You love being a bartender. But people keep telling you to quit and "get a real job." Whatever that means!  


traditional job versus bartending


That doesn't sound like it's going to work for you and you can’t figure out why. Here are 5 reasons why it's hard to work a traditional job after bartending.


  1. You're Used to Being Up Late at Night


Let's face it, being a bartender makes you feel like Batman leaving to fight crime for another night. After skillfully serving drinks into the wee hours of the morning, somehow waking up at 6 a.m. to sit at a desk for 8 hours just doesn't sound like a good deal.

When you bartend, the social interactions with your coworkers and the bar patrons make your shift just fly by. So it doesn't feel like hard work, although it can be at times. You also get the luxury of going home to crash after having made your money while everyone else was sleeping. How great is that?



  1. You Love Meeting Interesting People


How many jobs really let you meet all kinds of interesting people day after day? And if they tip well, they're pretty hard to come by. If the reason why you bartend is because you love meeting new people, you'll find it really hard to return to a traditional job where the only social interaction you’ll get is gossiping around the watercooler about who’s going to get fired next.


  1. Tips, Tips, Tips


Tips aren't only for strippers! Bartenders can make a whole lot of cash in a night too. Isn't it great to get a cash windfall in tips after a busy night at the bar? Unfortunately, that 5% raise that traditional jobs pay after a year on the job simply doesn’t give you the euphoria you're looking for.


  1. Social Media Helps You Do Your Job Better


As a bartender, you use social media and other technologies to help you stay connected to what is going on in your local drinking scene and attract more patrons to your bar. At a traditional job, you'd probably literally feel like your arm is being ripped off as your boss confiscates your phone from too much Facebook surfing. Worse, you'd probably get fired for posting anything on your social media profiles that shows that you actually like to have fun at work. Oh gosh, the horror of it all!



  1. You Don't Have a STEM Degree


Rumor has it that if you don't have a degree in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics, you'll be banished to minimum wage hell for the rest of your life. In fact, some people who do have these degrees don't even have a job! If bartending is already helping you to live without a traditional job, why not stick with it? After all, this isn't your parent's economy!

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When bartenders think about how to increase their tips, not much thought typically goes into whether or not their gender helps. So do women or men make more in tips due to their sex?


gender affect tips


There is a stigma among men that beautiful ladies make more money than men. And many female bartenders believe they are underpaid compared to their male counterparts. So what is really the truth behind this matter?


The Battle Of The Sexes


In Render Food Magazine, they stated, in their article about servers, “The idea that women make more in tips due to sex appeal is an enduring cultural myth.”

Rain Dove Blog did a study one night as the ‘Battle of The Sexes’ at a local bar in Brooklyn and at the end of the night, the male had around $100 more in tips than the female. 

In this article on it stated one of the six proven ways to get better tips was,  “ideally, be a slender, attractive, big-breasted blond in your 30s.” They based this off a scientific study down by Michael Lynn Ph.D. To view the study go here.

We did some research and the jury is still out on whether or not gender really will increase your tips. Many articles show that men make higher tips while other articles say women make more.



The Real Truth About Gender And Tips


After our thorough investigation, we believe that gender is not the issue when it comes to tipping. There are several factors that will determine how many you make in tips whether you are female or male.


does gender affect tips


This gender debate will go on for years and years. However, the bottom line is if you do your job well, take care of your customers and interact with them you will see that you are making great tips whether you are a male or female. If gender does play a role, which we don’t believe it does, it’s only a small role. So be yourself, work hard and forget all those gender tipping stigmas.


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



We’ve all heard the stories! Someone has too much to drink at a bar, gets in their car to drive home, and has an accident. However, there’s another aspect to this that only bartenders and wait staff have to think about: their personal liability in this situation.  


bartender liability over serving


We’re often told that the victim of a drunk driving accident can sue the bar. This happens when the perpetrator was allowed to get intoxicated to the point of being dangerous. But, there’s often some confusion as to whether or not this is actually the case.  We’d like to clear that up.

Read on for some useful info about your personal responsibilities as a bartender and how to protect yourself and your customers.



Dram Shop Laws


Dram Shop laws, and SIP laws (sales to intoxicated persons), are the set of rules that govern how an establishment can be held accountable for injuries incurred due to a patron’s drunkenness.  In general, it works like this. If a person becomes intoxicated at a bar and then causes some sort of injury to another person, both the establishment and the perpetrator can be held accountable.  

These laws vary state by state, but almost every state has one. In some places they extend to social gatherings as well. This means if you host a party and over-serve someone, you could be liable for any damage they cause. This is especially true if you are serving alcohol to minors. Who in some states can sue you if they themselves sustain an injury.  So, if you have a get together at your house and someone causes an accident or hurts another person on the way home, you could be held accountable.


What Does This Mean for You as a Bartender?


Under Dram Shop laws, it is the establishment that can be held responsible for injuries caused by an inebriated person. However, while it may be the bar that pays the fine, there’s nothing protecting you from action your bosses may take against you. It does not seem fair that any part of someone else’s decisions and behaviors can fall on you or where you work. But it is the unfortunate reality of the service industry.



How to Protect Yourself and Your Place of Work

bartender liability

The legal parameters that define drunkenness outside of just strict blood alcohol concentration differ wildly state by state. It can sometimes be vague and very subjective.  However, they are important to know. Because they are the deciding factors of whether a bar can be held liable for a patron’s actions or not.  

Generally speaking, you shouldn’t be serving someone who is “visibly intoxicated”, known to be an alcoholic, or a minor.  Protect yourself and your establishment by knowing the signs of drunkenness such as slurred speech, stumbling, bloodshot eyes, etc.  If you encounter these things, don’t risk serving the person.  Grab a manager if you feel uncomfortable or nervous about cutting someone off.

It’s also a great idea to talk to your boss about enrolling the staff in a certification class like TIPS.  These classes teach servers and bartenders how to keep themselves and their customers safe. They can also be a defense against liability should an issue arise.

Disclaimer: We are not lawyers so please consult one if you have any questions about serving, liability, injury, or anything else.


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


Bartending is an awesome job, but understand all the challenges with it.  Before choosing it as a career, please consider your bartender time.

Standing for 10-12hr shifts at a time with no break is exhausting. And doing that with no customers is even worse.  



Your pay comes mainly from tips, so no customers means no money. And that is a big waste of time. You can’t purchase or borrow more, so time is a limited resource that runs out every day.

Use it wisely.  

Bartender Time is Money


You Can Make Good Money

6 Ways to Double Your Tips


The money in bartending is lucrative but may not be consistent.  It depends greatly on the establishment you work for, the loyalty of your customer base, and the hours you work.  The shifts you get and the customers you retain greatly impact how much you actually earn.  

People are more than willing to take your time so you have to figure out what your bartender time is worth to you.  

Bartenders and other tipped workers get screwed royally.  Only seven states require employers to pay tipped workers the same minimum wage as workers who do not receive tips.  The United States federal government requires a wage of at least $2.13 per hour be paid to employees that receive at least $30 per month in tips.

If wages and tips do not equal the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour during any pay period, the employers are supposed to increase cash wages to compensate.  The sad reality is a lot of employers don't do it.  


Bartender Time Management


So, you are a bartender and love what you do and enjoy the people you meet and work with.  You just hate that you get no benefits or leave. And more importantly, you work many long hours, and not compensated for your time.  

What's even worse is when your employer over schedules the shift. You split tips with other bartenders when so many bartenders didn't need to be there in the first place.  Employers are not on the hook for any hourly costs, so they over schedule bartenders without any repercussions. Maybe if you understand the importance of bartender time, they would manage the schedule better.   

Treat Bartenders with RESPECT


Time Isn't On Your Side


People don't seem to understand what goes into a bartending shift.  The hours of prep work, clean up and dealing with demanding people who have no idea of the importance of bartender time and responsibilities.  

A bartender works at 10am but the restaurant does not open until 12pm. The restaurant closes at 11pm but the bartender doesn't leave until 1am.  That is 4 hours of unpaid services. Keep in mind effective bartenders split shifts with ineffective ones and also has to pay the barback.  Your tips cover the time that you interact with customers, so 4 hours of free labor never hurt anyone.  #sarcasm

Bartender Time is Money


Bartending is not all bad.  Your income is comprised mostly of tips in cash so there is no way for the government to know how much you received. That means you get free money with cash tips. Don't tell the IRS that.  #sarcasm 

Bartending is easy to get into and the job is fun. The work schedules are flexible, and you get to meet some great people.  It’s not all bad but it could be a lot better.



Time is Money

No matter how you look at it, there are only 24 hours in a day. Realize that money isn’t the most important resource, time is. Money comes and goes and you can make it through a variety of resources. But once time is gone, it’s gone for good. If a bartender spends 12 of those 24 hours working at the establishment, there should be compensated for your time.  

A good bartender consistently brings in the regulars and wears company apparel. They promote the establishment, set the mood, and make sure everyone has a good time. There is a price to pay for that and it ain’t just in tips.  


7 Tips to Survive Busy Nights Behind the Bar


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



Having been both a bartender and a server (I’m currently a combination of both), I can’t say one is necessarily better than the other.  But, there are definitely pros and cons to weigh up on either side. What are the pros and cons of bartending vs. serving at a bar or restaurant? 

There are some bartenders who would never serve, and vice versa. This is a subject people will have lots of opinions on. So, if you’re in the rare position of choosing your role in a new place, or have been offered a change in your current job, read on for some of our thoughts on each of these vital front of house positions.





Bartending vs. Serving

Ah, serving.  Almost everybody does it at least once. It truly is a great way to earn some cash while still pursuing other goals. However, just like bartending, it can be a grueling job. 

The Pros: Bartending vs. Serving


You May Get to Leave Earlier  


While bartenders often work until 4 in the morning, most serving jobs, at least in my experience, tend to have more normal hours.


Less Pressure


There can be a lot of pressure on bartending. You’re expected to create regulars, chit chat all day long, and hold down the fort should there be any issues. Sometimes serving can be a bit less emotionally taxing.


Flexible Schedule


Serving is one of the most flexible jobs out there. There’s always someone to cover you or extra shifts to pick up if you need the cash.  


The Cons: Bartending vs. Serving


Long, Long Hours


A server’s hours can be punishing. From doubles to “clopens” (when you close at night and open the next morning), this is definitely a role where you might be a bit (read: a lot) tired. 


Less Money



Depending on the place, a server may make less money than their bartending counterparts. At the bar people throw cash at you like it’s going out of style. Meanwhile, the couple on a date at table 40 may not spend as much.


Less Respect


Now, this is absolutely not to say that servers don’t deserve all the respect in the world, because they do. But, it has been my experience that bartenders are more respected by both customers and management alike.




Bartending vs. Serving

It’s not all fast cash and a whirlwind social life.  Bartending is a tough job that’s not for the faint of heart, but it can come with many rewards. 

The Pros: Bartending vs. Serving


Show Me the Money



Bartenders can make bank. I know many that make more money than the professionals they’re serving during happy hour. If you can stomach the hours and stress, working behind the stick can be extremely lucrative.


A Social Job



Bartenders get to talk all day, every day. If you work in a place with great customers and staff, it can be the perfect job for all you social butterflies. You’ll also never want for friends, or a date for that matter.


Free Time During the Day



There’s nothing quite like running errands at 2pm on a Wednesday when the rest of the world is at work. When you have your days free it’s super easy to do things like schedule doctor’s appointments and work on any other non-restaurant related goals. 


The Cons: Bartending vs. Serving


Working Very Late


Yeah, having days free is great. But, if you’re working until 4am, you might just spend them sleeping. Shift work is hard. You’ll be fighting grogginess and fatigue so taking care of yourself is key.


It’s All on You 



Sometimes it’s hard to be Ms. Personality all the time. When you’rE working behind the bar, you’re expected to not only be pleasant but actively engage with your customers. This can be tough if you’re having an off day.



People are Annoying



When you’re serving, it’s easy to walk away from a creepy customer or someone that won’t shut up. When you’re stuck behind the bar, it’s way harder to escape. You’ll see the same faces over and over again, some of which you may not love.

Have you been both a bartender and a server? Let us know your thoughts!


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!


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