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Bar Attendant Duties and Responsibilities

Bar Attendants have more duties and responsibilities beyond mixing and serving drinks. We analyzed several Bar Attendant job postings to put together this list of core Bar Attendant responsibilities.

Provide Customer Service This is one of the main responsibilities of the Bar Attendant. This includes taking food orders for those sitting at the bar and ensuring these orders get communicated to the kitchen staff. When it comes to taking drink orders, a Bar Attendant at a busy establishment must be able to take and prepare multiple orders at a time.

Prepare Beverages One of the first things a Bar Attendant learns is the industry standard "pour count " for pouring liquor. Consistent accuracy in this process is important for both customer satisfaction and the bottom line of the establishment. Not only is over-pouring potentially dangerous (due to customer intoxication), it costs a bar in lost revenue.

Monitor Patrons A Bar Attendant is often the last line of defense in preventing an excessively drunk patron from pushing themselves past their limit. They must have the social perceptiveness to see when a patron is too drunk, and must take the appropriate actions to ensure their safety.

Maintain a Clean Bar Keeping the bar clean and following health regulations and protocols is crucial. An establishment that serves food and beverages can get fined, and even shut down, for failing to meet health standards.

Restock Bar It is the Bar Attendant's responsibility to know the frequent sellers and make sure the bar is stocked accordingly. Some bars have a Bar Back to assist with this, and others it is the sole responsibility of the Bar Attendant.


Bar Attendant Skills

Few people appreciate the skill set of a Bar Attendant. It is one of those jobs people think is easy, but it takes a unique blend of soft skills to be a great Bar Attendant. Like servers, Bar Attendants make the lion's share of their income from tips. This means they have to have top-notch interpersonal skills. There's an old adage that says a Bar Attendant is part therapist, and there's some truth to that. A good Bar Attendant is a good listener who provides an ear to their patrons. The following skills are the ones we came across most often as requirements in our analysis of Bar Attendant job postings.
  • Communication skills
  • Basic math skills
  • Knowledge of mixology
  • Conflict resolution
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment
  • Ability to multitask and switch tasks seamlessly

Bar Attendant Salary

Before we discuss the salary of a Bar Attendant, it must be noted that Bar Attendants make a sizable portion of their income from tips. The amount a Bar Attendant can make from tips is relative to the amount of business generated by their employer. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says the national median salary for Bar Attendants is $19,500. Those in the top 10 percent make above $38,000, while those in the bottom 10 percent make $17,000. The top three states with the highest median salary for Bar Attendants are Hawaii at $30,700; Alaska at $27,700; and Virginia at $26,700.

Bar Attendant Resources

Are you intrigued by the career path of Bar Attendant? If so, then continue your exploration through the list of resources below.

BarsandBartending.com - Bars and Bartending is a blog that covers many topics related to working at or owning a bar. It has Bar Attendant tips, drink guides and Bar Attendant specialty tricks.

BartenderJourney.net - This blog, ran by Brian Weber, is another excellent resource for Bar Attendants. It has mixology videos, PDF guides and blog posts regarding the world of Bartending. It also accompanies a podcast by the same name.

ABarAbove.com - A Bar Above is one of the most extensive resource for mixology. This is a great place for aspiring and beginning Bar Attendants to learn a wide variety of drinks.

Webtender.com - This website has been around since 1995, which makes it one of the oldest Bar Attendant resources on the web. One of the most useful features is the " In my Bar" feature. Users just type in what they have in their fridge and it determines all the possible drinks one could make with those ingredients.

SuccessfulBarSecrets.com - This website is chock full of helpful articles on many aspects of being a Bar Attendant. This is a perfect resource for Bar Attendants looking to learn the trade quickly.

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