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Bar Porter Duties and Responsibilities
Specific job duties for bar porters vary based on their employer. However, there are several core tasks common to all bar porters, such as:
Collect and Transport Stock Bar porters are responsible for collecting new stock of alcohol and other items and transporting it to the bar. This often includes driving to wineries or breweries to pick up orders and delivering them to the bar.
Maintain Bar Inventory Bar porters constantly check the bar's alcohol inventory and note when certain stock is getting low. They report inventory levels to an appropriate bar manager who is responsible for placing new orders.
Restock Other Bar Supplies Bar porters check the bar's miscellaneous supplies such as fruit, nuts, napkins, beer mats, and more. Once things run low on the floor, bar porters are responsible for restocking them to make sure bar clientele remains happy.
Clean and Organize Bar Throughout their shift, bar porters are responsible for cleaning the bar and the bar's seating areas. They take out garbage, clean up broken dishes, and keep the area clear of safety hazards.
Help Bartenders Bar porters help bartenders with anything they need. This typically happens during busy times at the bar, and they help serve drinks and food. They may also help prepare garnishes and mixed drinks as needed.
Bar Porter Skills and QualificationsBar porters can keep their cool under pressure and work well both with people and with administrative tasks. While employers don't require bar porters to have any formal education, they tend to hire candidates with previous experience working in a bar in a similar role. Employers also tend to hire candidates who have the following skills and qualifications:
- Inventory management skills - bar porters have inventory management skills, which allow them to easily maintain the bar's stock. They can use inventory tracking software and know how to place new orders
- Teamwork skills - running a bar successfully requires a whole team. Bar porters are part of that team, and they know how to work well with others
- Delivery experience - bar porters know how to pick up orders and deliver them to the bar appropriately. They can keep to strict delivery schedules
- Customer service skills - since bar porters often work with bar clientele, they are skilled customer service representatives and know how to help customers in times of high stress
- Communication skills - bar porters are good communicators since they need to constantly coordinate with bartenders, customers, and bar management
Bar Porter Education and TrainingJob candidates don't need any kind of formal education to become a bar porter, although most employers typically like to hire candidates with at least a high school diploma or GED. On-the-job training usually always happens when a new bar porter is hired. This training gives the new hire plenty of time to learn how to track inventory and make deliveries.
Bar Porter Salary and OutlookBar porters are usually paid by the hour, and their salaries can vary widely depending on the size of the bar and the area where they work. According to PayScale, the average bar porter makes a median salary of $10.53 per hour. Bar porters in the lowest 10 percent make as little as $8.55 per hour, while those in the highest 10 percent make as much as $15.94 per hour. However, many bar porters also make generous tips, which can add a nice bonus to their salary. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports an expected growth of 2 percent for bartenders and other bar employees through 2026, which is much lower than average. However, a higher amount of growth is expected for bar employees in full-service restaurants.
Check out this list of helpful resources you can use to learn more about bar porters and the industry in general:
Beverage Industry - this LinkedIn group boasts over 28,000 members, all professionals within the beverage and alcohol serving industry. If you join this group, you'll get the opportunity to network with other bar porters and bar professionals to learn more about the trade
A Bar Above - this website was created with the sole purpose of providing more bar education to everyone. It features a blog with frequent updates, a podcast, a YouTube channel, and other valuable resources
The Ultimate Bar Book: The Comprehensive Guide to Over 1,000 Cocktails - this book is full of classic and new cocktail recipes that you can use to increase your knowledge and better assist bartenders. If you want to learn more about drinks, start here
Raise the Bar: An Action-Based Method for Maximum Customer Reactions - being a bar porter is about more than just inventory; it's also about customer service. This book can help you provide the best experience for the customers you serve. It can also help you learn more about managing a bar properly, which is helpful even for bar porters
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