Want to work as a bartender but don’t have any experience? Well, we’ve got good news and bad news for you.
The good news is; landing a job in the service industry is pretty easy. The bad news is; it may not be a bartending job right off the bat. Not to worry though, because we’ve got some tips for breaking into the industry.
Make Friends with Bartenders
By far the most important thing you can do to land yourself a sweet bartending gig is to befriend some bartenders. As with most industries, bars and restaurants are all about nepotism. If someone who likes you knows you need a job, the next time they hear of one they’ll recommend you.
If you don’t have any experience bartending, why not ask a friend if you can train with them? This may not fly in fine dining establishments but I know several dive bars where the bartenders train the occasional newbie.
Just because bartending is a fun job in environments that are often relaxed and casual doesn’t mean you should be too informal. Bring a resume to interviews, dress professionally, and be on time. It sounds ridiculous, but just these three things will set you apart from the rest.
Hit the Pavement
I’ve gotten two bartending jobs by simply walking in with my resume (during non-busy times of course) and asking if the place is hiring. Yes, this is tedious and time consuming but it can pay off if you’re in the right place at the right time.
If you’ve never bartended before you may need to start off in a different position such as barback or hostess. Then when a position opens up, you’ll be there to fill it. Don’t worry, turnover in restaurants tends to be high and an opportunity may arise sooner than you think..
Skip Bartending School
Bartending school is widely laughed at in the service industry and the things you learn there rarely translate to reality. Instead, focus on getting actual training somewhere. Don’t worry about memorizing a million drinks, that will come with time. Bartending is about being efficient, friendly, and good in a team setting.
Don’t Skip Certifications
Many bars and restaurants require certifications such as a food handler’s license or TIPS certifications. These courses are cheap and not too time-intensive and employers love to see that on a resume.
Got any other tips? Let us know!