What do Bartenders do for a living?
Bartenders mix and serve drinks to patrons, directly or through wait staff. Collect money for drinks served. Check identification of customers in order to verify age requirements for purchase of alcohol. You balance cash receipts. Attempt to limit problems and liability related to customers’ excessive drinking by taking steps such as persuading customers to stop drinking, or ordering taxis or other transportation for intoxicated patrons.
Clean glasses, utensils, and bar equipment. Take beverage orders from serving staff or directly from patrons. Serve wine, and bottled or draft beer. Clean bars, work areas, and tables. Mix ingredients, such as liquor, soda, water, sugar, and bitters, in order to prepare cocktails and other drinks. Serve snacks or food items to customers seated at the bar. Order liquors and supplies.
Slice and pit fruit for garnishing drinks. Arrange bottles and glasses to make attractive displays. Plan, organize, and control the operations of a cocktail lounge or bar. Supervise the work of bar staff and other bartenders. Plan bar menus. Prepare appetizers, such as pickles, cheese, and cold meats. Create drink recipes. You work directly with the public and convince others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.
The bar is your domain and when the crowds start coming in, it gets pretty stressful. So what do you do as a bartender in these situations? You asset the environment and minimize the trouble while providing the alcohol for their enjoyment. This is one of the many jobs that is truly about on the job experience. This is how you become a bartender. There is no substitute.
As a bartender, you will see many people with varying attitudes and needs. Unless you have dealt with a boisterous customer in the past, there is no clear strategy. You have to be able to read your customer demands and know their breaking points. Give them just enough alcohol to keep them happy but not too much so they start causing trouble.
Learning how to mix drinks and discovering the best combinations to satisfy a palette is only one step in the whole process. This can be learned in a school. However, the ability to listen and connect to someone in a stupor is a skill that cannot be learned in any school.
P.S. You will be standing… ALOT! Make sure to get some comfortable shoes but not ones so expensive where some stains on the shoes would get you mad.