocktails. Whether you are a home enthusiast or a professional bartender, you are welcome to take this course! ?
You can uncover the principles and techniques of creating fabulous drinks- be it the classic cocktails or the more contemporary ones.
The course aims to help you master 16 popular cocktails, including the Mojito, Cosmopolitan, and Dry Martini.
Top Bartending Schools in the World
Let us now look at some of the best schools for you to master the art of bartending ?. Even though it is not necessary to be enrolled in a bartending school to have a professional career in bartending, it is always better to grab educational opportunities if and whenever you can ????.
The European Bartending School
The European Bartending School was established in 1999, and it has since then expanded globally with over 25 locations across five continents. Over the past two decades, the EBS has helped more than 70000 individuals build a remarkable career in bartending.
The EBS operates bartending schools in 20 countries across Europe, North America, Australia, and Africa ??.
The Spirit Lab, London
The Spirit Lab has shaped some of the most skilled bartenders who have made a mark for themselves at some renowned establishments worldwide ?.
The Spirit Lab offers a 1-2-1 experience with a class accommodating not more than eight students at a time. They are focused on teaching you all the basic and advanced knowledge in only 35 hours of specialist 1-2-1 attention.
New York Bartending School
Experience fine contemporary and immersive mixology training in an authentic bar environment at the New York Bartending School.
Their comprehensive curriculum is centered around teaching the essentials of classic cocktails along with a deep understanding of spirits, wine ?, and beer ?.
The Mixologist Academy
Want to access some hands-on bartending training in a real bar setting? Well, lucky for you, the Mixologist Academy offers you exactly that and more. You can learn about classic cocktails, spirits, wine ?, and beer ?.
They provide job placements, networking opportunities, and updates on job offers and competitions.
They will also assist you with interview preparation, including dressing appropriately, timing, common questions, and effective responses.
Columbia Bartending Agency
For over five decades, the Columbia School of Mixology has been honing the skills of bartenders to prepare them for successful careers across various sectors of the industry ?.
Their alumni have established great careers in bars, clubs, private staffing, and catering. Their classes are conducted in Columbia University’s Morningside Heights campus.
Where to find Bartending opportunities online?
EBS MatchStaff, in collaboration with the European Bartending School, offers a centralized platform that connects venues and bartenders to each other ?.
It offers exclusive job opportunities for EBS graduates worldwide. Additionally, EBS MathsStaff regularly updates information relevant to people associated with the Bartending industry.
Indeed offers thousands of opportunities in the bartending industry. You just need to sign up on the platform and upload a well-crafted resume ?. You can specify details like which city you want to find a job in along with salary estimates, experience level, full-time or part-time, etc.
Reach out to bars
You can access information about job vacancies by visiting the official websites of the bars that you would like to work in. Just carefully follow the application instructions provided on their page.
Alternatively, you can reach out to the recruiters via email as well ?. Craft a crisp and compelling email and attach your equally confident resume with it.
Online Communities and Social Media
There are a bunch of online communities, like True Originals by Bacardi Rum, connecting bartenders around the world ?. Such communities focus on sharing the latest cocktails, recipes, techniques, career opportunities, etc.
Moreover, you can follow bartending pages on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc., to keep yourself updated about new job opportunities ??.
Bartending is a profession that has been in demand for a long time⏳️. With continuous growth in tourism, the demand for well-trained bartenders in restaurants, bars, and hotels remains high ?✅️. So, if you aspire to be a professional bartender, now is the right time for you! ?
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