Bartending

  • cookingitswee...

    Posts: 445

    Mar 11, 2012 12:01 AM GMT
    Hey guys, I work in the Nantucket Grill, at the Holliday Inn doing room service/busser/host/server. I am looking to get a job as a bartender, but am unsure if that is possible. I have a National Bartenders Certification and am reviewing my drinks. I have applied to many bartending positions, and am looking to get TIPS certified. I am partailly discouraged, because every place I apply to says I need 2-5 years experience behind the bar, but how can I get that if no one gives me a chance? Are there any bartenders out there and how did you get your foot in the door? Also do you work in a gay or straight bar and why?
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    Mar 11, 2012 12:45 AM GMT
    Sheesh.. things have changed.. I worked in a gay bar in NYC in the late 60s and when I applied the owner/mgr asked me one question.. 'Can i see your ass in tight jeans?'

    Didn't know how to mix a drink.. but in those days all you had to do is pour heavy and get the color right. Made great money and had a blast. My str8 friends working night jobs would complain... me?? pre herpes, pre AIDS and men love to fuck bartenders???? no complaints.

    Good luck!!
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    Mar 11, 2012 12:51 AM GMT
    Get a job as a bar back first or something a little low on the totem pole and work your way up. I don't think any place anywhere is going to hire you right away as a bartender.
  • cookingitswee...

    Posts: 445

    Mar 11, 2012 12:54 AM GMT
    Thanks for the advice guys, can't even get a barback job. Sucks.
  • a303guy

    Posts: 829

    Mar 11, 2012 1:10 AM GMT
    What worked for me was starting out in a small town - I would suspect that in a bigger city, it could be harder to get started, simply because (in my opinion) that there are just more people there that want to be bartending/barbacking. I got my start at a small bar in a really small town (980 people, 1 bar) and had a great time, and actually made pretty decent money.
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    Mar 11, 2012 1:46 AM GMT
    Bartending is one of the hardest jobs I ever had, the money was good thoughicon_smile.gif
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    Mar 11, 2012 5:08 AM GMT
    A bartender once told me that the way he got into bartending was by working a small job at any restaurant with a bar, work your way into the bar at that restaurant for a while, then apply to better bars directly.

    cookingitsweet said I am partailly discouraged, because every place I apply to says I need 2-5 years experience behind the bar, but how can I get that if no one gives me a chance?


    Oh man I know that feeling right now.
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    Mar 11, 2012 5:23 AM GMT
    It's all about who you know. I got my first bartending job in college through a friend. I had no relevant experience or certification whatsoever. Most bars and restaurants don't hire bartenders off the street, so to speak. They normally hire from within, that is unless you know someone.
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    Mar 11, 2012 6:08 AM GMT
    Before I started bartending I was a barback and I'm glad I did that. You learn a lot as a barback and you get the flow of things down packed.

    In your case, you might have to set your sites down a little bit and start at the very bottom and take what is available. I would say to continue applying to bars in your area and to not give up. A lot of time in the bar biz they'll say you need 2-5 years experience just to rattle your cage to see if you are committed to doing the work and being a bartender or some random person who'll just fizzle out the first week. A lot of times they can tell if a person will last or not. Bartending is one of those jobs where you HAVE to know your shit, be confident and stick to your guns. Along with that you gotta know how to keep people buying drinks and wanting to keep them coming back. It is fast paced and you gotta know how to engage people of all kinds.

    I would add too that it wouldn't hurt if you had bartenders as friends who wouldn't mind showing you the ropes and some tricks. Mixology is not as easy as it sounds and you gotta know your drinks, their history and whatever else. It's really a science when you think about it.

    I wish you the best in finding and getting a bartending job. It's a lot of fun and it's a great way to be social.
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    Mar 11, 2012 8:02 AM GMT
    You just gotta be more assertive, make them realize that you are/will be the best person they ever hired.
  • cookingitswee...

    Posts: 445

    Mar 12, 2012 12:06 AM GMT
    Thanks for the advice guys, I am open to starting out as a barback of even waiter to get in. I am trying to get a bartending job at the hotel where I work, but doubt I will as I all ready get 10 hours overtime every two weeks.
  • TheRealBarman

    Posts: 1

    Mar 14, 2012 4:56 PM GMT
    Persistence is the key. If you really want to get a bartending job, you will, but there are certain things you must do, including making a plan and making sure you create a great cover letter and resume.
    I have been bartending and bar managing for 15 years and helping people get a job in bartending with little or no experience is all I do. It's not as hard as you think. You just have to know what to do and take the right steps, and I promise you that you can get an advantage over 90% of the applicants out there.
    Someone earlier mentioned possibly starting out as a barback or server, and this isn't a bad idea either. There's money to be made there before you move into a bartending position.

    As far as the gay/straight thing goes, doesn't matter. A bar is a bar and people drink to drink and talk to people that are like them. Doesn't matter where you work as long as you give them alcohol.

    Best of luck.

    TheRealBarman
    TheRealBarman.com
  • mizu5

    Posts: 2599

    Mar 14, 2012 5:05 PM GMT
    cookingitsweet saidThanks for the advice guys, I am open to starting out as a barback of even waiter to get in. I am trying to get a bartending job at the hotel where I work, but doubt I will as I all ready get 10 hours overtime every two weeks.
    Barback is below server/waiter. ahaha you'd be LUCKY to get server, if the experience isn't there you know? It's the only other job that gets tips close to a abrtenders in a restaurant.

    Another tip? Know you shit and be better than everyone else. I did bartending courses, mixology, flair bartending, and then I worked as a host ahaha.

  • JP85257

    Posts: 3284

    Mar 14, 2012 5:09 PM GMT
    The only thing that helped me was knowing people that own a bar.