A bartender is someone who serves beverages behind a licensed bar to paying customers. A bartender can also be called a barkeep or a barmaid. Bartenders are found in bars, pubs, taverns, nightclubs and other such places.
The bartender mixes and serves drinks, and the majority of drinks a bartender is making contain alcohol, such as beer, wine, liquor, liqueur, coolers and cocktails. They also serve water, juice, pop and other non-alcoholic beverages for customers who do not wish to drink alcohol such as a designated driver or a non drinker.
As well as make and serve drinks, the bartender is also responsible for taking payment for drinks (either from customers, waiters or waitresses), keeping the liquor supplies and glassware stocked, keeping the bar area clean, maintaining enough ice and garnishes on hand and serving food to customers sitting at the bar, if the bar offers food for sale.
Often, the bartender is expected to dress appropriately to add to the atmosphere of the bar. In some establishments, the bar tender might participate in flair bartending, which contributes to the entertainment in the bar.
Bartenders are expected to be able to mix hundreds of types of drinks to please any paying customer in a quick, accurate and non-wasteful fashion. In some establishments, such as a busy nightclub, the bartender is only expected to serve the customer a drink and nothing else. In a smaller place such as a tavern however, the bartender might be expected to be a good listener, and allow the customers to have a shoulder to cry on.
All bartenders should be friendly, however, and enjoy having contact and communication with customers. Good bartenders have a way of attracting regular customers. Good bartenders like this will remember the favored drink of regular customers; have drink recommendations on hand or recommendations for other bars, as well as several other unofficial duties.
In most countries, tipping is expected of the customer, and this is how the bartender gets the majority of his income, as most bar tenders are paid minimum wage.
In some places, minors are allowed in bars, and it is the bartender’s responsibility to check for identification before serving them alcohol.
If this sounds like a lot of work, with not much reward, look on the bright side. You are working at an establishment that serves gallons of liquor each day, and you are in charge of it. The job of bartender is management, customer service, and so much more! Even a bartending job looks good on a resume when you present it in the proper way!