How much is bartending school?
That depends on the school, sorry they’re all different.
Bartending school cost can range from $200.00 to over $3000.00.
The $3k course is one that is conducted in NYC by a group of expert
mixologists and the course is only run once a year.
Typically a 40 hour bartending course runs $600 – $1300 and that depends
on the city(cost of living) and how much competition is in town.
Go look at the online forums that talk about bartending and
search for bartending school. The responses by most of the
bartenders are negative or simply say you don’t need it.
If you’re thinking about going to a school to learn bartending,
then you need to thoroughly research that school.
If the bartending school comes across as shady and seems to be pressuring you
to part with your money then maybe you should look at a different
Check the BBB.
If the place doesn’t have an A rating then don’t buy their services.
After all if a business that is supposed to teach customer service
can’t resolve issues with their customers, clearly they aren’t good.
Make sure you tour the school before making a decision.
Understand what their curriculum is and ask questions about
what is going to be taught.
Just like any type of training or education the quality of
the bartending school is going to matter, but so does what you put into it.
If you think that paying someone for a piece of paper that states
you are a bartender is going to get you a great job then you need
to do a lot more research about what being a good bartender is.
Now there are the bartenders that say the only real way to become
a bartender is to “pay your dues.”
You will need to become a barback or server, work at that for a
few years and then maybe you can be accepted by the community
for an audition as a bartender.
If these arrogant jerks decide you’re cool enough, then they might
start to show you how to become a real bartender.
This type of nonsense stops good people from becoming great bartenders.
Another problem that you need to be aware of is “the carrot on a stick”.
You get hired as a server or barback and are told that if you do a good
job then one day when a bartending position opens you might get it.
I have been hired as a bartender and the position I filled was supposed
to be for someone that was a server. She wasn’t happy.
You see she did a really good job waiting tables, and the manager didn’t
want to lose a good server to the bar.
She did a good job and was penalized for it.
That’s messed up.
A bartender needs to be trainable.
Being trainable is what you need to be. A good bartender can take a trainable
person with no experience and help them become a good bartender.
Many bartenders got their start by knowing a bar owner or manager
that gave them a job behind the bar because of these things:
This is how I got my start.
After having three years of bartending experience I moved back home
and looked all over the city for a bartending job and wasn’t getting hired.
(This was in 1995, so pre-online everything.)
I decided to go to bartending school, the school knew of a few places that
were hiring, but I ended up finding a job by filling out lots of applications.
I didn’t need bartending school, I needed to go do the work of finding a job.
That’s how I got employed as a bartender.
If you can find someone that will hire you without having any experience,
then do that.
Most people don’t succeed getting a job as a bartender because they don’t
want to do the leg work or they’re scared of rejection.
If you do have a bartending school near you and you want to attend it make
sure you check reviews and see if they have any kind of testimonials or
any graduates that can tell you about their experiences.
The duration of the program matters also. Obviously a longer program
will be able to give you more instruction.
That probably means that the price will be higher too.
With so much available online you can train yourself in the basics,
memorize drink recipes, and best practices for bartending ALL FOR FREE.
Instead of spending hundreds on bartending school spend tens of dollars
on some equipment, that you can always use.
Start training yourself now.
You are the best bartending school for you.