How Do I Become a Bartender?

If you have ever thought that spending time dispensing drinks to patrons might be a good way to earn a living, the question, “How do I become a bartender?” may have crossed your mind. There are a couple of ways to get the knowledge required to tend bar in a restaurant, hotel, or resort. You can learn how to become a bartender on the job or take a bartending course to train for this type of work.

On the Job Training

Until the 1960s, bartenders were trained on the job. People working in this job would have started off working in the establishment as barbacks or serving staff. At that time, barbacks were responsible for keeping the bar area clean and well stocked, collecting used glasses and cutting garnishes. An experienced barback would be given the opportunity to work as a bartender if an opening became available.

The advantage to learning how to be a bartender through on-the-job training is that you would get paid to learn. Spending time in the bar area would give you the chance to decide whether you would enjoy the work and if you would be able to develop a good rapport with the clientele. The disadvantage to learning how to tend bar on the job is that you would be taught how to mix basic drinks which appeal to the visitors to that establishment only.

Go to Bartending School

The other choice for someone who is interested in a career serving drinks is to go to bartending school. There are schools which offer classroom instruction, as well as courses which are conducted completely online.

The advantage of going to a school which offers a classroom is that you will have a chance to practice what you are learning in a virtual bar in front of experienced instructors. An online course may cover similar material, but you wouldn’t get the same interaction with your instructor. It may be a better choice for someone who has some experience working in the hospitality industry who is interested in becoming a bartender.

When you are looking for a bartending school, be sure to consider your options carefully. Look for a well-established school which provides instruction in more than just how to mix drinks. The curriculum should include the following elements:

• Bar Set Up
• Equipment
• Mixing Drinks
• Garnishes
• Customer Service
• Alcohol Awareness

Along with these topics, a good program will also include instruction on different types of liquor, wine and beer a bartender will be working with. A prospective student will also want to find out about any job search assistance the school offers. Ideally, the curriculum will include job search and resume tips, as well as interview techniques to help graduates land a job after completing the program.

The answer to the question, “How do I become a bartender?” is that a person can learn the techniques for mixing and serving drinks on the job or by taking a course from a bartending school.

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