The Art of Bartending

Bartending is probably one of the few jobs where flair and moves get you the high pay. Serving drinks, tossing bottles in the air while making a drink in your mixer, attending to the clientele and keeping the bar well organized pretty much makes up the life of a bartender. JOB DESCRIPTION A bartender has four major functions in the bar. 1. Means of entertainment: In some bars, the bartender becomes part of the entertainment, for example in “Coyote Ugly “the bartender is the direct source of entertainment.

Dave Acevedo, director of the Baltimore Bartender School LLC in Baltimore City, agrees, calling personality the most important ingredient. It’s all about keeping people in your bar, he said. That means you have to entertain them. Half of your job is mixing drinks and the other half is entertaining the customers (Mosher 1) 2. Serving Drinks: Of course, bartenders aren’t bartenders if they don’t know how to mix drinks. A bartender must know how to mix the drinks that customers request. Customers will look poorly at a bar with inexperienced bartenders.

Take the time now to look at the second hand of your watch and allow 20 seconds to pass – it seems like an eternity. However, while the bartender is stirring or shaking, he or she also is putting on a show for the customers, and I’ve seen many people become almost mesmerized when watching a good bartender prepare a drink properly. (Reagan 44) Being a bartender shouldn’t be just about making and shaking drinks. It also has to have some entertainment value to it. Adding flair to the creation of your beverages could also mean bigger tips.

This will also keep customers busy while your in the process of creating the drinks. 3. Payment and maintenance: Of course, bartender cannot keep serving drinks without collecting payments, also at the end of the day the bartenders have to take an inventory of the liquor and the glassware. Order must be maintained when running a bar. Bars cannot afford to have a bartender breaking glassware or misplacing shakers because of lack of organization. In some bars, bartenders don’t need to do these duties because there are people called bar backs who attend to it 4.

Clientele service: The bartenders’ main duty is to reflect the image and atmosphere of the bar. In reality, bartenders are like the information network of a bar. He/she has to be learned in some fields like sports or movies, sometimes even the profile and status of their patrons. REQUIREMENTS AND TRAINING *Completion of secondary school level is required *Completion of a college course or any course pertaining to drinks mixing *Responsible Beverage service certificate maybe required by the employer These of course are just technicalities. You don’t necessarily have to go to a bartending school to be an excellent bartender.

Great bartenders usually start out as barbacks (a bartenders assistant) and take it from there. but if you have a reasonably priced bartending school in the immediate area it is suggested that you take the course just to get the “feel” of pouring and mixing drinks. The last thing a bartender wants is to get screamed at by the manager for under or over pouring drinks. Another advantage of going to bartender school is you get an idea on how to mix hundreds of different drinks, which of course a bartender needs. Experience really counts when you are hired. What makes Freeth such a cocktail whiz?

“I’ve been involved in the industry since I was knee-high,” he explains. “I grew up in a pub, first worked in Ibiza at 16, ran bars at university, then did seasons in Crete and elsewhere. ” He can add a degree in Leisure and Business Management and a Masters in Business Management and Entrepreneurship. Moreover, he is still only 25 (Sims 46). As you can see from his experience, growing up in a pub and going to different bars really gave him an edge in the business. PHYSICAL DEMANDS One of the greatest physical demands that bartenders have to overcome is working the graveyard shift.

Depending on the bars that you will work for a bartenders shift usually starts from around nine or ten in the evening to around five in the morning. This varies of course because some bars open earlier. This would throw your body clock into a fit especially if you are used to working the daylight shift. One other thing is you have to be able to know when a person is already intoxicated and know how to handle them “It’s important because the liability now is on the bars and bartenders. If somebody drinks too much, goes out and gets in an accident, they have the right to sue the bartender,” Rich said.

“Training protects the server as well as protecting everybody else. ” (qtd. in Fenwick 1). More so, if that in the case of intoxication is a minor, a bartender could find himself in jail for serving alcoholic beverages to minors. The last thing a bar wants is a lawsuit on one of their bartenders. STATISTICS According to the U. S Labor Department (Bureau of Labor statistics), 495,307 bartenders working in the country as of 2006, and the projected number of employed bartenders would reach 550, 952 by 2016. SALARY AND BENEFITS Average salary: $22,890, plus tips [Annual]

Demand: Good. Bartending remains a good job for those with top skills, as people have more disposable income for entertainment. Competition can be tight for top jobs with good tips. Qualifications: Must be at least 21 and know local laws. Bartending school or on-the-job training; experience, personality, and talent will mean better jobs and tips. (Boston Globe U. 15) The values shown above vary if you’re on the level. If you’re taken by a five star hotel or restaurant, you could expect the wage to be higher. A bartender’s salary is around minimum wage.

Ranging from around 10 to 12$ per hour gross. After taxes it would probably be around 7-8$ an hour. The real bulk of pay bartenders receive is the tip. A great bartender could earn twice his salary for remembering drinks or socializing with the establishments’ patrons. “A little bit of show makes more dough,” says Drobiarz with a smile (Lopez 1). This of course is an understatement when it comes to bartending. Some bars and restaurants give free meals during the shift of their bartenders. Most bartenders like most workers get paid holidays and vacations.

In some cases, for bartenders that wok in hotels or restaurants like TGI Fridays, they get health insurance and the sort. INTERVIEW An interview with a Bartender in Toronto named “Renan Mendiola” gave me an idea of what a bartender’s life feels like. He said that the most important traits a bartender should have is attentiveness, flexibility and great memory. He says that a bartender’s life isn’t just mixing and pouring. It’s more of socializing with your customers. He says that it doesn’t only keep you from getting bored, sometimes it also keeps the tips high.

Sometimes keeping an open ear and giving good advice could really help in terms of tips. Works Cited Alexandra Fenwick. “Taking a shot: Training may be required for bartenders”. Knight Ridder Tribune Business News Washington: Feb 4, 2007. pg. 1 Boston Globe. “Hospitality and Food Service; [1 Edition]” Boston, Mass. : 15 October 2006. pg. U. 15 Lopez, Elias E. ”Bartending instructor Mark Drobiarz teaches ABC’s of mixing drinks: Bartending instructor Mark Drobiarz not only teaches his students the ABC’s of mixing drinks, he also shows them how to add showmanship to their work” Knight Ridder Tribune Business News.

Washington:25 December 2006. pg. 1 Mendiola, Renan. E-mail interview. 3-5 December 2007. Mosher, James. “Bartending industry is always changing and evolving”. The Daily Record. Baltimore, Md. :2 December 2005. pg. 1 “Occupation Report. ” U. S Department of Labor. 15 December 2007 http://data. bls. gov/oep/nioem/empiohm. jsp Regan, Gary. “Instructor finds he can learn a thing or two from his bartending students. ” Nation’s Restaurant News. New York: 22 September 2003. Vol. 37, Iss. 38; pg. 44 Sims, Fiona. “Shaken all Over”. Caterer & Hotelkeeper. Sutton: Jul 1-July 7, 2004. Vol. 193, Iss. 4330; pg. 46

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