What Is A Bartender?
Working as a bartender can be hard work, but it’s certainly one of the more fun filled environments in which to spend your time!
The bartender has overall responsibility for serving drinks, snacks and, depending on the establishment, food to customers. They will also need to ensure that the bar area is kept clean and tidy, as well as restocking items as they are consumed.
What Does A Bartender Do?
Although serving drinks is the priority task of a bartender, you’d be wrong to think that that’s all the job entails. From stock taking and replenishment to drink mixing and marketing, there are plenty of other areas to get your teeth into as you take on more responsibilities.
The more time you spend in the industry, the more inclined you may be to take on more complex challenges such as those of a professional cocktail maker, an entertainments organiser or a fully fledged pub owner.
Bear in mind that these are just the practical elements of the role – you’ll be the face of the pub or bar and will need to welcome people in, making them feel comfortable and ensuring that they have a great time at your establishment.
For this reason, it’s equally as important to have a great personality that fits in with the vibe of the business as it is to be a hard working and diligent individual.
Why Consider A Career As A Bartender?
The biggest attraction to a bartender career tends to be a combination of the hours and the environment. Rather than being sat in an office in the classic 9 ’til 5 working day, bartenders get to enjoy the fun and vibrant atmosphere of a pub or bar, as well as a variety of shift patterns and working hours per week.
If you’re the type of person who loves meeting new people and has a passion for delivering great customer service, then it could be the perfect job for you. If you take your skill set to the next level and begin studying, for example, the art of cocktail mixing, you’ll need a healthy dollop of flair, creativity and confidence on top of everything else.
What You Need To Succeed
The reality is that anyone can pour a pint of beer, but to be a truly successful bartender that adds value to the business and environment, you’ll need a number of key practical and interpersonal skills, such as:
- Being a highly confident people person
- Organisation and a keen eye for detail
- Keeping cool under pressure during busy periods
- Having a deep knowledge of all the different food and drinks on offer
- Creative flair for drink creation and mixing
- Being a hard working and diligent individual
- Reliability and trustworthiness with money
- Effectively contributing to marketing when needed
Studying For A Successful Bartender Career
There are plenty of courses which can help you to excel during your bartender career. It’s just one of the many layers that make up the staff hierarchy in a pub or bar.
Aside from having the luxury of ‘researching’ plenty of bars and pubs with your student loan, there aren’t any university or degree courses with cater specifically for a budding bartender. However, you may decide to take on studies to gain your alcohol licence, allowing you to eventually progress to a bar manager or bar owner.
The same can be said of drinks mixing and cocktail courses which can help to add that little bit of flair to your skill set, giving you an extra talent to fall back on when it comes to sourcing work. Your pub or bar may also agree to pay for you to take a food hygiene course as part of their own health and safety requirements which is another great string for your bow.
Away from the technical skills and theory of bar work, any courses that you can take to improve your communication and interpersonal skills will help to fill any gaps that you feel you have in these areas.
If you’d ideally like to look at progressing into a bar manager or bar owner role in the future, then there’s a lot to be said for brushing up on your business and financial management skills to help make your new business venture a roaring success.