The field of bartending tends to be somewhat transient as individuals move in and out of the field to pursue other interests, so there are usually open positions to be found.
On average, the bartending field is anticipated to increase as much as 20% in the next five years
Besides being able to mix and garnish drinks effectively, they must be able to interact with customers …
This requires good people skills.
Some of the more well known bartending positions are:
- Tavern Keeper
- Inn Keeper
- Wine Steward
At times, bar staff may be required to take on an aggressive or assertive role when it becomes necessary to refuse a patron when either the customer is not of legal age or the bartender determines the customer has already had too much to drink.
Due to the fact that bar staff collect payment for drinks and may need to balance receipts, the ability to quickly calculate totals and make change is a necessity.
Bartending work usually involves late hours, weekends and holidays
Split work and irregular hours are also typically involved. Bartending is a fast paced occupation and requires an excellent memory. This type of work requires the employee to do heavy lifting and standing on their feet for long periods of time.
Most bar staff rely on tips for the bulk of their compensation and in a bar, club or lounge that is popular tips can be a good and steady source of income.
Employment Prospects for Bartenders
Lounges, nightclubs, hotels and restaurants make the majority of employment prospects for open bartender positions.
Employment may also be found with catering companies who ‘hire out’ bartenders for private parties
Metropolitan areas and locales that are known to be tourist hotspots generally enjoy the best employment prospects for barmen and barmaids.
Job Search for Bartenders
Bartending positions may be advertised in help wanted signs as well as classified newspaper listings. In some instances, employers make seek assistance from an employment agency in filling open positions. Networking can also prove to beneficial for job searchers looking for open bartender positions.
Resumes for Bartenders
As the field of bartending relies more on skills than education or experience, a functional or combination resume would work well when applying for this type of position. The candidate should be sure to note if they have any type of bartending training certification as well as the amount of experience, if any, they have attained.
Cover Letters for Bartenders
A cover letter may or may not be required when applying for the position of barman / barmaid. If, however; an applicant is applying with a resume by mail, a cover letter should always be included.
The cover letter should make a special point to mention knowledge of drink mixing the applicant has attained and how they attained it. Furthermore, the applicant should focus on qualities such as good people skills, confidence and an ability to quickly tally figures; all of which are considered necessary in this field.
Training & Qualifications for Bartenders
The education and experience required by an employer to become a bartender may vary from one employer to the next; however at a minimum an individual must be of legal drinking age to work behind the bar.
Some employers require that an individual have at least a high school diploma, while this is not a pre-requisite with others. It is not uncommon for employers to require either two years experience or some type of certification from a bartending training program.
Persons employed in the bartending field must have a good grasp and understanding of liquor laws as well as know how to mix a multitude of drinks
Knowledge of various kinds of beer, wine and liquor and how the varieties differ is also helpful …
The knowledge of liquor and drink mixing needed can be obtained in a variety of manners:
- Many people learn these skills on the job.
- Some individuals are fortunate to be hired on as a bartender and ‘learn the ropes’ from a knowledgeable co-worker.
- Others may obtain employment in a position that allows them to observe and pick up tips and advice in the vicinity of the bar.
- In some instances individuals interested in becoming bartenders take a training course.
Bartending training programs are not generally offered by regular colleges and universities, unless the school offers a hospitality program. One of the most well known bartending training programs can be accessed at www.bartendingcollege.com.
There are a number of books available on cocktail recipes and the subject of drink mixing which a person interested in bartending may wish to study.
Advancement is available in this field …
An individual who gains the requisite knowledge and experience may eventually be promoted to a head bartender position, wine steward or may consider opening their own bar or club.