What you’ll love (and maybe not love) about working as a bartender

bartender makes fancy cocktail

If you’re great with people and enjoy creating tasty liquid concoctions, then being a bartender could be right up your alley. It’s a great part-time job, especially for night owls, who want to make great money that will still allow them to sleep in during the day.  

If you’re considering becoming a bartender, here are some important things to consider before you take the plunge! 

A licensed is required. Because you’re serving alcohol, you’ll need to have a mixology license to be legally hired by any bar or restaurant. Generally, this training can be anywhere from 3-6 months long, but once you obtain your license, it is typically good for at least 2 years. If you’re at all interested in bartending, then it may not be a bad idea to enroll in a course now, so you’re ready when a bar job becomes available. 

You’ll make most of your money in tips. Like many jobs in hospitality, you may get a low base salary and then get to keep any tips you make during your shift. With that being said, the pay can be very unpredictable and you’ll have to always provide the very best service to increase your chances of getting tipped. 
You’re on your feet a lot. Bartenders are often behind the bar for anywhere from 4-8 hours shifts. If you’re used to sitting down or prefer not to be on your feet this long, then the  bartending scene won’t be your cup of tea. In some cases, you could apply to work in an upscale restaurant that may not get as much foot traffic, giving you more time to relax during your shift. However, less foot traffic also means less chances to get tips. 
It’s a loud and fast paced job. If you’re looking at night club jobs or being a bartender in a busy restaurant, expect to be surrounded by lots of loud music and a “rush rush” vibe. You will need to handle multiple orders at a time that may require you to mix several liquors or juices together for each drink. 
You must be a master multi-tasker. Between remembering drink order, keeping tabs, mixing liquors together, providing top shelf customer service – it’s a lot for one person to keep track of. If multi-tasking can feel overwhelming to you, then think twice before becoming a bartender. 

If the above has you convinced that you’re ready to embark on a bartending career, then the next thing to do is think about where and what type of bar you want to work at. Do you want to be in the center of the action? If so, then a night club bar job may be attractive to you. But, if you prefer something more laidback and casual, then looking at bartending gigs with caterers or event planners could be your preference. 

You can find bartending jobs and more on our Food and Beverage page and on our Hotels and Resorts page.