People often times view their bartender as the cool, collective person who rarely stresses out over anything. In fact, any good bartender will rarely show a negative side to their customers.
However, in the back of the bartender’s mind, anxiety is building from their boss being on their back, to the girl passing out in the bathroom. Anything can happen when you are serving drinks and sometimes that takes a toll on a bartender.
Every job comes with some sort of stress and when you are dealing with variety of people, tension can run wild. In the customer service field, workers typically face burnout from one or two things, nagging requests and angry customers. As a result, stress can build and it is hard to overcome if bartenders do not manage themselves well. The top five bartender stressors are:
1. Dealing with customers
2. Getting crappy tips
3. Having a demanding boss
4. Working with co-workers
5. Controlling the environment
Bartending is mainly about customer service and how you relate and deal with people. Effective communication skills are required for this job. If you don’t enjoy working with people, bartending is definitely not the career path for you. So it comes as no surprise that one of the substantial stressors in bartending is dealing with the customers. There are many different personalities in the world and when alcohol is included these personalities start to clash. As a bartender, you have to deal with cutting people off, helping the customer who looks like they are about to pass out and dealing with the one guy who seems to be complaining about everything in the bar. All these stresses add up quickly and are considerably overwhelming to the newbie bartenders.
Tips are crucial to a bartender. We all know the pay is not adequate at times and bartenders do rely heavily on tips to make the rent and pay bills. With that being said, it is a huge stress when you have had two weeks of bad tips and it doesn’t look like business is going to pick up any time soon. Another stress when it comes to tips is tip-sharing. If you share your tips with your barbacks, waitresses or other bartenders and they are not pulling their weight or the tip money is just not there it makes the job that much more stressful.
Some people are very fortunate to have a nice boss who they enjoy working for. However, if you have a demanding boss that is always on your back, it can make working as a bartender quite stressful. Another added stress can be when the boss’s friends come in for free drinks and you know they won’t leave a tip yet they demand a lot of your time. It is hard to be that fun, loving bartender when you have to deal with stressors like these.
Dealing with customers is one thing, but having to get along with co-workers day after day can really run a person down, especially in a busy bar. The co-worker that is routinely late, lazy or has attitude problems can make the work environment almost intolerable.The last thing any bartender wants is to be working on a busy Friday with a co-worker who isn’t being a team player.
A bar is always filled with noise, dishes clanging, loud customers, and the jukebox blaring. When you mix the hustling and bustling with a few very drunk people, arguments and fights begin to erupt, people maybe throwing up and the bar becomes chaotic. Not to mention, the circumstances that are completely out of your control like the air conditioning not working and running out of your top shelf liquor. Having to maintain a peaceful atmosphere while babysitting your customers can lead to a very stressful night.
Bartending is not an easy profession. It can be a very enjoyable and a lot of fun if you know how to manage stress and you love working with people. To all bar-goers, please be kind and respectful to your bartenders, tip them well and don’t be that annoying customer who causes problems. If you take care of your bartender they will take of you.
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Our community and resources support and empower the individuals who comprise this industry. We seek to change the stigma of frequent bar goers and promote the bartending profession as legitimate career choice.