What Does A Bartender Do?

Whenever people go to the bar to have a good time, they often look to the bartender to provide them not only with drinks but with entertainment as well. Considered as the lifeline of the establishment they are working in, bartenders showcase their expert skills as they prepare and serve the drinks to the customers. Bartenders juggle and even dance while doing their task of mixing and serving beverages.

Bartenders begin their work even before customers arrive at the bar. In addition to making sure that the alcoholic drinks are complete, they see to it that they have supplies like straws, drink garnishes, drink umbrellas and napkins ready and in place. They must also make sure that their tools and implements which include bottle openers, pens for taking orders, lighters for patrons who want to smoke, as well as towels and seltzer water for cleaning are within easy reach.

When the guests start to arrive, bartenders start their work by greeting customers and taking their orders. They then prepare the drink that guests prefer. It can be as simple as pouring wine or serving beer or as complicated as mixing cocktail drinks following recipes. Bartenders must know how to serve vodka, gin and tonic, brandy, bourbon, margaritas, Jameson on the Rocks and Manhattan, among others. The bartender’s knowledge of drink recipes must be extensive and they must be able to prepare them swiftly and precisely.

Bartenders are also tasked with collecting payment for every order. They can do this in two ways depending on the establishment’s policies. Some choose to get payment from patrons after serving each drink while others opt to keep a tab of the drinks the customer has consumed. If the bartender operates using the tab system, he has to keep track of various tabs and see to it that each customer pays off his order before leaving the bar.

Chatting with guests and entertaining them with a joke or two are part and parcel of the job of bartenders. People go to the bar to de-stress and have a good time so being a great conversationalist is a must in this profession. Bartenders who know how to exchange a good banter with guests also receive more tips from appreciative customers.

Maintaining a clean bar is a task that bartenders must also fulfill while they are on duty. They must wipe the bar top constantly, ensure that the bottles are turned to face forward position and that the stools are straightened. A clean bar also means that all the supplies, implements and tools that the bartender needs to make his drinks is in their proper place. Aside from keeping the bar neat, a well-arranged bar also contributes to the bartender’s efficiency and speed in delivering orders to customers.

Bartenders also have to observe personal hygiene within themselves by wearing neat clothing and frequently washing their hands. They must never touch any part of their body while preparing the drinks. If they must cough, they must do it to the crook of their arm and if they should sneeze, they must never sneeze straight directly to the customer’s face but must sneeze down.

Bartenders are also responsible for the welfare of their customers. If they suspect that the customer is not of legal drinking age, they may require identification to be sure. It’s important that the bartender serves alcohol only to those who are legally allowed to drink because they could suffer fines if they serve these beverages to minors. They must also know the rules regarding alcohol in the state where they are providing their services as there may be acts that are legal in one and not allowed in another. But no matter which state they are working in, bartenders are legally obligated to refuse serving more drinks to a customer who is already drunk. Bartenders should be able to tell when a person has already had one too many bottles and must stop serving drinks with finality to the guest.

The job of a bartender is not over when the people leave. He is often required to help clean the bar, take out the trash and wash the glasses. They also turns over the earnings of the night to the bar manager.

Career Spotlight: Bartender



As a bartender, your main task is to take orders from customers either directly or through the waiters, prepare them and serve them. You are knowledgeable about wine, draft beer, bottled beer, cocktai[...]

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