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Professional Bartending As A Career Move

Jun 13, 2008
If you're looking for an exciting career with great opportunities, then professional bartending may be a good career choice for you. Before choosing that career, however, you'll need to decide whether you're willing to accept the risks and responsibilities that go hand in hand with a bartending job.

Make sure the local demand for bartenders is high enough that you won't have to struggle to find an open position. Having the right skills and traits, or knowing where and how to acquire them, will also make a world of difference.

Bartending professionally requires a pretty specific skill set. Some say the most important qualification for being a good barkeep is exceptional social skills. Bartenders do best when they use humorous, friendly, borderline flirtatious attitudes.

The truth is, most people become more social when they're drinking. It would only make sense, then, that they would want a bartender who can joke around with them, and even join them in conversation.

When a customer feels as though the bartender is "one of them," they generally tip much better. As a bartender, your income depends heavily on what tips your customers give you. The second most important prerequisite for being a bartender is having a detailed memory.

A barman or barmaid, as a general rule, simply does not have the time to be writing down orders or looking up mixed drink recipes. In order to be successful, they must be able to instantly recall the steps and ingredients necessary to make any drink the customer orders. The longer it takes to make the drinks, the less money is made.

While keeping a friendly attitude is important for a female bartender, it is even more important to ensure that your customers do not misread your sociability. Some men can be dangerous when intoxicated, so they need to understand where the line is drawn.

Many bars now have a policy that all employees walk in groups of 2 or more to their vehicles at the end of the night, to minimize risks of unruly customers causing trouble. Watching for suspicious behavior, as well as refusing to sell alcohol to an already intoxicated customer, will also help reduce risks common to professional bartending. This may mean asking an aggressive customer to leave the establishment.

Professional bartending definitely has its pros and cons. As a bartender, it's much harder to avoid drinking too much or too often. Many people have found that they cannot handle being around alcohol all the time, as "social" drinking often becomes a daily event.

The right person, however, can easily earn a very good income working only part time. You'll meet some interesting people, many of whom may become "regulars." You'll hear hilarious stories, and develop great friendships with co-workers and customers. If you have the personality, then providing bartending services can be a wonderful and exciting career path.
About the Author
Learn more about professional bartending from Mike Selvon's portal, and leave a comment at our cocktails blog.
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