Tips on How to Become a Bartender. Keep reading to learn how to get started on the path to becoming a bartender without any prior experience. If a bartender claims 100% of their tips at a busy bar, they stand to make an average of $39,197 post-tax. On to the fun stuff! Or to improve your bartending if youâre already a working professional. There are two main types. The hours are also different, as many restaurant bars don't operate as late as other bars. The key to becoming a bartender is to position yourself in a role where you can watch, learn from, and assist a working bartender. If any certificate or licensure is needed to legally bartend in your area, it's often easy to get online for much cheaper than the cost of bartending school. If you've already followed the previous steps in this article and have spent some time watching a bartender, you'll be familiar with an important tool of the trade, the jigger. Youâll often find that you donât have to go to a bartending school to get a bartending permit. You might be sociable, a quick learner, and have a bunch of work experience, but without a bartending course behind you, you’ll find it hard to become a bartender in the bar of your dreams.By taking a bar course you will learn all the necessary skills to be comfortable and confident behind the bar. As bartenders have to mix with people, so pleasing personality and presence of mind is very much needed in them. Theyâre also super-duper talented and can be paid quite well because of that. Any bartender in the weeds will tell you that jiggers are slow goings. Regardless of your chosen occupation, it’s always a good idea to understand what your job involves. Gaining experience as a server is the absolute best first step you can take to becoming a bartender. Hereâs an annotated version to get your thoughts flowing: This shouldn't be a surprise, but you'll learn a lot in bartending school. Attitude. Another benefit of getting your feet wet at a restaurant bar is that restaurant chains usually have stringent training programs and they will train you to mix drinks to their standard. It’s a fun, highly social job that has the potential for great pay. The latter is easily learned. Our focus is your convenience â€“ order online from your laptop, desktop, or smartphone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. But bartenders do more than provide drinks. Bartending School . In addition to meeting state or local requirements, a bartender license course will ensure that you're familiar with the following topics: Online bartending certification is easy to find with a quick internet search, but make sure the course is state-approved. Restaurants that sell alcohol often have openings for bartenders and they will promote from within, especially if you’ve proven yourself to be an efficient and capable server. Bartending is no walk in the park, and it takes a lot of time and effort to master. Some cocktails are popular only during certain seasons. Usually the coolest people in the restaurant. Itâs the magic of living in a federal republic. It includes which cocktails are popular in which cities, what time of day certain cocktails are popular, and more. Â© 2003-2021 WebstaurantStore Food Service Equipment and Supply Company â€” All Rights Reserved.Variation ID: How to Become a Bartender (With No Experience), The Leading Distributor of Restaurant Supplies and Equipment. You need four things to be a bartender. Like the above, if you've got no experience and you're having trouble getting your foot in the door, bartending school offers that experience. And the Julep strainer, which is shaped like a little bowl (with slits in it) with a handle. But it can be a tough nut to crack. You won't find as much opportunity to experiment with cocktails, but a restaurant chain might be the stepping stone you need before branching out to a trendier locale. If you're starting out as a barback, here are some tips to help you: As a server, the more time you spend around the bar, the more likely you are to find a mentor. These figures go up if you master how to upsell drinks as a bartender. Each side can be used separately for mixing, muddling, or stirring. You'll have to spend many hours and many shifts working at your barback position before you gain the trust of the bartender and bar manager. The minimum age to be a bartender varies, but it’s usually between 18 and 21. To get a read on your bartender earnings, we need to factor in state and local taxes, which vary. In bartending school you might learn how to make the perfect martini, but in the real world you'll have to make several different drinks at the same time, tend to your customers, and keep your bar area clean, all while wearing a smile. These are the bartending basics, meaning this is the bare bones minimum skills required for bartenders. Even though youâll pick up a lot of mixology wisdom just by watching bartenders do it, youâll still need practice. If you can help your barâs profit margin by pouring drinks quickly and to spec, then youâll be a welcome part of the team. The more useful you can make yourself, the better. Bartenders mix and serve alcoholic beverages and other drinks to bar and restaurant patrons. No matter if you’re at a restaurant, cocktail bar or dive, depending on the state you work in, you must be between 16 and 21 years old to serve alcohol legally. There are some odd additional restrictions, that again vary by state, such as Indiana where you can become a bartender at 19 but must first pass a free course. Learning mixology, cocktail recipes, and cocktail creation are the most important things for a barback to learn to become a competitive bartender candidate. We created a comprehensive bar closing checklist that you can use or modify. Hereâs what you can expect in terms of pay, age restrictions, and hours once you become a master mixologist. As you seek employment in restaurants and bars, be on the lookout for a bartender who is willing to take you under their wing. All of the steps in this bartenderâs guide should help you learn how to become a bartender. In this guide, we’re breaking down our step-by-step process for becoming a bartender—backed by our own decades of experience and through interviews with 3 successful bar managers. Bartending is making drinks. You can supplement your on-the-job training with bartending school and other learning resources, but working in the service industry remains the best way to get close to the bar and to start building up knowledge. Invest in some bartending tools and start practicing your pours at home. That said, even if itâs not required, it could make you a more competitive candidate for a bartending position. Learn about cocktail ingredients like bitters and syrups and how they change the taste of your drinks. The Education path. This applies mostly to in-person bartending schools: you'll make friends. In the lessons listed below you’re going to learn everything you need to become a working bartender including everything that’s in, around and behind the bar; how to set up a bar; standard bartending tools; cocktail glasses, etc. These checklists include all of the bartender closing duties that your staff needs to complete before leaving for the night, such as locking up, cleaning, restocking, storing, and organizing. Once again: To become a bartender in NYC, you will need to go to a bartender school in NYC! A good bartender enjoys entertaining people and being the centre of attention. Becoming a bartender isn't an easy road. Those earnings put you in a 22% federal tax bracket. Accurately pouring liquor to create those drinks to hit your target pour costs is another. Not every bartender has to be a mixologist, but it does help to have an understanding of how to build cocktails. Here are three ways to make sure your pouring is not costing the bar money. A bartender who can consistently hit standard pours by free pouring is worth their weight in gold. And with a new type of pour comes a new type of standard pour. You will gain invaluable experience that will be useful behind the bar, and will also have the opportunity to observe your own bar and bartenders closely on a daily basis and learn from them. Itâs a great upselling opportunity and a great customer experience. Jiggers allow bartenders to measure out pours exactly. Liquor inventory software like BinWise Pro will streamline your bar inventory and save everyone in the building hours, which gives bartenders more time to do what theyâre best at: healing our psychological wounds. Receive coupon codes and more right to your inbox. And once you get that sweet bartending gig, youâll recognize quickly what makes a shift smooth and what doesnât. Drink pairing, menu knowledge, and ingredient knowledge are all old hat to a strong server.Â. See the full list here. With a little upfront investment of your time and energy, you can become a bartender in just a few months. This form is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google, Knowledge of laws and penalties regarding minors, Identifying the stages of intoxication in customers, As you stock beer and liquor for the bar, make a point to learn the different brand names, Watch the bartender as they make cocktails and make note of the most popular drinks, Get comfortable behind the bar and helping with customer requests, Learn when to prepare for the busy rushes and stock up accordingly, Become familiar with the different types of, Provide support for your bartenders and in return they may teach you how to bartend, Always treat your bartenders with respect, Anticipate their needs and keep the bar stocked at all times, Don't bombard them with questions during busy hours, Wait for the calm moments to strike up a conversation, Look for the bartender who is willing to share their knowledge, Offer help to your bartenders whenever possible, Retrieve any items they need from the kitchen or storage, Run food orders out to customers at the bar, Keep the bar top clear by delivering any drinks that have been prepared for servers, Always make sure to tip your bartenders fairly and generously for any drinks they've made for you, The right amount of alcohol yields a balanced drink that tastes great, Every time you over pour, you cost the bar money, Good pouring technique makes you more efficient at mixing drinks. All the servers either want to be you or be in you (or have you be in them…) If you work at a bar with more than one bartender working at a time, it’s CRUCIAL that you get along. You should supplement your experience with a formal bartending school and other learning resources. Barbacks learn: As a barback, youâll do everything a bartender does but mix drinks. But if you do go to a school, don't assume theyâll provide everything you need to get a bartending jobâlike local permits or certificates. There are lots of bartenders programs available through hospitality schools. Through seeking out entry level employment in bars and restaurants, you have the ability to create a learning environment where you can also get paid. Giving the good folks a drop oâ the pure. They make up the vast majority of cocktail bases and neat orders. Follow these tips: Anyone can pour rum and coke into a glass and call it a cocktail. However, being a bartender involves more than just slinging drinks. Depending on the state you live in, you must be at least 16 years old to serve alcohol and at least 18 years old to tend bar in a licensed establishment. Like most things in this guide, weâre taking a high-level look at general trends. A standard corkscrew for opening wine. There is nothing as convenient for a prospective bartender than having a bunch of gainfully employed (and sympathetic) bartender friends to help you find a job. Guests want to feel like they’re a name – not a number. You should also be old enough to serve alcohol and tend bar. And one of those things is managing your bar inventory. While certification isn’t necessary to become a bartender in every state, it’s often the best way to demonstrate your capabilities and become a more attractive candidate. But, over the years, talking to and working with thousands of bartenders, we got a feel for how itâs done. Attend bartending school. Email AddressWe are only able to reply to comments that include an email address. If you’re someone who has never worked in the bar or foodservice industries, you’ll gain an understanding of how everyday operations work. Photo by Thiago Miranda on Pexels.com A bartender in the making You will find here a full free training on how to make become a bartender. Working as a barback isn’t easy, but it provides a lot of benefits. Bartending Tips for Upselling Without Being “Salesy” Pro bartenders put the customer first. Try these bartending tips for upselling to strengthen bonds with your guests. The post has a ton of useful, interesting information for bartenders and bartenders-to-be. We know from experience that in busier bars, making $150-$200 a night in tips is considered a good night. Letâs now assume that youâre making the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour as your base pay. There are three primary types of shakers. Making $100-$150 is acceptable. By not pouring too little, you keep the guest experience consistent. Learn more about the role including real reviews and ratings from current Bartenders, common tasks and duties, how much Bartenders earn in your state, the skills current Employers are looking for and common education and career pathways. When you first start out, you'll have to be humble. Becoming a bartender is easy if you use these 17 “how to become a bartender” tips. If you're willing to learn and work hard, you'll see your dream come true more quickly. Like liquor pours, accurate wine pours help keep variance and pour costs down. Free pouring is simply pouring straight from the bottleâusually with a pour spout for consistency. It'll take about 40 hours of class time to graduate, and those hours are usually in the evening over the course of a few weeks. There are absolutely bartenders who clear $100,000 a year. Attitude. By working as a journeyman in the industry, you can learn on the job while getting a paycheck. By not pouring too much, you save the bar money. They provide a gentler environment in which you can practice your skills and get experience under your belt. Thereâs something romantic about sliding some suds down to the day-weary travelers looking for a salve. Bartending school can be a massive springboard for the right people. Through these programs, you can learn the basics of mixing drinks and how to … From tips on understanding the bartending business to developing your skills to getting your first job — we cover it all. Therefore, servers, focus on mixology and learning how to hit accurate pours. Over the years we have expanded our selection of commercial equipment and wholesale supplies to include healthcare, educational, food, beverage, office, parts and hotel supplies. Thatâs another $15,080 pretax, which puts your total pretax earnings at $54,080. But do you need to go to school to become a bartender? If you want to become a good bartender, you need to learn how to pour correctly so you achieve balance between the liquor and the mixers. They are brandy, rum, gin, tequila, vodka, and whiskey. Here are the basic tools youâll need, some information about primary spirit types, and a few collections of cocktail recipes you should know to make the most out of your well liquor. There is no official step-by-step process to become a bartender. Weâll multiply that by the amount of workdays in a year: 260. Every bar manager wants, first and foremost, bartenders that can quickly and accurately hit all manner of standard liquor pours. How to Become a Bartender – Step 4: Learning the Drink Recipes. The Hawthorne strainer, which is a disc with holes in it with a handle and two stabilizing prongs on each side and a metal spring around the edge. A separate strainer is needed to use the Boston. Read the standard pour article linked to above and youâll be on your way. And thatâs just the average. You can navigate to the different bar promotional ideas by using the following links: Bars Social Media Promotions and Online Advertising Bar Menu Promotions and Diversification Bar Entertainment Seasonal Bar Promotions and Calendar Events Bar Publicity and Partnerships 1. And the ones that require a minimum age of 21 to bartend are Alabama, Alaska, California, Delaware, DC, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming. People must love him and due to him, they have to visit the pub again. What's the most important trait in becoming a successful bartender? A 30- or 40-centimeter long metal spoon, also called a bar spoon, that's used to mix, muddle, stir, and layer cocktails. Pay attention to what goes on around you and you can gain some useful knowledge: Starting as a barback isn’t the only way to get behind the bar. 4. And youâll have to weigh the pros and cons to decide if bartending school is worth it. Formal education is often not required as most bartenders learn on-the-job. You could also start out as a hostess or server in a restaurant with a bar and work your way up. The alternative to jiggers is learning how to free pour. Believe it or not, most states in the U.S. only require a minimum age of 18 to bartend in on-premises establishments. Thatâs $39,000 in pre-tax tips alone. Youâre usually able to get any required local certificate or permit on your own through the issuing agency for much less money than attending bartending school. To pass the course, you'll need to show that you have an understanding of state laws. Youâll often work off the bartender duties checklist. Always be ready for those types of opportunities. Thanks! Shop All Beer Glasses Types of Beer Glasses 1. There are many books and recipe sheets on bartending to help you learn the basics. After youâre done pouring the liquor into the jigger, thereâs a whole extra arm motion to dump the jigger in the glass or mixer. Whether or not that figure represents your future earnings as a bartender is open to discussion. Check out the following bar marketing ideas to get your creative juices flowing and help solve any visibility or awareness issues that you might encounter. A good bartender needs to be organized, and dependable as well as have great people skills. It's also important to note that a bartending license doesn't guarantee employment. How to Become a Bartender. Theyâre our unofficial psychologists, healers, and masters of ceremonies. The nature of tips and the different types of bars can change things. The missing pieces, then, are non-theoretical mixology (i.e., making the drinks) and learning the layout of the bar. The barback position requires no experience, only a willingness to work hard. Thereâs a whole lot of serving wine at bars, especially restaurant bars. Bartenders: The creme de la creme. You have to at least look into it. Before you know it, the bartender might feel comfortable stepping outside for a break and asking you to step in while they're gone. Those that require a minimum age of 19 to bartend are Arizona, Idaho, and Nebraska. Becoming a Bartender: Conclusion. If you know them like the back of your hand, youâll be doing great. Keep reading to learn all about the beer glass types available and which beers they complement the most. These tips will help you get started and work your way up to your ideal bartending job. What do you think of this page? There are few levels of growth on the job because a small number of bartenders may likely be promoted to head others or to become even restaurant managers or brew house supervisor, while a handful may prefer to own their own establishment. It’s also called a liquor serving license, alcohol awareness serving license, or responsible service of alcohol certification, depending on where you’re from. Get good at it, and youâll make some decent money. Yes, the standard wine pour. You'll be sacrificing 2-3 weeks of evenings. Even if you don’t have any previous experience, you can start your journey to becoming a bartender. 2. This may be one of the biggest benefits. First of all, he or she should be a very good human being. Using the appropriate beer glassware enhances these traits and improves the craft beer experience for your guests. But what we have here are all your potential avenues.Â. States that allow those under 21 to bartend typically require the young bartender be supervised by someone 21 or older. Bartending school's real value is exposing you to a huge amount of industry knowledge, giving you a chance to practice, and supporting you with networking and job assistance. The steps arenât in order, though. When you’re learning how to become a bartender, breaking into the industry is one of the most frustrating problems you’ll face.I hear people complain about this all the time, “How the hell do I land a bartending job when every venue requires me to have a minimum of 2 years experience… These frustrations are understandable but there’s a simple way around it. A two- or three-piece metal device used to mix drinks by shaking them. You can supplement your on-the-job training with bartending school and other learning resources, but working … They usually do, but double check. Some drinks are just better when the planet leans a certain way. Like the barback strategy, this approach utilizes existing relationships and related experience. When the time comes, youâll be as attractive a candidate for the new bartending position as any bartender out there. Based in Lancaster, PA. WebstaurantStore is the largest online restaurant supply store servicing professionals and individual customers worldwide. The second is the Cobbler shaker, which is a three-piece shaker that's tapered at the end and has a built-in strainer on top. You'll spend days practicing bartender duties like nailing the perfect standard liquor pours, learning to handle customers, pours, and getting your hands dirty with real front-line mixology techniques. 1) Name Calling. The Hawthorne is much more commonly used. Learn how to pour a perfect glass of wine and your bar manager will cherish you. Many cities, states, or counties require certificates or permits to bartend, but there isn't an official bartending license in the U.S. Youâll have to check your local laws to see whatâs required. A popular strategy for free pouring is utilizing pour counts. There was a problem submitting the request, please try again. For the busiest, most-profitable shifts, a bartender can expect to work evenings from about 4 p.m. to midnight. Bartending school might seem like a fast track plan to achieving your goal, but you'll still most likely need real world experience before a bar manager will take a chance on you. Barback responsibilities are perfectly suited to the transition to becoming a bartender. All together, theyâre the cocktails that youâll encounter again and again during a bartending shift.