What You Need to Know about Hiring a Bartender

By Ross | 1 Entertainment on Jul 26 2022

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bartender making drinks

How do you hire for a bar? What roles and responsibilities do different types of bar staff need to fulfil? Read our ultimate guide on hiring for bars to learn more about the positions you can fill, their key responsibilities, and the best ways to advertise your openings.

What Does a Bartender Do?

As one of the most sought-after positions, bartenders have one of the most challenging yet most rewarding jobs in the hospitality industry. In today's booming cocktail scene, they are the ones who run the show.

Their duties include but are not limited to:

Taking drink orders and preparing them to perfection
Interacting with guests
Upselling drinks
Making recommendations
Providing additional services
Creating drink specials and serving customers
Creating and managing drink recipes
Communicating with other staff members
Stocking supplies
Keeping the bar area clean and well-organised
Maintaining the bar's physical appearance

Bartender vs Mixologist

A bartender's job is focused on customer service and making drinks, making them a cocktail bartender. In contrast, a mixologist focuses on curating cocktails, designing them, and perfecting their skill set in that area. Many people may think there isn't much of a difference between the two jobs, but there are several key differences. Both positions are essential to a bar's success, but they are different jobs that have different responsibilities and duties.

Bar Tending: The Art of Mixing Drinks

In short, bartenders are the people that keep a bar running. They're the ones that bring you your drinks and make sure your night out is a great one. Bartenders are the lifeblood of a bar.

Bartenders can pour and mix liquor drinks, serve beer, wine, and spirits, and sometimes even serve non-alcoholic beverages. In addition, some bartenders will be tasked with mixing drinks for private and corporate events, and some may even take on the role of bar manager.

Bartenders must be able to multitask and perform each role with a smile on their faces and their guests' needs in mind.

The Bar Back and the Bartender

Occasionally, a bar has a barback, which is a specific staff member whose job is to prepare the bar before or during a shift. Their job is to help the bartender in any way possible. This includes ensuring that the bar has clean glasses and ice for customers, fresh garnishes for drinks, and just enough bottles of alcohol on hand.

Barbacks help keep bars clean and orderly. With the other members of the bar staff team, barbacks ensure that the floor is clean, that chairs and tables are in order, and that empty glasses are collected. Barbacks may also help prepare a bar for service by restocking the shelves with liquor, beer, wine and other types of alcohol once the staff completes an assignment. They also help track inventory levels and ensure that the bar is fully stocked.


In the end, bartenders have a lot on their plate. A good bartender must be knowledgeable of every drink on the menu, as well as complimentary snacks and food items. They should be able to multitask and work in a fast-paced environment. They must work with guests in a friendly manner and maintain a positive attitude. 

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