CAREER DEVELOPMENT / MAY. 12, 2014
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How to become a Bartender

If you like serving people and you have a natural talent to make others feel happy, a profession you might consider is that of a Bartender. A bartender is a person responsible for serving alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages at a bar. A successful bartender possess the following:

  • Upbeat, friendly and outgoing personality
  • Minimum 18 years of age
  • Easy going nature
  • Good with numbers and mathematical calculations
  • Good memory
  • Team working skills
  • Be able to work under pressure
  • Alcohol awareness

What does a Bartender do?

As a bartender you may work in a variety of establishments such as

  • Restaurants
  • Bars
  • Clubs
  • Hotels
  • Casinos
  • Music Venues

As a bartender you are trained to perform various tasks such as to:

  • Provide consisting High level of Customer Service
  • Check identification of customers to verify age requirements for purchase of alcohol
  • Ensure timely delivery of beverages to both bar and restaurant guest
  • Collect money for drinks served
  • Clean glassware and bar equipment
  • Plan, organize, and control the operations of a cocktail lounge or bar
  • Garnish drinks
  • Plan bar menus
  • Prepare various appetizers

Salary

As per payscale.com, the average rate for a Bartender is £6.15 per hour. Tips you fetch from your clients have a big impact on this job’s earnings.

In this profession your maximum salary is dependent on tips from your customers and not just from your pay check. As such it is important for you to:

  • Make customers happy
  • Enjoy serving people
  • Take pride in your job
  • Jump into the culture of your workplace

Education and Training

It is not compulsory to get any specific qualification to become a bartender. However, you may consider going to a bartending school if you want to the learn skills and trades of the job in a short time span. Professional bartending schools teach students about liquors, bartending techniques, bar glassware, garnishes and how to make different kinds of cocktails. Also you are trained in making numerous mixed drinks in a simulated bar. The flip side of attending a bartending school is that it is very expensive and you might not be able to earn back your investment.

You can also become a bartender by getting a barback (bartenders’ assistants) or cocktail waitress job at a bar or nightclub. You then advance your career and work your way up to becoming a bartender. This provides you with hands on training at your workplace.

You might need a certificate before getting a job in this profession. For certification you need to take a class followed by a test. There are provisions to get online certifications as well. The certification class teaches you about things such as the Blood Alcohol Level (BAL), DUIs, fake IDs, serving alcohol to minors, facts about alcohol, preventing intoxication, the dangers of drunk driving and how to refuse service, etc.

To attend a bartending school in the UK, you may refer to following links:

http://www.basbartendingschool.co.uk/

http://shaker-uk.com/

http://www.londonbarschool.com/

Career Prospects

After gaining significant experience, it gets easier to find a job in upscale and busier restaurants. Consequently, your earnings increase as you get huge tips at such places. Also you may advance to supervisory jobs, such as dining room supervisor, maitre d', assistant manager, or restaurant general manager. You may also consider opening up your own business in the future. Never the less, job opportunities in this sector are excellent.

While this profession seems to be exciting, you need to be highly responsible and be prepared to deal with rude and intoxicated customers. Also you need to be determined to work odd hours.

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