Behind the Bar: What It Takes To Be a Bartender

It can’t be that hard. Can it? Truth is that being a bartender isn’t as easy as the movies make it out to be. That handsome man casually drying off the same glass while chatting with customers for hours is more fiction than fact. Professional bartending requires passion, skill and a drive to do your best every time. It is hard and tiresome work, yet also extremely rewarding. Here are some things to consider if you think the mixologist life chose you.

Shift Work

After hours, weekends, public holidays. Being a bartender means saying hello to working these on many an occasion. This isn’t always the case; the busiest bar shifts and events take place when the 8-5 crowd aren’t working.

Shifts can be great for those who thrive on irregular routine. In most cases, you’ll work one of two shifts – the daytime shift or the nighttime shift. The night shift is perfect for those night owls who like to sleep in during the day. This flexibility also allows you to do other activities during the day. For students, bartending at night or on the weekends gives them a chance to earn money while they study. Something a job with traditional hours would not.

Shifts also give you the chance to earn more based on the number of hours you can handle. Working a double shift means double your earnings. This gives you the freedom to determine what you earn, as opposed to a job with set hours and pay.

Dealing With People

Being a bartender means you have an automatic cool factor. Who wouldn’t want to be friends with the person supplying the drinks? Serving drinks (especially alcohol) comes with the perks of working in an extremely social environment. You’ll get to make people happy and stir up plenty conversation.

However, being a good bartender also means having a thick skin. The nature of the job means that you will often have to deal with people under the influence. People can be rowdy, clumsy, and sometimes even aggressive. You’ll have to know how to properly manage all sorts.

Commitment To Your Craft

The best bartenders are truly passionate about what they do. This reflects in the drinks they serve, as well as their behaviour. A good bartender is able to enjoy the most of what this fun job has to offer. This means working hard when it counts and being able to deal with large amounts of pressure to perform. By doing this, you’ll ensure a successful career that you can be happy and proud of.

Development of your skills is critical. You’ll need to be speedy and consistent while making quality drinks. Having a great memory is a skill that will help you more than any other. Constantly checking how to make different kinds of cocktails will slow you down tremendously. Committing a large variety of cocktails to memory will mean a faster turnover.

Pouring, Mixing, and All Things Drinking

Here comes the fun part. Being a bartender means you’ll have the best party tricks around. From milkshakes to margaritas, you’ll be able to whip up just about any drink in a matter of minutes.

Working as a bartender also means you are likely to work in lively and exciting environments. These include nightclubs, bars, events, parties and even the occasional boat. You’ll fit in well if you enjoy a loud and fast-paced atmosphere.

There are also bartender positions that offer quieter, more relaxed scenery.  These places include restaurants, country clubs and fine hotels and often come with a higher salary. However, acquiring a position in these establishments could take years of experience and proper training.

Got What it Takes?

It’s not a job for everyone, but it may just be your perfect match. If you are serious about a bartending career, ensure that your foundations are rock solid. Bartender training through a company like Thirst will give you that push to start your career off right. This is an intensive course designed to give bartenders the necessary skills to work a bar under a fair amount of pressure whilst making cocktails. One thing is for sure, you’ll have a great time along the way.

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