What is a Bar Supervisor?

Bar Supervisors are responsible for assisting with bar operations, ensuring that customers receive the best service possible, upholding a constant level of staff productivity, ensuring that the bar’s budget is not exceeded and maintaining health and safety standards within the bar.

Bar Supervisors typically report to higher-level staff, such as the General Manager, while simultaneously overseeing the work of lower-level staff, such as bartenders, waiters and waitresses. They can work both in an office setting and in the bar itself, and can be employed by either a standalone bar or a bar located within a hotel, restaurant or other establishment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, industry-wide demand for Food Service Managers, which includes Bar Supervisors, is increasing by 5 percent. This is expected to result in the opening of 15,700 new positions through 2024.

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Bar Supervisor Duties and Responsibilities

In order to ensure that their bar runs smoothly and efficiently, Bar Supervisors perform a variety of tasks. We analyzed several online job postings to identify these core Bar Supervisor duties and responsibilities.

Schedule Shifts

If a bar is understaffed during a busy period, the customers will usually receive a lower level of service and the staff will often become overwhelmed. Because of this, Bar Supervisors must schedule the shifts of all bar employees in order to accommodate events, promotions and popular days of the week. They must also keep the accommodation of their employees in mind, since many employees will be unable to work certain shifts due to personal obligations.

Hire Staff

It takes a particular type of person to succeed as a Bartender or Server, and it’s up to the Bar Supervisor to identify those people within a pool of applicants. In addition to evaluating each applicant’s skills and experience, Bar Supervisors may also need to oversee background checks of potential staff members.

Maintain Stock

The Bar Supervisor is responsible for constantly monitoring their bar’s inventory and replenishing it as needed. They may be solely responsible for this task, or they may work in conjunction with a purchasing department. When evaluating a bar’s stock, it’s necessary to take finances into consideration as well in order to strike a balance between overspending and under-stocking.

Assist Customers

When a customer has a complaint or is not receiving adequate service, it’s the job of the Bar Supervisor to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. Because of this, it’s essential that Bar Supervisors are always striving to maintain a high standard of customer service and be willing to do everything in their power to make sure that each and every customer is satisfied.

Report to Manager

In order to set lasting positive changes into motion, Bar Supervisors must regularly report to a designated senior staff member, such as the General Manager. Topics they may need to report on include budgeting, expenditures, staff performance, customer satisfaction and inventory.

Bar Supervisor Skills

Successful Bar Supervisors are problem-solving multitaskers who are just as adept at evaluating the bar as a whole as they are at completing small day-to-day tasks. They love talking to people, thrive on resolving issues and aren’t afraid to make split-second decisions. In addition to these general skills and personal characteristics, employers are looking for Bar Supervisors with the following skills.

Core skills Based on our analysis of online job postings, employers are seeking Bar Supervisors with the following core skills. If you’d like to become a Bar Supervisor, focus on these.

  • Excellent people skills
  • Great written and verbal communication
  • Ability to tackle a variety of problems
  • Ability to work well in a team environment
  • Attention to detail
  • High level of organization

Advanced skills Although most employers do not strictly require the following skills, they are often listed as preferred. To expand your career opportunities, hone in on these.

  • Previous experience in the hospitality industry
  • Extensive knowledge of state and local alcohol ordinances
  • Management experience

Tools of the trade Bar Supervisors use a number of tools to accomplish their daily work. If you’re planning on pursuing a career as a Bar Supervisor, you should be comfortable with the following.

  • Telecommunications systems
  • Point of sale (POS) systems
  • Business calculators
  • Inventory and budgeting forms
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Bar Supervisor Salary

According to findings published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for Food Service Managers, which includes Bar Supervisors, is $48,690. Bar Supervisors in the 10th percentile earn $28,780 per year, while those in the 90th percentile earn $83,010 per year. Bar Supervisors in Rhode Island, New Jersey and Delaware earn the highest median annual wage in the United States, earning $69,300, $68,400 and $62,300 per year, respectively.

Bar Supervisor Resources

We put together this list of resources to help you continue exploring a career as a Bar Supervisor. Whether you’re looking for blogs or books, this list is sure to have something for you.

On the Web
A Bar Above

This blog features many recipes for delicious alcoholic drinks, but it also has much more, including training program ideas, safety tips and advice for interacting with coworkers.

Buzztime Blog

Buzztime is a game service that provides interactive entertainment for bar patrons. Their blog focuses on the practices that can help you promote and market your bar, provide great customer service and stay caught up with industry trends.

Nightclub & Bar

This blog is packed with helpful articles pertaining to the bar industry as a whole. Includes industry news, promotional ideas and featured bartenders.

On LinkedIn
Bar Managers and Barmen

This group has more than 13,000 members and is designed to help members of the bar industry post and find job openings.

Nightclub & Bar Media Group

With nearly 5,000 members, this group is a great place to network with other bar industry professionals.

Food & Beverage Industry Professionals Group

Here is where you can share ideas, discuss trends and exchange advice with over 43,000 members.

Bar and Restaurant Success

This book can help you learn how to attract customers, increase sales and improve advertising techniques.

Running a Bar for Dummies

Covers all the basics of operating a successful bar, from legal issues to social media to cash flow management.

The Ultimate Bar Book

Contains recipes for more than 1,000 cocktails, as well as information on tools, barware and mixing techniques.

Bar Supervisor Resume Help

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