What are the essential bartender duties that are expected to set the foundation for a beginner bartending level.
Bartending is a skillful and dynamic job that requires knowledge, precision, and excellent customer service. A good bartender is an expert in mixing and serving drinks, has knowledge of alcoholic beverages and their preparation methods, and provides a warm and welcoming atmosphere for guests.
In this article, we will list the duties and responsibilities of a bartender, including customer/guest service, drink preparation, maintaining a clean bar and ensuring compliance with alcohol laws.
Duties and Responsibilities
– Thorough knowledge of the restaurant
A bartender should have a complete understanding of the restaurant’s menu, including food and beverage offerings. This knowledge allows the bartender to provide accurate descriptions of items to guests, make recommendations, and pair beverages with meals.
Practical Example: A guest at the hotel bar orders grilled salmon from the restaurant menu. The bartender, Daniel, with a thorough knowledge of the restaurant’s offerings, suggests pairing the salmon with a crisp and slightly fruity Sauvignon Blanc from the wine selection. Daniel explains that the wine’s citrus notes and acidity complement the flavors of the fish, providing the guest with a thoughtful and tailored recommendation.
– Professional, courteous and efficient service
Bartenders are the face of the bar/lounge and should always provide friendly, efficient, and professional service to guests. This includes greeting guests with a smile, taking orders, serving drinks, and ensuring guests are satisfied.
Practical Example: A lively group of friends strolls into the lounge’s bar for an evening gathering. Amina, the bartender, welcomes each guest with a smile. Effortlessly navigating through drink orders, she provides personalized recommendations when asked, then remains attentive to every detail, ensuring that guests’ glasses are never empty and that no request goes unanswered.
– Building rapport with guests
Building rapport with guests is essential for a bartender. By initiating conversation and asking questions, bartenders can create a welcoming and personalized experience for guests. This personal touch can increase guest loyalty and generate repeat business.
Practical Example: As the lively evening unfolds in the hotel bar, Alejandro notices a familiar face entering the establishment. Remembering the guest’s name from a previous visit, he warmly greets them by name and recalls their favorite cocktail, a classic Old Fashioned, going on to inquire about their day and seamlessly incorporating details from their last conversation.
– Following standards
Bartenders should follow the bar’s standards for drink preparation, service, and presentation. Following these standards ensures consistency in the quality of drinks served and the overall guest experience.
Practical Example: In the energetic setting of the hotel bar, a guest orders a classic Negroni, showcasing Erik’s mastery of bartender duties. Meticulously following the precise measurements outlined by the bar’s standards, he combines the gin, vermouth, and Campari with exactitude, ensuring a perfectly balanced mix. Erik stirs the concoction with a long-handled bar spoon, employing the essential bartending technique for this particular drink. Straining the mixture into a chilled glass, he finishes by delicately placing an orange twist as the final touch, adhering to the specified decorating technique.
– Suggestive selling
Bartenders should be knowledgeable about the restaurant’s daily specials, cocktails, appetizers, entrees, desserts, and after-dinner beverages. Using suggestive selling techniques, bartenders can make recommendations and increase sales.
Practical Example: As a group of patrons explores the menu, a guest expresses an interest in bourbon. Gulnaz, the bartender, seizes the opportunity and suggests the bar’s signature cocktail, the ‘Bourbon Bliss.’ This cocktail combines the rich notes of the chosen bourbon with a hint of vanilla, a touch of maple syrup, and a dash of bitters. Gulnaz then describes the cocktail, highlighting its smooth and balanced flavor profile that caters to the guest’s preference for bourbon.
– Maintaining a clean bar
Bartenders are responsible for keeping the bar area clean and organized. This includes pre-bussing empty glasses and dishes, wiping down the bar, and restocking supplies as needed.
Practical Example: As patrons enjoy their drinks, Sarah discreetly pre-busses empty glasses and clears used dishes, maintaining a tidy and inviting space. With a quick, practiced motion, she wipes down the bar, ensuring a clean and polished surface for the next round of orders. Simultaneously, she keeps a watchful eye on the stock levels, replenishing ingredients and supplies to guarantee a seamless flow of service.
– Making and garnishing drinks
Bartenders should be skilled in the art of mixing and garnishing drinks. This includes using appropriate glassware, measuring ingredients accurately, and presenting drinks in an aesthetically pleasing manner.
Practical Example: As a guest orders a classic mojito, the bartender, Lauren, deftly handles the precise bartender duties, measuring the right amount of rum, muddling fresh mint and lime, and adding a splash of soda to create the refreshing concoction. Lauren then skillfully selects a highball glass, meticulously garnishing the drink with a sprig of mint and a lime wedge before serving it to the guest.
– Operating bar equipment
Bartenders should be familiar with and able to operate bar equipment, including blenders, shakers, and pour spouts. Proper operation of equipment ensures drink consistency and guest satisfaction.
Practical Example: As a guest orders a frozen strawberry daiquiri, the bartender, Alex, adeptly navigates the blender, precisely measuring the ingredients and blending them according to standard instructions. For a classic martini, Alex uses a shaker, executing precise shaking techniques to chill the ingredients and achieve the ideal dilution. As the night progresses, Alex consistently showcases his familiarity with pour spouts, ensuring accurate and controlled pouring for each drink.
– Presenting the check and settling payment
Bartenders are responsible for presenting guests with their check and processing payment accurately and efficiently. This includes handling cash and credit card transactions and closing out tabs in a timely manner.
Practical Example: As the evening winds down in the hotel lounge, the bartender, Tim, handles the final steps of guest service. Observing that a couple has finished their drinks, he warmly presents them with the check, offering a genuine smile. The couple opts to pay with a credit card and Tim processes the transaction, ensuring accuracy in the total amount. With a swift and discreet motion, he returns the card along with the receipt, expressing gratitude for their visit.
– Compliance with liquor laws
Bartenders must be knowledgeable about state, county, and city liquor laws and regulations. This includes checking identifications to avoid serving underage guests and knowing when to cut off guests who have had too much to drink.
Practical Example: As a group of friends approaches the bar, the bartender, Michelle carefully checks each guest’s identification, ensuring that everyone is of legal drinking age. Later in the evening, Michelle observes a guest who has had a bit too much to drink and responsibly decides to cut them off, offering water and suggesting alternative non-alcoholic beverages. Her knowledge of state, county, and city liquor laws guides her actions, prioritizing the safety and well-being of the guests and ensuring a responsible and enjoyable atmosphere at the bar.
– Teamwork and training
Bartenders should work collaboratively with their co-workers to ensure a smooth and efficient operation. This includes training and guiding other bartenders as requested by management.
Practical Example: During a busy weekend shift, Nia seamlessly collaborates with co-workers, handling drink orders and supporting each other to maintain a smooth operation. Nia is occasionally asked by management to provide training sessions for new bartenders and with patience and enthusiasm, Nia imparts knowledge about drink recipes, service techniques and the bar’s operations, contributing to the development of a skilled and cohesive team.
– Opening, closing, and side work
Bartenders are responsible for opening and closing the bar, which includes preparing the bar for service, restocking supplies, and cleaning the area. Additionally, bartenders should perform side work duties as assigned by management.
Practical Example: Each morning, Hiroshi efficiently opens the bar, ensuring that everything is in place for the day’s service. He meticulously arranges glassware, restocks supplies, and sets the ambiance for a welcoming environment. In the evening, his commitment continues as he leads the closing procedures, meticulously cleaning the bar area and preparing it for the next day. Additionally, he diligently performs side work duties assigned by management, contributing to the overall cleanliness and organization of the bar.
Bartending is an important and multifaceted job that requires a wide range of skills and knowledge. A good bartender should have a thorough understanding of the restaurant’s menu, provide excellent customer service, maintain a clean and organized bar, and ensure compliance with liquor laws.
By following these duties and responsibilities, bartenders can create a memorable and enjoyable experience for guests and contribute to the success of the restaurant.
For more information on Bartender Duties in the hospitality industry, we recommend the following resources:
Websites for bar tending professionals:
Diffords Guide: https://www.diffordsguide.com/
Bar Products: https://barproducts.com/