Are you looking to make Craft Bartending into a career? Here is a few of our suggestions to new bartenders on developing your physical skills behind the bar and also a few suggestions on career development as well.

Enter the Force of Bartending!

Skills Behind the Bar:

  1. Look to learn!
  2. Product Knowledge- know something about every bottle in your alcohol selection. Ask the manager for a product list and begin your own research on each spirit if you have to.
  3. Taste everything- This goes along with product knowledge, there is only so much you can learn from reading. When it comes to food, wine, spirits and cocktails, tasting it for yourself is the best way to talk knowledgeably about a product.
  4. Practice becoming physically better at your job on the slow days when it matters the most. Become more efficient at using 2 hands at the same time, stirring a cocktail while shaking another. Look to maximize every move you make on the slow days, and they will pay off when you get into the busy shifts.
  5. Always remember that we are in the hospitality business and we are there to make people happy. It’s always about our guests.
  6. Also hospitality is not only focused on the people that tip us, it should start with the people you work with. We see most of these people more than we see our loved ones. They are our extended family, for better or worse.

Career Development:

  1. Join the United States Bartending Guild if there is one in your city. This organization is a great place to meet other passionate bartenders, learn a ton about cocktails and spirits, and just have a good time as well.
  2. Enter cocktail competitions. It hones your speed, efficiency and another great place to meet passionate bartenders. Look at them not as your competitors but also your extended family.
  3. Make sure to develop your network of bartenders and vendors. Help them out as much as you can and when you need a favor, they’ll help you out as well.

This is a really hard job! Physically, emotionally and mentally – its draining. Its a great job and the most important thing is to have fun and love what you do!

These are just a few suggestions, and I’m sure you have your own advice. leave your suggestions in the comments below.

Chris Tunstall

Co-Founder of A Bar Above and career bartender and mixologist. I love experimenting, creating cocktails, and drinking Green Chartreuse.