The Dos and Don'ts of Becoming a Bartender


It’s happened to all of us– you’re sitting at your desk, staring at your computer and contemplating throwing it out the window. Inside your head, you’re screaming, “I’m done with this job! I’m becoming a bartender!”

Well, we can’t tell you if quitting your job American Beauty style is a good choice. But we *can *let you know how to take your first steps towards getting behind the bar.

Grab some dirty glasses, and start reading.



**Practice Interacting With Others: **As you probably know, a huge part of a bartender’s job is chatting with patrons. Your original interview with the establishment’s manager is a great place to show your mastery of this skill. If they notice that you can’t even look them in the eye, you’re not getting the job. So go ahead, start some conversations with strangers today!

**Learn All The Old Classics: **When you’re just starting out, you don’t need to worry about fancy drinks. Brush up on everyone’s favorite cocktails, like daiquiris, Old Fashioneds, Rob Roys, and martinis. Leave the Rum Martinez for later.

**Be Very, Very Nice: **It’s no secret that bartenders have to occasionally deal with jerks. However, it’s important to remember that it’s your job to be ridiculously nice. Have you ever seen a bartender start screaming at a patron? Probably not. Start practicing your forced smile now– you’re gonna need it.


**Prepare to Say No: **It’s a bartender’s job to cut someone off when they’ve had too much to drink. Sure, it might feel weird to tell a grown adult that they’ve had their fill of gin and tonics– but you don’t want anyone to get alcohol poisoning, either. To be safe, ask your manager what their policy is for people falling off their stools.

**Bring Your Gear **A potential employer will love you if you have your own tools. Bring a wine key, beer opener, and nutmeg grater, and you’ll be hired on the spot.



**Take Rejection Personally: **Sometimes a bar simply doesn’t have room for new employees. So, if you get a ‘no,’ remember to keep asking. Staffs at restaurants and bars are notorious for their quick turnover. The manager will admire you for your persistence. As long as you don’t get creepy, you’ll have a job in no time.

**Become the Patron Saint Of Free Drinks: **Sure, it’s nice to give your best friend a free drink at your bar. But when your entire crew rolls in, remember to treat them like every other customer. Seriously. *Don’t *give a group of eight people free cocktails. Your bar will hate you, your buddies will be too wasted to thank you, and you’ll be fired. It’s a lose-lose-lose.


**Forget to Observe: **Don’t stay cooped up at your bar. Head to another popular establishment at peak hours, and see how the bartender is handling the stress. Look closely, and you’ll see that they’re in a flow state. Somehow, they juggle customers and manage their time with ease. Now, try and take those habits and skills into your own bar. (Just don’t look like a stalker and write observations in a notebook. That’s what the iPhones notes app is for.)

**Leave Quickly **No matter what, don’t ditch your new job after a few weeks. Bartenders know each other, and if someone hears that you’re flighty, you’re *done. *Bartending is just like any other job, in that your reputation follows you.

Think you’re ready to be a bartender? Follow these quick tips, and you’ll be ahead of the competition. And remember– dress nicely for the interview. Just because it’s a bar doesn’t mean you should wear a Heineken t-shirt. Cheers!