Bar staff or bartenders work in any establishment where drinks are prepared and served to paying customers.
Who can I work for?
The hospitality industry is enormous and bar staff can be found everywhere, although commonly working in pubs, clubs, hotels and restaurants.
Where and when can I work?
There are many opportunities as bars are almost everywhere, in locations such as airports, universities, health clubs, trains and cruise ships. The hours are wide-ranging too with certain venues open throughout the night. However, more often bar staff work unsociable hours, during evenings and on weekends.
What can I earn?
Most bar staff are paid by the hour and are usually offered the national minimum wage, which is approximately £6 per hour.
What are the benefits?
Bar staff have the opportunity to be in contact with different types of people, making it a lively, sociable job and customers often provide tips if they are satisfied with the service they have received. There is also an opportunity for increased pay or overtime during public holidays.
Are there chances of promotion?
Larger establishments will require more than one bartender making supervisory positions available. Bar work is also a great way for people to gain hospitality experience, with the possibility of progressing into other areas such as catering, events, promotions and travel.
What will I be responsible for?
When open for business, bar staff deal directly with customers serving drinks, snacks and sometimes meals. It is also their responsibility to ensure the bar is clean and safe to work in.
What qualifications do I need?
Bar staff rarely require formal qualifications but for long-term career minded individuals there are a variety of diplomas and awards available.
Do I need any experience?
Employers often look for applicants with previous experience of bar work or general customer service experience, such as work in a shop or café. Previous experience of handling cash will demonstrate that you are trustworthy but applicants are usually offered on-the-job training.
What attributes are needed?
You normally have to be over 18 to work in a bar, but can sometimes start at 16 under an apprenticeship scheme. Useful qualities to have as a bartender include an outgoing personality, good listener, numeracy skills, physical stamina and calmness under pressure.