Practical Dos and Don’ts of Becoming a Bartender

Pexels Photo 110472

If you are interested in becoming a bartender, you likely have some essential questions. You also probably have some misconceptions about what you need to do to become a bartender. There are some dos and don’ts that you need to bear in mind as you contemplate becoming a bartender.

Do Make Sure You Want to be a Bartender

The first thing you need to consider seriously is whether you are sure you want to become a bartender. You need to make certain that you are not experiencing some sort of whim. For example, perhaps you had a good time on a trip, that included spending time in a high-class and enjoyable bar.

Don’t Buy Into the Bartender Hype

There is a great deal of hype associated with bartending. This includes the idea that you will make a ton of money. Depending on where you work, you may be able to make decent money. You need to keep in mind that the amount of money you end up making depends heavily on tips.

You also need to get beyond the idea that by bartending you will be able to connect with people on a more personal basis. Yes, bartending can be fun. In the end, however, it will be your job. You can’t abandon your work related objectives to hit on the patrons.

6645725865 F020A1Ee05 O

Don’t Go to Bartending School

As you more closer to taking the leap to become a bartender, you may automatically conclude that you need to go to bartender’s school. In fact, you probably do not.

By going to bartender’s school, you really end up spending a good deal of money to glean information you can get on your own. For example, you can read books on the subject. Most bars and clubs are prepared to train new bartenders.

Do Jump Into the Culture

One step to take as part of heading towards becoming a bartender is to jump into the culture. What this means is go out and check out different bars and clubs. Identify those that have the most appeal to you. Focus on these types of establishments when you start looking for a job.

When you are out and about, ask bartenders that you encounter if they are aware of any available positions. Turnover in this industry can be pretty frequent. Plus, if you begin to develop connections with some people already in the business, they are likely to be more willing to assist you in finding employment.

Do be Strategic When Seeking Employment

When it comes to seeking employment as a bartender, or a position in any profession, you need to be strategic about how you look for work. For example, when it comes to bartending, pay attention to trends in the industry. Previously, a recommendation was made to immerse yourself in the scene before you try to get into it. By visiting venues, you will be able to get a first hand look at what’s going on among bars and clubs.

As part of being strategic when seeking employment as a bartender, remember that bars and clubs are not other only enterprises seeking this type of assistance. Caterers and bartending services are in need of capable bartenders as well. Thus, when you are seeking this type of employment, don’t focus only on the proverbial “mainstream” when it comes to where bartenders work.

Do Get to Know as Much as Possible About Difference Adult Libations

Earlier in this article, reference was made that you don’t have to go to bartender school to master the art of bartending. Indeed, for many people, that can prove to be a waste of money.

What you do need to be willing to do is learn from other bartenders, read, and educate yourself about adult libations on your own. There are plenty of resources through which you can learn about different types of alcoholic beverages, including beers, wines, and a broad spectrum of cocktails.

The most difficult element of this is learning how to properly make more complicated libations. Mixing cocktails like a gin and tonic is easy to undertake. Such is not the case for the popular array of specialty drinks that many people enjoy.

As an aside, as you begin working as bartender, odds are you may be called upon to use your ingenuity to come up with some specialty drinks on your own. This is becoming a wide practice with each passing year. It also proves to be one of the enjoyable aspects of being a bartender.


Jessica Kane writes for TIPS Alcohol Training, offering TIPS responsible alcohol service training online for both on and off premise needs.

Avatar Of Jeremy Kaplan
Written by
Jeremy Kaplan

A 50-something year old lifestyle, career, and education blogger based in Atlanta, Georgia. Years of experience in the office setting working with others and still loving it year-after-year.

View all articles