At a corner, away from the eyes of all those, sat a young girl who almost adored sipping a cup of black tea and turning the pages of the Bartender's Guide or Imbibe. Pure literature novels were her first love. She would luxuriate in Hardy and Milton and sometimes in Conan Doyle, but this sudden new-found joy in reading bartending books was surprising.
Anyway, her indulgence called the attention of a man, who was none other than one of the biggest hoteliers himself. It was a coincidence that the city's most famous hotel was in the same building as the bookstore. The man was always up for experiments. He invited her to join him and within a few months she was quite a rocking member of the service industry.
That was the story of how a young girl became a bartender. But, everyone's not that lucky and welcome co-incidences are uncommon. You definitely need a degree or experience or both to become a well-known bartender. So, we present to you the most appropriate work profile in case you are up for the hard work and dedication that this profession requires.
If you ask people, you would surely get the answer, 'It's fun and it's cool'. Sure it is, it's a lot of fun and a lot cooler than many other professions, sans the pains of long unending shifts, endless hard work, etc., etc., etc.
If you have no love for sleep, hate to follow routines, tired of maintaining good health, love to starve yourself and just adore watching people merrymaking all around while you don't have time to blink, this sure is meant for you.
By multitasking, you have to manage the bar, all kinds of guests, your complaining boss, the money part (the billing, tips, the extraction at times from not so willing customers, the runaways who are sure they don't want to pay) and also should be in a position to project your PR and marketing skills.
How Does a Bartender Work
- The speed rail―must have all the fast-moving brands in the right order
- Freezers―must be well stocked with beer
- The cigar humidor
- The bar―must be properly supplied with ice, juices (fresh and packaged), crushes, additives, fresh fruits and vegetables, non-alcoholic liquors, soda, energy drinks, and other garnishes.
The bartender must be sharp enough to judge a person the moment he walks in. Through experience he becomes quite capable of determining the age, status, and character of a person. He greets his guests and makes it a point to cater to their needs. A bartender must have a very amiable personality and must always be willing to help.
It gets quite taxing when your manager passes a piercing glance if you manage to forget the number of ice cubes a guest prefers in his drink (even if he is visiting your bar after God knows how many years!). He must be very smart and diplomatic.
Using his/her charms to impress and win over a guest proves to be rewarding. He needs to be updated with current affairs and things happening around. Basic knowledge of finance, sports, and entertainment works as conversation starters and also aids in customer building. Marketing skills and the knack to upsell, however, are polished with time and experience.
There has been a rapid increase in the number of schools which have mushroomed all over the country. Though you actually do not require much of a qualification to become a successful bartender, learning the most important tricks of the trade will always prove to be helpful.
You can enroll in a full-time course, or do a certification which is of a shorter span. All of these programs compulsorily include -
- All information related to a bar
- Detailed cocktail beverages and drink recipes
- Attire and conduct instructions
- Marketing skills
- Tips to work under extreme pressure
- Handling untoward situations
- All state and local laws and regulations related to liquor and tobacco
A fresh graduate has to slog very hard to achieve the skills and knowledge needed to reach a certain level of seniority. Employers too prefer experienced bartenders who have skills and personal qualities, and education usually takes a backseat. The minimum age to become a bartender is 21, though people above 25 are usually preferred.