Working As a Bartender
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Working As a Bartender

Think being a bartender is all fun and games? While it can be fun and easy money, there are many duties behind the scenes that one may easily overlook. Bartenders are often thought of as being an ear to listen to someone's problems. Friendliness and a kind face are essential characteristics of a bartender. They depend mostly on tips as their income, not an hourly wage. Multi-tasking is often a part of this job. Popular drinks may vary from area to area. A bartender should be familiar with how to prepare popular cocktails and shooters such as a Bloody Mary or a Screwdriver, for example.

There are many pubs throughout the world, so there is always a need for bartenders. Some people choose a job as a bartender out of a need for fast cash, while others opt for this position because they find it truly enjoyable and satisfying and realize they can earn a decent income with this profession.

Most establishments in the United States will hire someone as a bartender with or without prior experience, but every saloon has there own preference and it depends greatly on how the potential employee presents himself during the interview. Most locales require bartenders to be over the age of 21. This position does not usually require any formal education.

Bartenders may be responsible for a cash drawer/till as well as other funds such as lottery/gambling money payouts. There are many laws one must follow when employed as a bartender. These laws may differ from state to state. Bartenders must also know how to responsibly handle customers when they have had too much to drink or are inappropriate in any way. Many people like to flirt with their bartender, so this is something for which one should be prepared so it will not come as a surprise!

Bartenders are often thought of as being an ear to listen to someone's problems. Friendliness and a kind face are essential characteristics of a bartender. They depend mostly on tips as their income, not an hourly wage. Bartenders must be able to communicate well with customers. If food is served at the establishment the bartender must have a good working knowledge of the full menu as well as any specials available for both food and drinks. Multi-tasking is often a part of this job.

Popular drinks may vary from area to area. A bartender should be familiar with how to prepare popular cocktails and shooters such as a Bloody Mary or a Screwdriver, for example.

Job Duties of a Bartender

Aside from tending to customers, bartenders need to keep dishes, counters, and the general area clean. Bartenders must keep their ice, napkins, liquors, beers, and other supplies stocked. Sometimes bartenders are required to sweep, mop, or vacuum, and even to cook sometimes if it is a smaller establishment. (Some bars hire barbacks, busboys, cooks, waitstaff, or other employees for these duties, however.)

Some establishments may require their bartenders to do prep work. Some restaurants also specify that a bartender must maintain restrooms, clean windows, maintain the outside perimeter such as flowers and other tasks.

This job can be very busy and stressful at times. Unfortunately, some people are condescending and not very kind to bartenders, which can take a toll if you allow it to get to you. Some people do not leave tips, and sometimes you have "regulars" that frequent the establishment and tip very poorly (or not at all), but they must still be served and respected, just as any other patron.

Pay Scale and Benefits for a Position as a Bartender

As a set hourly rate, most bartenders only earn a few dollars an hour. Because they earn tips, they do not have to be paid the same minimum wage offered to those who do not earn tips. The majority of income earned from a bartender result from any tips they receive. Some establishments only pay about $3 an hour as the wage while others may pay upwards of $10 an hour or more sometimes, depending on location, duties required, experience, success of the business, and other factors.

Bartenders may fing part-time or full-time work. Some establishments provide benefits (such as health insurance and 401K) but most do not provide any benefits. Most bartenders work a flexible schedule, meaning their shifts may vary from day to day or week to week. Most bartenders must also work weekends as many establishments are open Saturdays and Sundays and these tend to be some of the busiest days in the bar business. Late hours (into the early hours of the morning) may be required to work this position, as most bars in the United States are open until at least midnight, and some up to 4 am and later in certain areas.

Many things vary from pub to pub, as aforementioned, and dress code is no exception. Some establishments provide uniforms while others require you to dress in certain colors and others may not care so much how you dress.

Of course, this set of requirements is generally speaking and all establishments are different, so if you are considering applying to be a bartender, be sure to ask any questions you may have so you are prepared for whatever may be required of you by your employer.

Source

personal past experience as a bartender in the United States

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Comments (9)

I often thought this would be an interesting job.Thank you for your details.Well done!

It sounds like you have worked lots of jobs over time. Nice work.

Yes, I've had quite a number of jobs. Many of them were part-time jobs (or second jobs) while working a full-time job.

Good info on bar tenders

Great and informative presentation. Thanks

Hard work - I have mixed drinks as a waitress but would not want to be a bartender at all.

Ranked #6 in Part-Time Jobs

Back in college, my girlfriend at the time went to school part-time and was a bartender at night in Boston. She always came home bone-tired from the job whenever she worked a shift.

Well written account of the requirements needed for a job such as this.

Thanks for the writeup, Bethany. Sounds like a demanding job, but a fun one for the right personality. Tweeted.

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