Bartender Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Bartender, or Bar Person, is responsible for serving alcoholic beverages to customers in bars, pubs, restaurants and other similar venues. Their duties include mixing cocktails, serving drinks and cleaning the bar.


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Bartender duties and responsibilities

A Bartender provides a welcoming environment to ensure a high level of customer satisfaction in addition to serving drinks. Exact duties and responsibilities can vary from one venue to the next. For example, if a Bartender works in a restaurant, they may serve drinks and food at the table. At a concert venue, they might remain solely behind the bar counter and provide drinks.

Here are the Bartender’s most important duties and responsibilities:

  • Welcoming customers at the bar area and asking what they need
  • Providing knowledgeable and creative drink recommendations
  • Fulfilling customer drink orders accurately and promptly
  • Keeping the bar stocked by replacing empty bottles and kegs of beer
  • Cleaning the bar, washing glasses and wiping down surfaces
  • Taking cash or card payments from customers
  • Keeping up to date with the latest drink trends
  • Verifying the age and checking the identification of potential customers


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What does a Bartender do?

A Bartender works within the hospitality industry to serve drinks or food to the customers according to the orders. Bartenders are responsible for ensuring that they make the correct drink and give them to the right customers, whether they are standing at the bar or sitting at the surrounding tables.

Bartenders often provide drink recommendations to customers. They suggest wine pairings or get creative by mixing new cocktails or drink combinations. They receive money from customers for the orders and provide receipts while working, and they keep their serving areas clean and hygienic at the end of their shift.


Bartender skills and qualifications

Bartenders must have expert knowledge of beers, spirits, wines and cocktails. They also have the necessary skills to mix drinks in the proper proportions. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, along with the ability to work within a team environment, are essential to excel in this position.

Here are the top skills and qualifications that a Bartender needs to have:

  • Ability to relate with customers and make them feel comfortable
  • Attention to detail and ability to fulfil orders correctly
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment, dealing with multiple requests at the same time
  • Ability to work in a stressful, loud or intimidating environment
  • Practical bartending skills, such as using cocktail shakers or beer taps
  • Creative skills to mix new drinks or suggest new pairings
  • Confidence and knowledge to apply laws and inhouse rules even when under pressure
  • Mixology or hospitality qualifications


Bartender experience requirements

Bartenders must be aged 18 or above to take on work serving alcoholic beverages. Entry-level or trainee Bartenders can work without formal experience, but they need to demonstrate a solid knowledge of serving and mixing drinks. Most employers prefer at least a year’s worth of experience in a customer-facing role, but they also look for the ability to learn on the job and work as part of a team. Senior Bartenders need more than 2-3 years of experience working in a bar or restaurant, managing a team, delegating tasks and providing excellent customer service.


Bartender education and training requirements

Candidates can apply for jobs based on their experience and attitude instead of their formal qualifications. Some employers offer practical job training to provide the necessary skills to mix drinks and serve customers efficiently. An effective job description can mention mixology courses or an apprenticeship within the hospitality industry as additional requirements. Some employers also prefer candidates who possess college qualifications such as a Level 1 Award in Professional Food and Beverage Service Skills.


Bartender salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Bartender is £9.25 per hour. It may be dependent on experience, location and company.


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Bartender job description FAQs


What qualities make a good Bartender?

An ideal Bartender is energetic, genuine and friendly. Good Bartenders need innovative qualities to complement their knowledge of beverages. They have excellent attention to detail for remembering different orders and the customers who placed those orders. Bartenders also keep physically fit to be able to stand behind a counter for long periods.


Who does a Bartender report to?

Bartenders usually report to a Senior Bartender or a Bar Manager who is in charge of the bar area during their shift. Bartenders working in a venue may also report to an event manager. While working at the bar counter in a restaurant, Bartenders work under the supervision of the restaurant floor manager and waiting staff.


Do Bartenders need to know every drink?

Bartenders must have a detailed knowledge of wines, beers, spirits and non-alcoholic mixers. It is possible to know every drink or drink combination in the bar menu, but the bartenders need a willingness to learn and continuous improvement in their knowledge base.

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