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Bartender Duties and Responsibilities

In their daily routine, bartenders must complete several tasks in order to meet all job obligations. After examining several job listings, we have found the following to be among the most commonly listed responsibilities for this occupation:

Mix and Serve Drinks Bartenders mainly work behind bars, taking customer orders and preparing drinks. They should be thoroughly knowledgeable about wines, beers, and liquors and understand how to mix various cocktails and other drinks.

Maintain Bar Area Bartenders keep the bar clean and orderly. This includes everything from wiping down glasses and the bar top to maintaining an inventory of liquor and bar supplies. Bartenders typically keep bar snacks stocked and peel and slice various fruits used for garnishing drinks.

Develop Bar Menus Bartenders can use their knowledge of commonly ordered drinks to help a business create a bar menu. Bartenders help describe each drink listed on the menu and add or remove drinks from the menu as dictated by popularity.


Bartender Skills

Bartenders should possess strong verbal communication, customer service, and interpersonal skills, as well as a warm and friendly demeanor, as they spend their days interacting with customers of various social and economic backgrounds. It is helpful for bartenders to have above-average math skills, as measuring drinks and handling money are major aspects of this profession. Employers also prefer candidates who possess the following abilities:
  • Discernment - bartenders must be well versed in their state's alcohol and liability laws; able to spot customers who may have had too much to drink and unobtrusively take steps to prevent intoxicated customers from drunk driving by arranging transportation or calling a taxi; as well, they have to be on the alert for underage patrons
  • Communication and listening skills - bartenders welcome customers, take orders, serve drinks and food, and chat both to maintain a friendly atmosphere and to limit liability if there are indications that a patron might be getting intoxicated
  • Organization - bartenders are multi-taskers—they serve multiple customers at the bar as well as making drinks for restaurant patrons; they have to keep track of who ordered what, who paid, who still owes; and they have to keep the bar stocked and clean
  • Team player - bartenders should be adept at working in a team environment, as they work closely with waitstaff, managers, and other servers

Bartender Education and Training

There is no formal degree requirement for those seeking to become a bartender, however, most employers seek job candidates who have completed a training program at a vocational or technical school. These kinds of programs address such topics such as mixology, classes of alcohol, garnishes, and brand names.

Bartender Salary

The most current statistics provided by the BLS show that bartenders earn a median annual salary of $19,530; in the lowest ten percentile, they earn $16,980 and in the highest ten percent they can make $37,980. Bartenders working in restaurants tend to earn more than those working in other environments. States where bartenders are paid the highest mean annual wages in the U.S. include Hawaii ($35,960), Alaska ($31,090), and Washington ($30,480).

Bartender Resources

There are many helpful resources out there for those interested in becoming a bartender. Check out these links that are full of the latest industry news.

National Bartender's Association - Founded in 1986, this association provides professional bartenders with an online community, articles, and e-zine covering industry standards, bartender responsibilities, and more.

Bartender.com - A great website offering a free online magazine and news pertaining to bartending.

AllBartenders Blog - This blog contains articles about current trends, best practices, and insights into this career.

Bartending Blueprint Blog - From interviews to overviews of the job and job training options, this blog provides several insightful articles for beginning and seasoned bartenders. Working as a Bartender: Make Money and Have Fun - From job benefits to tips for having fun in this occupation, this book is a brief career guide for those considering working as a bartender. How to Become a Bartender: Get a Bartending Job With Little or No Experience in 30 Days or Less - This book explores various aspects of preparing for and working as a bartender, from setting goals and creating resumes to terminology and popular drink instructions.

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Bartender Resume FAQ

How do you format a bartender resume?

The best resume format for a bartender will depend on your experience level and personal circumstances. A good rule of thumb is that if you are highly experienced and are on an upward career trajectory, you should use the chronological resume format, which emphasizes work history. If you are coming to the job for the first time, whether through a career change or recent graduation, you may want to consider a functional resume format, which puts the emphasis on skills.

Our resume formatting guide goes into more detail on the three main resume formats, as well as resume formatting tips, like typeface, margins and line spacing.

What should be included in a bartender resume?

A bartender resume should include the following:

  • Your latest contact info so the employer can get in touch with you.
  • A 2- or 3-sentence career summary encapsulating your work life.
  • The skills and abilities that show you can perform the job.
  • Your work history starting with your most recent job.
  • Your education — even if your degree isn’t relevant to your work, including education will tell the employer whether you’re still in school or recently graduated.
  • Your license to serve alcohol (if you work in a state that requires licensure).

Make sure to include relevant volunteer experience on your resume as well.

What skills should be added on a bartender resume?

You should list the skills that make you most qualified for the bartender position. Popular bartending skills include:

  • Endurance
  • Cocktail recipes
  • Point-of-sale (POS) systems
  • Maintaining a tidy bar
  • Active listening
  • Multitasking

These are only some of the relevant bartending skills. Read the job description closely to identify more skills to add to your resume.

How do you create a bartender resume with no experience?

If you don’t have any bartending experience or any related experience in the service industry, you should use a functional resume format. The functional format diminishes the work history section and pushes skills and abilities to the top of the page.

How can a builder help you create a bartender resume?

First and foremost, resume builders save you time. Firstly, by choosing the right resume template you can save hours in formatting and designing. Second, filling out your work history inside the builder gives you prewritten content suggestions, meaning that you don’t have to write each section from scratch.