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How to become a bartender

In the United Kingdom, the average salary for a bartender is £23,403. Bartenders work in establishments such as public houses and hotels, serving alcoholic drinks to their customers.

Training and experience

Bartending school Some people who want to become a bartender may attend a bartending school or course. Although this isn't an essential requirement for people seeking bartender careers, those who attend will have the opportunity to learn how to mix and prepare a wide variety of alcoholic beverages, as well other important skills such as the correct methods of storing alcohol and equipment used behind the bar. Hands-on experience There is a higher likelihood of being able to attend a course or bartending school for those who live in a big city. However, bartending school is not a necessary entry requirement for those wishing to take this career path, and one of the best ways of learning for this career is by gaining real hands-on experience working in a bar, pub or club. Skills Before starting to work behind the bar, training is required. Some employees may start by carrying out simpler tasks, such as glass collecting or washing glasses.
People working behind a bar also need to be confident with excellent customer service skills. You will sometimes have to communicate with customers who have been drinking heavily and sometimes this can include refusing to serve more alcohol to somebody who is clearly already intoxicated.

Responsibilities

Health, safety & duties Bartenders often have to serve drinks and snacks to their customers as well as taking the payment. Sometimes, in a restaurant environment for example, they may have to prepare simple meals and serve hot and cold meals. For Health and Safety reasons, bartenders have a large responsibility of making sure that their establishment is kept clean. This involves cleaning tables and surfaces, emptying ashtrays and washing glasses. Bartenders also have to restock the bar, which includes changing barrels and restocking shelves. Sometimes, a bartender may also have a role in the organisation of events.

Progression

The hospitality industry employs more than 1.8 million people in the United Kingdom. Progression is available in this industry, with job roles varying from events organising to management level positions in bars, restaurants and hotels.

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