You can get your first bartending job
one of the following ways.
1. Get hired off the street and learn from the employer.
2. Start as a bar back or server and get put behind the bar.
Let’s look at each one.
Get hired off the street and learn from your employer.
This is what you should try first.
Landing a bartending job this way is done by
people that are good at selling themselves.
So, lets look at a basic plan to start.
Choose 10 places that you would like to work.
You enjoy these bars and can picture yourself selling
drinks to people that love coming to see you.
They come to see you because you are a fun, easy going
bartender that knows what they like.
Visit these 10 bars as a customer and see how
they operate. You are there as a customer, but look at
the place as a business.
If you only go to a bar on one night of the week
then you won’t really see everything you need to.
When doing this type of recon go on a week night
that will be slow.
The reasoning is, that will probably be the type of
shift that a new bartender will work.
Then go on a second night that’s busy.
Slow nights also make it easier for you to see what’s
What types of drinks are being served the most?
Is the staff friendly?
Are there a lot of regulars?
How are you and other non-regular customers being treated?
You might be able to visit 2-3 places in a night.
Sometimes you will leave a bar after one drink
because the place sucks, so scratch that place
off of the list and replace it.
Don’t forget to check out places during the day,
if they’re open. Daylight shifts can be good if
the place serves lunch. Sometimes Day shifts also
work through Happy Hour and that makes those shifts
While visiting these bars.
Do Not ask for an application as a customer.
Talk to the bar staff, keep the conversation
simple and don’t let on that you are there watching what’s
happening. No one should know that you’re job hunting.
What you’re doing is establishing a positive memory
with that bartender so that when you come back
to apply for a job, they will tell the manager that
Going back to the bars more than once is good idea
because it will help people remember you. Give a
good TIP when paying and follow the rules of “Being A
Good Customer” while there.
Remember that even if you get along with the bartenders,
you don’t want to ask questions that make it seem
like you are fishing for information. It will make
any ground work that you established seem fake.
Now that you’ve done that it’s time to go back
and turn in your resume and application.
When you apply, do it during hours that are not busy.
Between 2 pm and 4 pm are good times because it’s
after lunch and before dinner.
If the place is only open at night then find out when
they open and show up then to apply for the bartending job.
If they aren’t hiring leave your resume anyway.
Pick another place so that your list is still 10.
Once you have applied to at least 10, look for more. Repeat.
The key is to get an interview. It takes time.
Interviewing for the bartending job.
You don’t have experience, so highlighting your
strengths is really important.
A great personality and being trainable should be your
two major points of focus when interviewing.
Also make sure they know that you can free pour
accurately.(You can right??).
It is very likely that before you hit 10 interviews you will be employed.
If you aren’t employed by 10, then you might be the problem
and not realize why.
It could be many things but you need to be honest with yourself.
Does your personality suck?
Are you too shy?
Do you come across as mean or abrasive?
Did you argue with the interviewers?
Do you smell bad? Breath or body.
This list could go on. It really comes down to you being
very honest with yourself about who you are.
Lets talk about resumes. Write one!!!!!!
It doesn’t matter that many bars and restaurants have
pre-made applications for you to fill out.
What matters is that you have a resume that you can
reference while filling out the application and submit it
with the application.
Do NOT ask for a pen or pencil. YOU need to have one.
Other wise you will be given a crayon or marker to fill out the application.
This tells the manager DO NOT even look at the application.
In the end it all comes down to getting that first
bartending job and racking up experience to add to
Next, we’ll discuss getting hired from within.
Starting as a bar back or server and getting put behind the bar.