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Bartender Business: Bartending is a lucrative career.
With reported average earnings statistically greater than a majority of college level graduates.
Because alcohol sales remain stable even in a tough economy, bartending is often referred to as a recession-proof career.
For these reasons, the bartending business is competitive.
Some bartenders opt to improve their marketability and increase their incomes by starting a bartending service business.
You don’t have to have a college degree in business to get started in your own mobile bartending venture.
But you do need to be prepared to invest your skills, your time and some money into making your business successful.
Start by reading these steps for how to start a bartending service business.
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1. Job Description
Bartenders can make up to #2000 an hour – before tips (and tips usually make up most of a bartender’s pay). Bartender jobs are great for outgoing multi-taskers.
So you wanna be a bartender? OK. Make me three dirty martinis, four margaritas (one frozen, three on the rocks, one with no salt), a black and tan, two pina coladas, a manhattan, a scotch (neat), and seven orange crush shooters.
Oh, and I need those all in less than five minutes.
Still sound like a job you might want to do? Then read on.
Bartending can be a great job.
You get to laugh, joke and have fun with people who come to you to have a good time.
You make a few drinks, chat with people and maybe even get to dance a bit.
Almost all bartenders are extroverts who don’t mind being the center of attention.
But you’ve got to have a long fuse.
Especially with people who have had a bit too much to drink.
2. Get to know the types of bartenders:
Show bartenders are the kind you think of when you think of the movie “Cocktail.”
There is a lot of bottle flipping, tossing and even setting things on fire.
Show bartenders typically work in large restaurants and are frequently found in Las Vegas or at resorts.
Educated bartenders (who have extensive knowledge of wines, scotches, whiskeys and bourbons) can work at high-end restaurants or specialty shops, pairing foods with drinks and recommending $100 cocktails.
The average bartender, though, works at a restaurant or bar.
You’ll be required to quickly make drinks for your guests.
Serve food and make drinks for the servers to serve to their guests.
Bartending isn’t all fun and games
Every so often a person will vomit, and you may be the one cleaning it up.
If you’re a girl, you will get hit on by drunk guys – and it won’t always be pretty.
Guys, you too will have your fair share of girls flirting with you, which I promise is not as fun as it might sound.
People will grab your arm as your working to get your attention.
Causing you to spill drinks.
You will have bar patrons yell at you for not putting enough alcohol in a drink.
Others who tell you you’re making their drink wrong and many who won’t even tip you at all.
You have to be able to tell people “no” and mean it.
If someone has had enough, you have to stop serving them, make sure no one else serves them and deter them from driving.
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Not only can you be held legally responsible if they cause an accident.
But stopping someone from hurting themselves or others is the right thing to do.
You absolutely cannot serve anyone who is underage.
Law enforcement officials routinely hire teenagers to come into bars.
If you serve them, don’t check their IDs or don’t recognize a blatantly fake ID, you will lose your job, if not go to jail.
As fun as bartending can be, it comes with some very serious responsibilities.
Bartenders are on the frontlines of what can sometimes be a brutal world.
You will see normally nice men and women showing the ugliest sides of themselves.
If you ever witness a domestic situation.
Someone attempting to drug another person or someone taking advantage of someone who has had too much to drink, it is your responsibility to step in.
If you can’t stomach it, then don’t become a bartender.
3, Get to know the amount of money made in a day
Depending on where you work, you can make up to #2000-#3000 an hour – and that’s before tips! But on average, bartenders make #2000 an hour.
You’ll also receive tips from your customers and depending on the restaurant.
You might even get a tip out (a percentage of the tips the servers get from their tables).
On a busy Friday night, you can walk out with a few Thousand Naira in your pocket (unless you work alone, you’ll split the tip jar with your fellow bartenders)
On top of the check you’ll take home later.
On a slow night? Well, let’s just say it’s a good thing you make #2000 an hour.
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4. Get to know the educational requirements
Depending on where you want to work, none.
Many restaurants don’t mind hiring an aspiring bartender and training them.
It never hurts to do a little research on your own before applying to bartender jobs.
Buy a bartending recipe book (“Mr. Boston: Official Bartenders Guide” is a great place to start) and start testing out your bartending skills on your friends.
If you aspire to tend bar in an upscale restaurant.
You should consider attending a mixology school.
Bartending school will give you the knowledge you need to snag a job at a place where you’ll have to know the difference between a bottle of a prohibition-era Macallan re-bottled in 2020 and a Macallan 12-year scotch
5. Career paths for bartenders
After improving on your beer pouring skills (and yes, there is a right and wrong way to pour beer)
You’ll work your way up to the coveted weekend shift – that’s where all the money is.
After that, you can either work your way into a management position or find a more upscale or better paying place to tend bar.
This bartender job description template is optimized for posting in online job boards or careers pages.
It’s easy to customize bartender duties and responsibilities for your restaurant or bar’s needs.
6. Get to know their Responsibilities:
- Preparing alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages for bar and patrons
- Interacting with customers, taking orders and serving snacks and drinks
- Assessing bar customers’ needs and preferences and making recommendations
7. Learn How to Become a Bartender
There is something definitely sexy about bartenders. They are glorified in movies like Cocktail and Coyote Ugly.
They are seen as perennially cool – think of Sam in the old sitcom Cheers.
However, being a bartender involves more than just slinging drinks.
A good bartender needs to be organized and dependable as well as have great people skills.
But do you need to go to school to become a bartender?
8. Attending Bartending School
There are lots of bartenders programs available through hospitality schools.
Through these programs, you can learn the basics of mixing drinks and how to serve alcohol safely.
But bartending is one job that is best learned hands-on. The more you do it, the better you get.
If you’ve never worked in a restaurant before, don’t expect to waltz into a bartending job – even if you have gone to bartending school.
A good bartender has ample restaurant experience.
If you are looking to get a foot in the door (or the bar that is) apply for a job as a busser (busboy) or a bar—back. These entry-level positions will teach you the ropes faster than any school program.
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9. Carry out reaches work(Know the brand)
There are hundreds of drinks that people like.
Your job is to learn them! Or at least know the basic drinks.
Martinis, cosmos, screwdrivers, gimlets—those are just a few of the most popular mixed drinks.
Get yourself a good bartending book, such as Bartending for Dummies, and commit it to memory.
If you wait tables at a restaurant, you should already know the beer and wine selections.
If you don’t there is something seriously wrong with the management.
If you are new to the restaurant or transitioning from a back of the house position to the front of the house, you need to learn the restaurant beer and wine lists.
This means knowing the brands and types offered as well as knowing the differences between them.
For example, what makes a chardonnay different from a merlot (besides the color). Or how is an IPA different from a pilsner or a stout beer? Impress both customers and management with your knowledge of the drink list.
10. Keep on Practicing the Skills
Once you’ve been given the go-ahead by your restaurant manager to serve drinks, practice, practice, practice.
To perfect your liquor pour, practice with an empty liquor bottle filled with water.
See how long it takes you to fill a shot glass (not long!) then try and to duplicate that amount into a drinking glass.
Never, and I mean never, use a shot glass for measurement in front of customers.
It looks cheap and unprofessional.
Eventually, you will be able to eyeball the perfect pour and it will come naturally
11 Always give good attention to customers
A good bartender pays attention to customers, who sit at a bar for a variety of reasons.
Maybe are lonely and want someone to talk to or just the opposite.
They are tired and want to be alone.
As the bartender, you must be a good listener or at least be able to fake good listening.
You need to know how to read people and interact with them accordingly.
That is how you develop a strong customer following.
Which will please management as much as it pleases you.
12. Get the Management Experience
Bartenders are often the defector manager of a restaurant.
Usually, the bartender is the person closing up each night and responsible for cashing the servers out and sending the credit card batch.
They are also responsible for ordering beer, wine, and spirits and tracking inventory.
Bartenders should know how to effectively deal with staff conflicts or take care of customer complaints.
At first glance, bartending looks like a fun and easy job.
However, the best bartenders are those with excellent customer service skills, who can multitask and who are honest and trustworthy.
13. Invest in bartending business supplies.
You do not have to get anything fancy, but you will need the following basics for starters:
- Portable bar. These come in a variety of sizes and styles, and at a wide range of price points.
- Business cards. You can purchase expensive cards from a print shop or make your own. The point is to get your name out there.
- Bartending tools. Speed pours, bottle openers, wine keys, coolers and garnish trays.
- A uniform. This is not a necessity, but is a good way to present a professional appearance to customers.
14. Learn as much as you can.
There are several ways in which you can educate yourself in preparation for a successful bartending business venture.
- Schooling. Enroll in a bartending school, if you haven’t already.
- On the job training. Get a bartending job. Additionally, any hand-on experience you can accrue in the fields of customer service or hospitality is helpful.
- Business. You will need to understand the basics of running a small business, including accounting, bookkeeping, marketing and customer service. Take a couple of business classes at the local community college or business resource center, or check out some library books on the subject.
- Others’ experiences. You can learn a lot by speaking with other people who operate similar traveling bartender businesses. Use a phone book and make some calls.
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