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How to Write a Bartender Job Description (Duties, Responsibilities)

Grace JidounAuthor

How to Write a Bartender Job Description (Duties, Responsibilities)

The textbook bartender job description is the person in charge of the bar. They are the one who makes the drinks, serves the customers, and collects the money. But the explosion in cocktail culture has led to a new generation of bartenders with a much broader scope of duties. 

Many bartenders concoct their own drink recipes and make their own drink accoutrements, like sodas, infusions, bitters, and more. The job title usually indicates the scope of the job: mixologist or bar chef has different connotations than barkeep or bartender.

A mixologist, for instance, might focus on making creative libations behind the scenes, while a barkeep will have mastered the art of “tending bar” by building customer relationships. No matter the position or restaurant, a good bartender is friendly, organized, and has a deep understanding of alcoholic beverages. 

In fact, many need an encyclopedic knowledge of drinks to make recommendations or modify ingredients to fit different tastes and preferences. Bartenders know precisely what beers are on tap at any given moment and what brand of vodka is available for that White Russian. They need excellent time management skills and a good memory not only for drink recipes but for customers’ faces. 

Perhaps most important of all is training. Potential bartenders don’t just walk into a bar and start slinging drinks; most states require alcohol server-seller training in some form, and a relevant certificate will be required.

List of Duties for the Job

Prepare alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages for customers

Whether it’s a crowded happy hour at a hotel or a trendy speakeasy, bartenders need to know their repertoire of drinks inside and out. This can be as simple as knowing how to pour a beer properly. Or it can mean mastering the cocktail craft to the point of inventing new drinks. 

The bartender knows which brands of alcohol are available and what ingredients are running low and can easily make substitutions without compromising quality. They communicate clearly with the barbacks to ensure that all the tools of their trade are in place— including glasses, garnishes, and stocked bottles — and ensure everything runs smoothly during service.

Take orders

A large part of being a bartender is communicating with customers and nurturing relationships. A bar milieu is often chaotic and loud, and bartenders must be highly proactive about taking orders. Multiple customers may sidle up to the bar at once, and a bartender will communicate efficiently and effectively which each one. 

These days, drink menus have seasonal ingredients and obscure terminology that can leave customers clueless as to what to order. Good bartenders are friendly professionals willing to answer questions and guide guests through the menu.

Serve drinks, snacks, and sometimes food items

Bartenders can serve dozens, if not hundreds, of drinks during peak hours. This means taking orders, mixing drinks, and processing payments. The bartender might have multiple tabs running with new orders coming in at every turn. 

The job requires some serious multi-tasking. Promising candidates will be able to work quickly and methodically in fast-paced environments. The POS system will be key to staying organized, and bartender candidates should be familiar with POS software or willing to learn.

Interact with customers

It’s essential for those who get into the craft not to forget the customer service aspect of bartending. Bartenders must live by the mantra that there’s no such thing as a bad drink. In other words, the customer gets what they want. 

Drink recipes can be learned, but bartenders need a strong work ethic, solid communication skills, and a shot of charisma and charm to elevate their game.

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Bartender Job Description Sample

To make it easier to create a bartender job description, here’s a sample you can use. 

Job Title: Bartender 

Salary: $10–$20/hour 

Tip Income: Yes 

Schedule: Full-Time (40 hours per week). Monday–Friday 

Role: We are looking for a friendly, enthusiastic Bartender who is quick with a pour and can provide guests with a top-notch drinking experience that we are famous for. Candidates will have an extensive cocktail, beer, and wine knowledge and make sure our guests feel valued and well taken care of.

Duties

  • Training for alcohol certification required 
  • Prepare alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages for bar and restaurant guests 
  • Interact with customers, takes orders, and serve drinks and snacks 
  • Extensive knowledge of beer, wine, and cocktails 
  • Evaluate customer's needs and make recommendations 
  • Provide excellent customer service, so guests feel taken care of 
  • Mix ingredients to prepare cocktails 
  • Plan and prepare drinks menu 
  • Check customers’ identification and confirm it meets the legal drinking age 
  • Work closely with barbacks to restock and replenish bar inventory 
  • Comply with all food and beverage regulations

Additional requirements: Able to walk or stand for long periods. 


Tips for Writing Effective Job Descriptions

  • Emphasize any required training for the job, such as an alcohol server certification. Depending on the state, these certifications may be mandatory. 
  • Include specifics about the culture and atmosphere at your bar or restaurant. This will help you attract the right candidates for the job and ensure a good cultural fit. 
  • Provide clear expectations and minimum qualifications for the job. For instance, whether you’re willing to hire someone new to bartending or looking for candidates with years of experience behind the bar.


Conclusion

A bar is where people of all backgrounds come together to create community, and the Bartender is at the center of it all. Great candidates will be able to balance their expertise in beverages with warm, personable service.

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