Hotel bartender performing his duties

Essential Duties of a Bartender

Discover the essential duties of bartenders, best practices, and their impact on guest satisfaction in this hotel staff duty guide.

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 explore the duties and responsibilities of a bartender, including customer service, drink preparation, maintaining a clean bar, and ensuring compliance with alcohol laws.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  1. 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.
  2. Professional, courteous, and efficient service: Bartenders are the face of the restaurant 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Following standards: Bartenders should follow the restaurant’s standards for drink preparation, service, and presentation. Following these standards ensures consistency in the quality of drinks served and the overall guest experience.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.

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 bartdender duties in the hospitality industry, we recommend the following resources:


Websites for bar tending professionals:

Diffords Guide:

Bar Products:


Hotel Bar Service SOPs & Training Documents

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