The life of a professional bartender is incredibly exciting! Events throughout the year offer bartenders the opportunity to meet new people, travel locally (and at high levels, nationally and even internationally), and show off their skills to guests. There are many events that can benefit from hiring professional bartending services (such as weddings, company anniversaries, bridal showers, and holiday parties), and you get to experience them all.
Hoping to work as a professional bartender (even as a part-timer)? Here are our pro tips on how to get started…
Start Small and Focused
First things first: Get certified and learn to make some basic cocktails. There are a variety of different bartending schools in every major metropolitan area; find the one that’s right for you and do a +40 hour class to learn the basics. Thereafter, ask every person you know if you can help throw their next party; you need as much experience as possible. (P.S. Make sure you have any required licenses in place before embarking on any first professional bartending gigs. Licenses may include business licenses as well as food service and liquor licenses. Check local and state regulations carefully).
Find your First Bartending Job
Once you know your basic drinks and have made them for your inner circles (and perhaps a few strangers), look for your first bartending job. Ask around for referrals… Your friends, neighbors, and coworkers can be a goldmine of possibilities for landing a local bartending position.
You never know what kind of bar you’ll be perfect for, but we recommend focusing on those where you would like to drink. Every bar has a specific culture that they’ve created, and if you love the bar you’ll likely fit in well. Remember that in our industry seemingly random events often turn into something beyond your wildest dreams. At spome point in their career, having a drink at a bar and chatting with the working bartender has turned into employment for nearly everyone that is currently on our team.
Land Your Dream Job
Throughout modern history, the bartending profession has been characterized by friendly, outgoing personalities. If you are a social person, professional bartending will opens the doors for social interaction with a wide range of people, and at some point will lead to a connection with someone at the top of the industry. Ask them if they have any opportunities for which you could be considered. Competition in professional bartending can be fierce. One great way to stand out from the competition, even if you’re just getting started in the business, is to make a personal connection before giving out a resume.
Haven’t found the perfect job yet? Continue to develop your bartending skills, mixology knowledge, and dedication to incredible customer service. After every shift, ask yourself what you did well, and what you could do better. Immediately implement your own feedback.
Finally, when you’ve been bartending for over five years, have a strong resume with a large variety of experience and advanced mixology knowledge; send us a resume! We’re always looking to grow our team, and can help you get to the next level.