Bartending is the art and skill set of mixing and preparing drinks or beverages, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. Different types of ingredients and techniques create a wide range of cocktails and mocktails.
Bartenders serve all the beverages to the customers. They must be skilled in using different bar tools. For example, shakers, muddlers, jiggers, strainers, and many other tools help create unique mixed drinks.
Bartending also requires fluency and interpersonal skills. In bartending, all the bartenders play a vital role in creating a good customer service and relationship experience for customers and contributing to the overall ambiance of the bar establishment.
How to Become a Bartender Without any Prior Experience
A step-by-step guide to getting into a bartending job without experience:
1. Understand the Basics of Bartending Industry
There are different types of establishments in a bar.
- Hotel Bar: The bar is attached to the hotel as the main bar. This bar can offer a range of alcoholic beverages, and the ambiance is excellent.
- Dispense Bar: This type of bar is attached to the hotel’s restaurant. This bar can also offer several types of alcoholic beverages.
- Night Club: Basically, this is a place of relaxation and enjoying the dance to provide a nightlife experience with music, dance, and entertainment. This bar can offer a wide range of alcoholic beverages.
- Wine Bar: This wine bar can serve a wide range of wines. This bar can also serve cheese and other food items that are suitable for wine.
- Lounge Bar: This has a more upscale and sophisticated atmosphere. The lounge can provide comfortable seating areas, soft music, and a range of premium spirits and cocktails.
- Restaurant Bar: This kind of bar is attached to restaurants. This bar can serve different types of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
- Sports Bar: This bar is for sports personalities. It often offers a variety of drinks and pub-style food.
2. Enroll in a Bartending Course
Finding the right bartending course is crucial. Bartending is more than just mixing drinks; it’s an art that requires skill, knowledge, and the ability to create memorable experiences for customers.
With the growing demand for skilled bartenders, there are many places that offer bartending courses, both in person and online. But with so many options, it can be overwhelming to choose the best one for you.
- Identify Your Goals: It’s essential to identify your specific goals. Determine whether you want to pursue bartending as a full-time career or if it’s more of a hobby. Knowing your goals will help you tailor your course choice accordingly.
- Accreditation and Certification: Look for one that has been certified and accepted by pertinent industry organizations. An accredited course ensures that you receive quality training and that your certification will be respected in the job market.
- Comprehensive Curriculum: It should cover everything from the basics of mixology to advanced cocktail techniques. Look for courses that include hands-on training and provide opportunities to work with real customers.
- Experienced Instructors: Having teachers with experience in the industry can be very helpful. They can share valuable tips and tricks that you won’t find in books.
- Reviews and Testimonials: Take the time to read reviews and testimonials from previous students. Look for courses with positive feedback and a track record of producing successful bartenders.
3. Create an Impressive Bartending Resume
A well-formatted resume attracts interviewers. If your resume is good and eye-catching, only then will it get shortlisted; otherwise, you won’t appear for the interview. If your resume is perfect, then 30%–40% of interviews will be done. And it will have a great impact on the interviewer’s mind.
In your bartending resume, your skills must be highlighted with your name, contact details, career objectives, academic qualifications, achievements, work experience (if you have any), and personal information. These items must be specified in your resume.
4. Build a Professional Network
Attending bartending events is the best way to build a professional network and learn new techniques.
First, you should search for upcoming events. For example, Bartending seminars, alcohol- or Wine-related workshops, Bartending competitions, Trade shows, etc.
Then register or purchase event tickets by visiting the official event website to register yourself and secure your spot.
Check the event schedule to identify the particular sessions and workshops that you will attend.
Follow some bartenders and industry professionals who are already attending the event. Then connect through video call meetings or meetups to plan to attend some sessions together to enhance your network opportunities.
Check the event guidelines or contact the organizers to confirm the event requirements.
During the event! actively participate in sessions, workshops, and networking opportunities. Ask some questions, take notes, and be open to learning from industry experts.
After the event, build a good relationship with the industry professionals and all the fellow bartenders for future opportunities.
Also, you can join the different bartending associations; it’s a great way to enhance your skills and network with industry professionals.
5. Gain Practical Experience
If you want to become a successful bartender, then practical knowledge is more important than anything else. These practical skills can be developed through regular practice.
For that, you can apply for part-time or entry-level positions in any hotel or restaurant bar. If you work there, your practice will be maintained, and you will also start to earn a good amount of money as a bartender. And this will be very helpful to sharpen your advanced skills.
6. Mastering the Craft of Mixology
Learning about popular cocktails is both an art and a creative skill. If you want to learn how to make popular cocktails, then you should definitely follow these steps.
First, you research the cocktail recipes that are most popular. Then you write it down on paper.
Now you know the cocktail ingredients and techniques. Understand the different types of spirits, liqueurs, and mixers. Then you learn how to garnish cocktails. And also understand various methods of cocktail preparation.
Then you need to practice all the techniques that you have learned since the beginning.
Learning about popular cocktails is an ongoing process. And definitely, it takes time, practice, and exploring different types of new flavors and all the techniques.
And you can also join a good online bartending school to make the entire process easier.
7. Develop Essential Bartending Skills
- Customer Service: Customer service is the most important thing for a professional bartender. And a skilled bartender always knows all these things. That is why you not only need to serve drinks but also act as a host. For this reason, customers feel welcome, comfortable, and well taken care of.
- Communication: Effective communication can play a vital role in the bartender’s profession. At first, bartenders listen carefully to customers, and after that, they explain nicely. And the result is to build a strong rapport with customers.
- Product Knowledge: Product knowledge is very important for every bartender. It always helps to build career growth for a bartender.
- Upselling: Upselling skills are like the heart of every bartender. A skilled bartender can suggest higher-end or special drinks for those who are open to trying something new.
- Positive Attitude: A positive and friendly bartender makes patrons feel valued and appreciated.
- Teamwork: Bartenders are always collaborating with other bartenders. Teamwork always ensures a great service experience for customers.
- Time Management: Time management skills are very important in the bartending world. Time is very crucial in a bar. Multi-level tasks and various orders in the bar can help ensure customers are served promptly.
- Multi-tasking: The bartending operation is very busy, especially during peak times. That is why bartenders adopt multitasking skills. For example, managing different types of drink orders at one time and then serving each and every customer in sequence.
8. Landing Your First Bartending Job
First, search for job openings in bars, nightclubs, or any restaurants in your local area. Then you can check out different job boards and company websites.
If a vacancy is available, don’t be late. Send your resume, and if the vacancy is in your local area, then go for walk-in interviews.
But before sending the resume to HR, make sure you customize it and highlight if you have any relevant skills or experience.
9. Starting as a Barback
Starting your career as a bartender is a good way to get started. Here you can build your advanced bartending skills as well.
Barbacks are those who are responsible for assisting the bartenders, maintaining the entire bar, and helping to run all bar operations.
No formal education is required for this position, but I suggest you complete an online certification bartending course for this particular work. Because if you get certified, you can upscale your career very quickly.
Bartending is an art that involves the skillful mixing and preparation of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Bartenders play a crucial role in creating a positive customer experience and contributing to the ambiance of the establishment.
So, if you aspire to become a professional bartender with no prior experience, then follow these steps properly.
Some Frequently Asked Questions:
How do I get a bar job with little experience?
Yes, it’s possible to get a bar job and become a professional bartender with little experience. First, join any online bartending class, complete the course, and gain good knowledge about alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Then join any restaurant or hotel bar as a junior. Work there and get experience, learn all about working skills, understand the different types of guests, handle situations, etc. When you become well experienced and learn to work nicely in a bar, you apply to a reputed bar, give an interview, and join as a professional bartender.
How long does it take to get a bartending license?
The time period to get the bartending license varies depending on the country, state, or city where you plan to start your bar business. In some states, it takes only a few weeks or months. One more thing you can do is contact the local government agencies and liquor control brands. Understand the time it takes.
What qualifications do I need to be a bartender?
To become a bartender, you need a bartending certification from a reputed institute. It could be online or offline, which is
enough to be a barperson.
Do bartenders make good money?
Yes, of course, because bartending is both a creative field and an art. If you are a good bartender and if you have good bartending experience, then yes, you can make a good amount of money, which is approx. $76,627 per year.