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Bartending is an incredibly rewarding and exciting path to take in the hospitality industry.


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Bartending can be a fun job that earns good money. But it's also a serious endeavour that attracts professionals who know that bartending can be a serious and fulfilling career; not just a summer job or means of post-grad income. A good bartender has a foundational skill set—drink knowledge, a soft touch with customer service, organization, time-management, calm in the face of stress—that propels their careers. For those looking to learn the basics of Bartendingit starts with learning the foundational skill set of bartenders. Of course, bartenders should be familiar with the products they work with.

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Creating magical cocktails. Soaking up the social atmosphere.

Chatting with guests from all walks of life. Any way you slice it, bartending is a tempting career.

How to become a bartender: bartenders' guide

The good news? From tips on understanding the bartending business to developing your skills to getting your first job — we cover it all. Second, the job almost always includes the following duties:. Learn about bartending without ever getting your hands dirty by visiting your favorite bar.

Order a few drinks. See how the bartender makes them and works with other restaurant staff. Watch what they do between drinks to keep operations humming. Notice how the bartender interacts with customers, too. As a bartender, your salary depends on many factors: the minimum wage in your stateindividual tips, shared tipsthe type of establishment you work in, and your skill level and seniority. That being said, there are certain averages you can use as a guideline. Here are average bartender salaries by state, year, hour, and month:.

For more bartender lingo, check out this comprehensive list of bar terms. Beyond knowing the lingo and learning how to make popular drinks like martinis, consider specializing in something. For example, you might focus your talents on one type of alcohol like whiskey, and develop your knowledge and drink-making ability around it.

This knowledge will help you:. Bartending school can also be expensive. Ultimately, the decision is yours and will depend on your goals.

How to become a bartender: 17 tips to get your first job

You can always start out by getting a job in a bar — working as a barback to help replenish the bar inventory, bus glasses and plates, and clean the bar area — just to get some experience first. This could be as simple as visiting your local pub to watch what the bartender does, ask questions, and learn about bartending skills and culture. Tell the bartender that you want to become one and want to learn more about how they got into the business. What were the exact steps they took to get their job?

People love sharing their stories and talking about themselves. The alcohol serving age is between 18 and 21 in the U. Be sure you know the age requirement for servers not drinkers! Here is a breakdown by state of how old you need to be to serve alcohol. Check the requirements by contacting the liquor control board in your state.

Learn the basics of how to bartend

Below are the liquor control boards of New York, California, and Illinois:. In Ontario, Canada, everyone involved in serving alcoholic beverages must pass a short online course called Smart Serve. The program trains restaurant and bar staff in responsible alcohol consumption and service. Hard skills are the ones that are teachable, like measuring and pouring drinks, creating cocktails, processing orders, and keeping inventory.

You can learn these skills on the job or in school. By now you should have a pretty good idea what bartending involves, understand the state laws, and know something about the different skills you need. Instead, expect to start as a barback. A barback is basically the assistant bartender who helps refill inventory, clean the bar area, and support the wait staff. Here are three ways to find work:. TIP: During the job hunting process, rejection is common and some managers may not even bother contacting you.

Put your best foot forward and be patient. The trick is to prepare. The manager will tell you what you need to bring and wear, as well as when to arrive. Be there on time and be prepared to work.

Any little mistakes will be chocked up to you being a rookie. Bartending is a fun and demanding job.

It can also be financially rewarding — especially in higher-end bars. Getting into a new industry takes some work and preparation.

We hope these 17 tips to becoming a bartender will make your journey just a little bit easier. Dana is the former Content Marketing Manager at TouchBistro, sharing tips for and stories of restaurateurs turning their passion into success. She loves homemade hot sauce, deep fried pickles and finding excuses to consume real maple syrup. TouchBistro is an all-in-one POS and restaurant management system that makes running a restaurant easier.

Not sure how to become a bartender? Tips on How to Become a Bartender From tips on understanding the bartending business to developing your skills to getting your first job — we cover it all. Second, the job almost always includes the following duties: Taking orders Pouring drinks Greeting and chatting with customers Providing customers with menus Creating cocktails Checking IDs to make sure customers are of legal age Cleaning the bar and cleaning it again! But, like every job, there are also downsides. Compare the following pros and cons to decide if bartending is right for you: Bartending can be mentally taxing.

You have to keep customers happy, and that means sometimes having to deal with those rude and obnoxious ones. Bartending is physically demanding. Work can be boring and monotonous. You keep an eye on inventory levels, clean the bar and glasses, and pour the same drinks over and over.

Hell, you can even ask a few questions between drinks! Know Your Earning Potential As a bartender, your salary depends on many factors: the minimum wage in your stateindividual tips, shared tipsthe type of establishment you work in, and your skill level and seniority. Know the Bartender Lingo Knowing bartending language will make your job easier.

Do you know these terms? Back: A small glass of something served with a drink Chaser: A drink consumed shortly after having a shooter Dash: A small drop or amount of ingredient e. Dip Into Different Flavor Profiles Beyond knowing the lingo and learning how to make popular drinks like martinis, consider specializing in something. This knowledge will help you: Whip up custom cocktails on request Differentiate yourself from the other bartenders Earn more money 7.

Borrow From Successful Bartenders This could be as simple as visiting your local pub to watch what the bartender does, ask questions, and learn about bartending skills and culture. But why not take things a step further? Understand State Laws Age requirements for serving alcohol and certification differs by state. Are You Old Enough? Do You Need Certification? But there are exceptions.

In Washington, for example, you have to complete an alcohol serving course and obtain a permit. Sharpen Your Skills Becoming a successful bartender requires a shot of hard skills and a shot of soft. Improve Your Hard Skills Hard skills are the ones that are teachable, like measuring and pouring drinks, creating cocktails, processing orders, and keeping inventory. Sharpen Your Soft Skills Soft skills are harder to define, hard to measure, and even harder to teach.

Bartending for beginners

Multi-tasking skills. Communication skills. Good communication is key to efficient operations — not to mention getting the right drink to the right customer. Get Your First Job By now you should have a pretty good idea what bartending involves, understand the state laws, and know something about the different skills you need. Make sure there are no spelling mistakes. Highlight details that show your ability to bartend.

Include any serving experience or other experiences that help convince the manager you have the soft skills you need. Make sure details are accurate. Be honest. Include certifications and bartending courses. Be sure they can contact you!

Bartender training guide

Use job sites: IndeedCraigslistand other large job boards are a good place to start. Specialized job sites like GoodFoodJobs. Thousands of applicants use these sites every day so be prepared for stiff competition.

Understand their brand and the customers they attract. Study the wine list and the drinks they serve. Know what interview questions to expect and prepare answers.