Bartending is often referred to as a means to an end. You hear it all the time when people say they’re only bartending until they get back on their feet.


Quit Bartending buy Why


“I didn’t go to college and get a degree in Biology to be no bartender,” says the 10 year bartender veteran. “We didn’t take out all those loans to pay for college,” says the parents of the 10 year bartender vet.

Let’s be honest it’s one of those jobs you get stuck in but how come?   

We have met bartenders with no formal education. We have met bartenders who own their own businesses and have advanced degrees. Some have other jobs that pay them significantly more. Yet they can’t seem to escape that 'short-term' bartending job.  

The barriers to entry are not hard so it’s easy to start bartending to make some extra money. And you can do so with the comfort of knowing this is not for the long-term. Or so you think? A lot of bartending jobs come with no benefits, no career development plan and no prospects for future growth. Yet it is still a distinctly rewarding job for so many and people pick the career in droves.



The People



When you bartend you will encounter the most interesting people. You can be standing in front a homeless person to a CEO. You interact with folks who celebrate the highest of highs to those who want to get through tough situations. And regardless of his or her status in life, they end up in your presence.

At times, being a bartender is the equivalent of being a performer on stage. The more you put on a show, the more people enjoy and tip you. One night you are a comedian telling jokes, and on other days you may be asked to be a therapist. You get to hear all the juicy gossip and learn intimate details about people’s home life. People who drink tend to be more honest, funnier and just looking to get some things off their chest. That can be pretty addictive and hard to quit bartending.


The Money


Every day is payday. You can make great money bartending although it is highly likely you won’t be getting any benefits so you have to save your money wisely. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average yearly bartender salary is only around $21k. That doesn’t sound like much, but so much of your money can go undetected by the government. So going home with $400-500 a night cash can be pretty appealing and keep you around for a while.  

The income may not be steady, but it can be significant at times. Some regulars tip big every time. And then some nights you may get that one customer who is really excited about life. They may of either hit big gambling, won the lottery or got a huge promotion. Since they got money to burn, they end up giving you a $100 tip on a $20 bill just because. This can make for a pretty awesome night.  


The Fun


Being a bartender is like being a chaperone for an adult slumber party. You oversee people at their most vulnerable moments in life. And we all know drinkers are much more fun than when they are sober. The goal of a bartender is to make sure everyone else is having fun. Oftentimes you get to see the evolution of a person real-time. They start out as sober, then a little more talkative, and ultimately become your best friend after a few shots of tequila.  

Sure if they drink too much it can become annoying. But most people do control their liquor you are the overseer of all that. And if you buy them a free drink, they may be your best friend for life. So now you are making new friends, getting tipped well and now you also have developed a new admirer. Of course this can be irritating, but everyone loved to be admired a little.   



The Freedom


The people, the money and the fun are extremely compelling reasons to never quit bartending. But I believe the main reason why it’s so hard to just exit the profession is the freedom. Sure you can go to other jobs and make more money. But none offer the freedom a bartending job offers you. Sure you have more opportunities to be a responsible adult, but who really wants that?

Bartending keeps you committed because:  


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


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!




The money you make as a bartender depends greatly on your tips. 


 Double Tips


It’s no wonder why bartenders are always looking for ways to increase them. We have found 6 simple ways to double tips. And the best part is you should already be doing most of these things.

So go ahead, polish up your skills and watch your income increase.


1. Be The Bartender Everyone Loves


Attitude is everything when you’re a bartender. If you’re consistently grouchy, chances are you won’t make great tips. Yet if you are the bartender who your customers can relate to and they love coming to see; there is a strong possibility tips will be better and steady. Also, it’s a great idea to know a few jokes, laugh and smile a lot. Customers come into a bar for the atmosphere, the drinks, and the people. If they feel they can relax and have a good time with you, they will keep coming back and your tips will grow.



2. Offer Different Choices


When a customer orders a drink like a top shelf margarita, offer choices that have different price points. Do not overwhelm them with too many choices and be sure to let them know of any daily specials. Give them a few suggestions because customers love to have options and oftentimes they don’t know what they want.  They will appreciate you being the expert and giving them options they can afford. It’s all about being the knowledgeable bartender that gets you better tips.


3. Deliver Drinks In A Timely And Efficient Manner


If you are slow all the time, your tips will be too. It’s important to learn how to make a drink correctly and in a timely manner. Customers hate to wait! I understand that bars get busy, but if you make customers wait too long, best believe they will walk out the door and you just lost tips and returning customers.



4. Pay Attention To Your Customers Needs


If you are one step ahead of your customers your tips will grow. For instance, your customer is just about done with their beer, be sure to ask if they need another. Or when a customer spills his beer on the counter, you are quick to react and get towels and clean up the mess. Customers love bartenders that seem to be on top of things. Don’t be that bartender who is way too busy doing everything but tending to your customer’s needs. If you don’t pay attention, it is more than likely that your tips will show that.


5. When You Make A Mistake, Fix It


So, you just made the wrong drink for your customer. No biggie! Just make them the drink that they originally ordered and tell them this one is on you. Fixing your mistake and offering to buy that drink for your customer shows that you care about them. It’s okay to make mistakes once in awhile, however if you’re making them repeatedly, you might want to find a new career. Customers love to know that their bartender is a real person so an occasional mistake that you fix quickly is okay. Honesty, trust and a caring attitude will take your far as a bartender.



6. Don’t Get Too Personal


Customers want to relate to their bartenders, however they don’t want to know their bartender’s whole life story. Be a real person but don’t offer too many details about your personal life. Your customers don’t want to know about your dead cat or your crazy ex. If you are personable and relate to them without going into every detail, chances are they will tip you better. If you are the negative, crazy bartender who tells customers about all your problems, they probably won’t want to come back.


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


Why is it so hard saving when your entire income is cash? You’d think it would be easier when you can physically see all your hard earned dough disappearing. And yet, it's infinitely harder to save when you're taking home your salary every night instead of twice a month.


Bartender Saving Saving Saving Tricks Bartender Saving Tricks


We get it, that's why we've rounded up some tricks we think will help you keep some of that green.


Deposit That Money!


First things first, you can never save if you don't actually put your money, or most of it, in the damn bank!  It’s very hard to keep track of what you're accumulating week to week when there's a constant two-way flow of cash out of your wallet.

So, we recommend designating one day a week to count up and deposit all of your money.  My "week" ends on a Tuesday.  So every Tuesday I go down to the office and count up everything I've made that week.  Then I go right to the ATM and deposit it!  By doing this consistently, you’ll actually know how much you’re making for once.  The first step to saving really is keeping track!



Pay Yourself First


You may have heard your mom tell you this before, but it really works.  Choose one bill every month, like a credit card payment.  Then, every time you pay that bill, transfer the same amount as that payment into your savings account.  After a while, this starts to add up.  This method is also a good way to save for something specific, like a vacation. It's relatively painless since you're already doling out some cash, so why not feed your own piggy bank at the same time?



Be Realistic and Relax


When I started my current job I decided to put $100 a week into savings.  I wanted to see the numbers climb quickly, but it just wasn't doable.  So, I bumped it down to $75, giving me an extra $200 as a cushion for the month.  And, if on the last day I still had that money, I put it into savings.  What we mean by relax is, don’t put too much pressure on yourself.  The most important thing is that you save consistently.  It will start to accumulate; you just have to give it time.



Buy That Coffee, But Save At the Same Time



Sometimes it’s life's little luxuries that get you through the day.  If you look forward to that double mocha frappe every afternoon, and if you can truly afford it, get it!  Then, transfer the same amount that coffee cost you into savings.  Or, put $3 into a separate part of your wallet or an envelope and watch the money pile up.  It may not seem like a lot, but at the end of the year, you could find yourself with upwards of $1000 in extra savings!



Change Your Mindset Around Money and Saving


Whenever I spend money on something frivolous, like a taxi home because I'm feeling lazy, I try to think of that expense in different terms. For instance, you may not think twice about spending that $20 on a cab three times a week, but you wouldn't go to H&M and buy twelve new T-shirts a month would you?  While the goal isn't to shame yourself, sometimes we all need a bit of perspective.



Be Consistent about Saving


We know that this can be nearly impossible when you depend on tips, but it can be done. You may have to set a slightly lower number than you originally would have liked to, in order to account for slow weeks, but if you save the same amount every week, or even every month, you'll be on your way to building a solid little nest egg.  Knowing you're secure is truly the best feeling.


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


There are a lot of bartender myths and stereotypes flying around out there. It’s time to find out about some about these bartender myths and if there is any truth behind them.


Bartender Myths



1. Bartenders get hit on all the time.



Truth: Not all of them do and not all the time. Most bartenders master the art of flirting and smiling routinely to engage customers but never offer personal information about themselves or take it further than that. Bartenders come in contact with a lot of people and taking things personal is a recipe for disaster.  Forget the whole getting laid and hit on all the time myth. It may happen on occasion, but no more than any other person.




2. Bartenders are Uneducated.



Truth: This couldn’t be farther from the truth. First of all, most bartenders take some kind of formal education to be a bartender or go through extensive training before getting behind the bar. Others are working through college. You will meet bartenders with all types of educational background and skills. In fact, your bartender may have a Bachelor’s and even a Master’s degree. Be careful thinking bartenders are uneducated because they may have more education than you.



3. Bartending is one big party!



Truth: False! Bartending is work. It can be fun at times and is typically a more relaxed establishment than an office job. Yet bartenders are still on their feet at for hours at a time, mixing drinks, cleaning counters and working the cash register. It’s not all fun and games. It’s still a source of income and has to have a level of professionalism.


4. Bartenders are walking encyclopedias of drinks.


Truth: It’s true that bartenders know many different types of drinks. It’s their job to know drinks. However, they don’t know every drink out there and with new drinks being made all the time, it’s quite impossible for a bartender to know everything. However, if they don’t know how to make a drink most bartenders are open to listening to their customers explain it. Bartenders like to learn new things that will increase sales and tips.



5. Bartending is just a side job.



Truth: For some, it might be. However, for many bartenders this is their only job. There are a lot of amazing bartenders who have made a career and life out of bartending. For them bartending is much more than a side job. It’s a way of life. Too many people believe you can not make a career out of bartending, but the reality is so many people have done just that. The profession of bartending offers a ton of perks if taking seriously.



6. They are alcoholics.


Truth: This myth is pretty ridiculous. In fact, it is hard for an alcoholic to work at a job that serves alcohol. The temptation would be too great and you wouldn’t get any work done. No work equals no tips. In fact, most bartenders drink very little. After seeing the effects of alcohol every day on your customers, the idea of drinking just isn’t fun anymore. It’s just like working at McDonald’s, after a while eating McDonald’s food isn’t so appealing to you.



7. Bartending is easy and glamorous.


Truth: Bartending may seem fun, exciting and easy. However, there is so much more that goes on. You need to have good people skills and know how to handle money. You need to be able to lift heavy items, clean, restock and even be ready to mop the floor and pick up broken glass. And don’t forget, it is never fun cleaning up someone else’s puke!




8. Bartenders are not accountable for their customers.


Truth: To a point this may be true. However, if a bartender served someone too many drinks and allowed them to leave without calling them a cab, we can get in trouble for any accidents or alcohol poisoning that can occur. Bartenders can still be liable. That is why a good bartender pays attention to their customers and makes sure to step in and cut them off so they get home safely.


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


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. 


bartender stressors


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.


The Boss


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.



The Environment


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.


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



Bartenders are important people and one of the first persons you interact with after a challenging week. They must smile, keep the bar clean, make suggestions, remember everything, and know exactly what you want before you know it. Here I attempt to show the importance of bartenders. 


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