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How Do I Become A Bartender?


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#1 medgirl

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Posted 10 August 2006 - 09:54 PM

Hi everyone,

I'm new to this site, but I'm hoping it can help me with this new-found hobby/interest of mine - I'm going to be a first-year medical student this fall (yikes, I know!), but I wanted to get a job moonlighting as a bartender.  I have absolutely NO experience, but I'm always fascinated watching them work whenever I go out drinking with friends and whatnot.  They have such awesome personalities and seem to love what they're doing, and what a cool set of skills to have!  

So, I thought I'd ask you fine folks if you know how I can start.  Obviously, I need to learn the basics...but I don't exactly have time to go to bartending school (med school kinda takes up a lot of time I hear  :) )  I'll practice at home, but liquor ain't cheap, I can't rely on just that.  If I just go and apply at a bar, will they train me? I've heard this is possible.  But what are the odds of them hiring someone that knows as little as me anyway?  What kind of characteristics should I go in applying with?  

I don't expect to learn and be working within the next month or anything, especially since I have to get used to balancing my classes and keeping my nights free, but eventually sometime in the next 4 years I'd LOVE to bartend somewhere, making some extra cash and enjoying myself while I'm at it.   :w00t:   Any advice you have for a novice like me is much appreciated, thanks a lot people!

~medgirl

#2 The Raven

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Posted 11 August 2006 - 06:51 PM

Well, I can't speak for your location precisely, but I know I've had friends that have been in your situation and have found work as a bartender.  Find an out of the way night spot, like a pool hall or even a smaller family restaurant...any place that has slow nights and a bar and you can probably find some leeway there.  Also, it wouldn't hurt to pick up a few manuals and learn the recipes...even though you can't really know a drink until you pour it, knowing what the experts say goes into a drink can help you get very close to the taste.

It is also important to note that some large chain restaurants actually prefer to train you (that way, they can impress upon you their pouring standards and their way of making drinks.)

Learning to pour with a steady hand and measure alcohol without using a jigger will impress any bar boss.  For tips on this, you can search the boards, I know I've seen a few people ask and be sure to sign up for and read the monthly newsletter...I don't cover a lot of the tips of the trade, but some of the other columnists do.

The Raven.

#3 KatieBug

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 04:11 AM

like raven said i can't speak for your location but i got my job bartending just by asking. Never hurts! I had no experience so i did OJT for the first month then they gave me the slow nights alone all the locals are great to practice on and as long as you have a great personality they can't really get mad at  ya as long as you try your best! good luck