T Nation

Getting A Bartending Job?

this is kind of random, but judging from the name of the forum, i think its alright. Would anybody know how to get a foot in the door of the bartending business? I already got duped into taking a course and that didnt do shit towards helping me get a job though i learned some pretty useful info.

[quote]rustam wrote:
this is kind of random, but judging from the name of the forum, i think its alright. Would anybody know how to get a foot in the door of the bartending business? I already got duped into taking a course and that didnt do shit towards helping me get a job though i learned some pretty useful info.[/quote]

If you don’t have experience and this is something you really want to do, one way is to start by bartending at a restaurant that will train you. You will get some behind the bar experience and learn how to actually make and serve drinks in real life, as opposed to a classroom setting. You probably won’t make as much money, though some restaurant bartenders make good money(depends on the restaurant), but it will be a stepping stone.

Start off at a chain like Chili’s or TGIFriday’s. Work there for about 6 months and you’ll have enough experience for most places to hire you. If they’re looking to hire, that is. Find a place that gets high volume. The good thing about restaurants is, even if you don’t get many customers at the bar, the servers still tip you out based on what they made.

the classic foot in the door is to get hired to barback and do a KICKASS job.
before any decent bar will let you serve liquor and handle their cash you need to prove yourself as a reliable worker. you also need need personality and good judgement under pressure. as a barback you can master the most important parts of the job: the set-up/prep-work/supply flow/keeping a clean bar and even cleaner glassware. if you can’t keep a busy bar organized, clean, and supplied in your sleep then you’ve got no chance when you also have to deal with customers, drinks, and money.

i’d shoot for the barback job. but if it were my bar i wouldn’t hire anyone i hadn’t seen work to barback either. it’s too important a job. rather i’d offer one of the bussers who i already know can kick ass a barbacking job. so that may be a way in also. if it’s a restaurant get hired as a busser, prove yourself, and get friendly with the bar @ the same time.

Swivel is right.
If a barback job is not availible try waiting tables. When you work in a restaurant offer to close or open each shift to maximize cash. There is always some wuss who is scheduled to close and wants to go home. Close the shift,increase your money and gain respect in the eyes of management. All restaurant jobs revolve around multitasking and cleaning. If you show management that you can hustle and get the job done…they will move you to the bar

Old Crabby and Swivel have it. I can speak for my area, northern Virginia.

The restaurants do not really hire bartenders off the street unless they know someone, or have an “in” somehow. Your best bet is to get a job waiting tables at a place that has a decent bar, then work your way into the bar.

The thing is, many servers want in the bar too, and the people that have been there are going to get the job before someone off the street.

thanks, all of that is pretty good advice but i’m also a student and i don’t know how much time i will have and any job, busboy or waiter or bartender jobs gonna have to be part-time. does anybody know if there’s a realistice chance of me ending up with a bartending job if i work mainly part time except for breaks?

[quote]oldcrabbybastard wrote:
Swivel is right.
If a barback job is not availible try waiting tables. When you work in a restaurant offer to close or open each shift to maximize cash. There is always some wuss who is scheduled to close and wants to go home. Close the shift,increase your money and gain respect in the eyes of management. All restaurant jobs revolve around multitasking and cleaning. If you show management that you can hustle and get the job done…they will move you to the bar[/quote]

bingo. get a job cleanin tables and work your way up. bartenders get paid pretty well, and it’s a hard job to boot, so they’re not gonna give it to some bum off the street.

Think about dealing cards if there is a casino close by too. You can make a lot more money and depending on where you live you might be able to get a job pretty quick.

Swivel is right.Barbacking is the most frequent way in. In most restaurants [all that I’ve seen] you have to wait tables for at least a year before you’re put behind the bar. Knowing someone also helps a great deal. If you’re a good looking girl [fakies help] you can start as a cocktail waitress. I have a couple of ex’s who started that way.In most cases, “graduating” from bartending school doesn’t mean shit.

I’m at a point in my life where I would never do it again, but I worked as a bouncer and bartender for 3 years. Go to a bar you like, ask to see the manager, ask if he is hiring. Don’t ask to be a bartender, because unless you’re a hot chick, they will tell you no. Ask if they’re hiring floor staff. Start there, work your way up. Easy money, good times, lots of girls.