Bartender training is a tough job. It takes time to develop the relationships and workflow that make any service industry gig worthwhile. Sometimes, by the time you get a new job, you may not have the luxury of stressing over whether it’s a good “fit” or not.


Bartender Training


Of course, if you’re super hard up for money, you may have to take what you can get. That said, we don’t want you to accept a job that will ultimately make you miserable. Here are some things to look out for during your bartender training shifts that can give you a better overall idea about the establishment and the position as a whole.


How do the Managers and Staff Interact?


This is a big one, and thus, number one on the list. Every bartender or server knows that the difference between a crappy job and one you love; many times comes down to management. So, during your first few shifts, take a look at how the staff reacts to their higher-ups. Do they roll their eyes when the boss walks away? Are they comfortable and relaxed, yet remain respectful? It has been my experience that my relationship with a manager can make or break a job.  

If the staff seems comfortable approaching the boss with problems and mistakes that need fixing, and the manager reacts in an understanding and professional way, that’s a good sign.



What are the Shifts Like?


It’s important to understand what you’re getting into as far as shifts go. I’ve seen many a place where they sort of “feel” like they need someone else, but in reality they’re overstaffed. This leads to a lot of tension between colleagues, and possibly less money for you.

Ask some relevant questions like, “What will my shifts be?” and “Is it a set schedule?” You obviously want to do a great job and it may be an amazing establishment to work for, but if there’s not enough shifts, or more shifts than you feel you can handle, it might make sense to walk away sooner versus later.


Who Cuts Who and When?


In every place I’ve ever worked except one, getting cut is a huge source of stress and frustration for the staff.  It can range from the downright unreasonable to the totally inconsistent. So, if you’ll be on the night shift, try to figure out who gets out when and who makes that decision.  

Being released at an appropriate time may mean the difference between a good night’s rest and an insufficient one. It also can affect your wallet. It may be super busy for happy hour, but if you’re tipping someone else out until 3 am, the money may be a disappointment.


What’s the Food Like?


This one’s pretty simple. This is, most likely, the food you’ll be eating almost every day, sometimes twice a day! If it sucks, that could be a real bummer for your stomach and your health. Similarly, if you have to keep apologizing to customers and comping their bills because of subpar fare, it could turn into a real drain on your paycheck.



Speaking of Paychecks…


Please don’t let this be a mystery to you. You have a right to know how much you’ll be making (including training) and how often. Will your tips come in a check? How do they tax you? These are all things to keep track of and fair questions to ask an employer before you start the job.  

Restaurants and bars often give the impression that being asked to train is not the same as being hired. If that’s their attitude, then you should take the necessary steps to train them in and see if it will be a good fit for both of you.


Want to connect with people at your bar in a whole new way? Download the BOTY App on iTunes or Google Play for free!




From the bar manager’s perspective, bartenders are people who serve drinks and entertain customers all day long. The day may consists of lots of jokes, laughter, flirting, fun, sorrow and so much more.


Bar Manager’s Perspective on Bartenders Bar Manager


In any case, the bartender is the one of the most important persons in the bar along with being the most overlooked one. So what is a bartender through the eyes of the bar manager?


A Salesman


Bars, like any business in the world, are there to make money. Bar managers, like any other manager in the world, are there to ensure that the money keeps flowing.

To a bar manager, a bartender is a salesperson who has been hired to sell as much food and drink as possible, in any way possible. As long as the bartender is doing it right and keeping the registers ringing, the bar manager will be happy. Also, a good bartender builds a good reputation among regular bar patrons; and a good rep means returning customers and ever-increasing business for the bar. It’s a win-win!



Bar Manager’s Perspective on Bartenders


An Expert Drink-Maker


Most people at a bar have simple choices. They don’t require anything fancy, with most of their choices limited to beer, wine or the basic mixed cocktail (vodka with soda). But there are those that tend to get adventurous and order their Old Fashioned, Long Island Ice Tea or Manhattan. Not to mention they may want a specialty bourbon, Mai Tai or White Russian.

Keeping these customers happy is essential in maintaining the gentry of a bar and maybe even raising the bar (pun intended). To a bar manager, a bartender is supposed to know what goes into these cocktails and make them how the customer wants them. Because if somebody wants an Mojito, they will not settle for a Margarita!


Bar Manager’s Perspective on Bartenders


A Charismatic Person


A bar manager won’t just hire anybody that can mix a few drinks. The perfect bartender is a mix of great bartending skills and an amazing and affable personality.

People love bartenders that make them feel important, especially drunk people. They talk to them as friends, tell some of their secrets, ask for advice and then leave big tips for good service. A bar manager will always hire the most charming and likeable bartender he can get, and that bartender will always bring in the most business.



Bar Manager’s Perspective on Bartenders


An Efficient and Calm Person


Efficiency is one of the most important qualities that a bar manager looks for in a bartender. The bartender should be able to take orders, remember them correctly, pour the correct drinks and keep the bar neat and tidy while continuing to serve the increasing number of customers that come through the doors. Also, a manager is looking for a  bartender that keeps calm under the pressure that comes with bar patrons.

To us customers, the bartender is just a guy you bought drinks from the night before. To the bar manager, he/she is the life of the bar. After all, the manager wants his bar to be the best in town!


Want to connect with people at your bar in a whole new way? Download the BOTY App on iTunes or Google Play for free!



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